Guatemala soar into QFs with late win vs. Guadeloupe
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Guatemala soar into QFs with late win vs. Guadeloupe

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HARRISON, New Jersey – In a thrilling conclusion to Group D, Guatemala defeated fellow contenders Guadeloupe by a score of 3-2 at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday evening. The result secures Los Chapines passage to the knockout round of the competition for the first time since 2011.

In the eighth minute Guadeloupe had an excellent chance when Mattias Phaeton set up Jordan Leborgne in the penalty area but his shot rolled wide of the target.

Guadeloupe’s Andreaw Gravillon tested Guatemala GK Nicholas Hagen with a thunderbolt from outside the box in the 17th minute, but the Guatemala keeper rose to the challenge and parried it aside.

In the 26th minute Hagen made another big stop on a close-range effort from Phaeton near the edge of the six-yard box. On the ensuing corner, Gravillon rose up high to place a fine header into the top corner of the net and give Les Gwada Boys a 1-0 lead.

Guatemala would not go down without a fight, and responded with a neatly placed header of their own in the 39th minute, this one courtesy of Rubio Rubin. It was Rubin’s first ever Gold Cup goal.

The game was 1-1 heading into halftime, with Guatemala needing a win to advance but Guadeloupe happy with a draw, so it was no surprise when Los Chapines came out more aggressively after halftime. 

Guadeloupe looked to take advantage, and earned a penalty in the 60th minute. Ange-Freddy Plumain stepped up to take the kick and slotted it home into the right side of the net to put Les Gwada Boys back in front, 2-1.

Again, Los Chapines needed to hit back, and again Rubin answered the call. He tucked home a simple finish in the 70th minute from about seven yards out to breathe life back into Guatemala. 

What felt like the deciding moment came in the 75th minute. Carlos Mejia struck home a powerful finish off Guadeloupe GK Davy Rouyard’s fingertips to put Guatemala in front for the first time, 3-2. 

But even that was not the final bit of drama in this match. Guadeloupe earned another penalty in the 87th minute, and this time it was Phaeton who marched to the spot, but Hagen made a fantastic save to deny him and keep Los Chapines in front.

Guatemala, having finished top of the group, will play Group A runners-up Jamaica in Cincinnati on Sunday.