June 29 – Guatemala coach Luis Tena believes his team can build on their narrow 1-0 victory against Cuba to improve and challenge Canada in their second Group D fixture.
Against Cuba, Darwin Lom was the architect of Guatemala’s win with his second-half strike, turning from villain to hero after he had failed to convert a penalty on the stroke of half-time, to ensure three points for his team and a first victory for Guatemala at the Gold Cup since 2011.
Manager Tena is in no doubt that his charges can up their game when a more stern test awaits against Canada, who drew with Guadeloupe 2-2. A win would guarantee Guatem
“Canada will be a much more complicated team and it is my belief that we are going to be better,” said Tena. “We can do better than today.”
A win for Guatemala at the Shell Energy stadium in Houston would guarantee them a slot in the knock-out rounds.
In 1996, Guatemala reached the semi-finals of the competition and if that may be a steep ask this time around, Tena is convinced the opening win can serve as a platform for a good tournament, with a final fixture against Guadeloupe coming up after the encounter with John Herdman’s team.
“We need a better transition,” explained Tena. “Some balls were difficult to get upfront. We should have more people in attack. The goal made the fans very happy because they felt and saw the effort of the players. The substitutes were able to support the team when some players were tired, like Mendez for example, but generally speaking, we are happy but conscious that we have to improve a lot if we want to beat Canada.”
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