Guatemala Remains Undefeated in a Central American Clasico Against El Salvador
The Stubhub Center hosted a FIFA Friendly match between Guatemala and El Salvador in a Cup sponsored by Delta Airlines. Since a Cup was featured in this friendly, in spite of a 1-1 draw in regulation time, there had to be a winner, decided upon by penalties with no extra time.
In spite of being dubbed a friendly, this match was far from it as historically these countries are the biggest rivals in CONCACAF besides Mexico and USA, giving them the label of a true Central American Clasico.
An LA Galaxy fan in attendance said they’d never heard the stadium so loud, even in a StubHub Center with fewer than 7,000 fans.
The Salvadorans took control of first half and sustained pressure on the Guatemalan side for most of it, with 8 shots on goal compared to just 4 from Guatemala. Regardless, Marco Pappa’s left-footed bullet shot in the 30th minute proved too fast for El Salvador’s goalkeeper, Luis Contreras. The first half ended with Guatemala leading 1-0.
After many more attempts by the Guatemalans, Isben Castro scored the equalizer in the 69th minute on a one-on-one with Guatemala’s Paulo Cesar Motta. Regular time ended in a 1-1 tie and head straight into PKs.
Guatemala’s Jose Manuel Contreras missed his penalty shot as did El Salvador’s Milton Molina and Darwin Cerenon (Orlando City FC) making Guatemala the champions of the Delta Cup.
This game marked the last match both teams play before Round 4 of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Guatemala is in Group B and will face the United States, Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Vincent/Grenadines. El Salvador is in Group A and will face Mexico, Canada and Honduras.