GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (March 25, 2016) – The U.S. Men’s National Team produced numerous second half chances, but fell 2-0 to Guatemala in a Semifinal Round FIFA World Cup qualifier on Saturday night at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City.
The U.S. held possession early before goals from Rafael Morales and Carlos Ruiz gave the hosts a 2-0 lead inside the first 15 minutes. Battling a Guatemala side charged by a vibrant home crowd, the U.S. did well to create multiple scoring chances, but goalkeeper Paulo Motta superbly saved everything that came his way to keep the U.S. off the board.
The MNT continues World Cup Qualifying on Tuesday, March 29 with a return trip to the familiar confines of MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, where the team will host Guatemala at 7 p.m. ET presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance with the game broadcast on ESPN2, UniMas and UDN.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
GUA – Rafael Morales (Jean Marquez), 7th minute: After early possession from the United States, Guatemala earned two consecutive corner kicks. Jean Marquez’s take from the right saw Rafael Morales rise in the box to head past Tim Howard inside the near post. USA 0, GUA 1 (SEE GOAL)
GUA – Carlos Ruiz (Paulo Motta), 15th minute: Guatemala took a two-goal advantage as Carlos Ruiz split the U.S. back line to get on the end of Pablo Motta’s goal kick, before slipping the ball past Howard to gain a two-goal advantage. USA, 0, GUA 2 (SEE GOAL) FINAL
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
GUA – Paulo Motta, 23rd minute: Clint Dempsey played a beautiful first time flick to give Alejandro Bedoya a one-on-one with Publo Motta. The Guatemalan ‘keeper came well off his line to thwart Bedoya’s low drive, with the rebound deflecting off of Bedoya’s arm, killing the potential second opportunity.
GUA – Paulo Motta, 53rd minute: DeAndre Yedlin beat his man to the end line on the right before cutting back for Dempsey whose first-time blast was kept out with a sprawling save by Motta. The rebound fell for halftime sub Darlington Nagbe who slid the ball for Bedoya, but Motta came well off his line again to complete the two-save sequence.
GUA – Paulo Motta, 57th minute: Darlington Nagbe broke free into the box on the left, pulling a defender towards him before centering for Bobby Wood. The Union Berlin forward played a short pass to Dempsey on his right whose first time shot was turned away by Motta.
GUA – Paulo Motta, 82nd minute: Second half substitute Jozy Altidore found space on the right side of the box, cut in and unleashed a vicious low effort which Motta made a brilliant kick save to push the ball wide for a corner kick.
Next on the Schedule: The U.S. MNT hosts Guatemala presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance in a return to MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday, March 29 (7 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMas, UDN). The MNT is 7-0-3 all-time in the Ohio capital and holds a 6-0-2 record in World Cup Qualifying matches played there.
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- Goalkeeper Tim Howard made his 31st career World Cup Qualifying appearance, moving him into a tie for fourth with Carlos Bocanegra, Kasey Keller, Eddie Pope and Claudio Reyna on the MNT’s all-time World Cup Qualifying caps list.
- With the defeat, the MNT moves to 15-5-6 all-time vs. Guatemala and 2-5-4 in away matches.
- The USA is now 7-1-5 overall in World Cup Qualifying matches vs. los Chapines and 1-1-5 in Qualifying matches played on Guatemalan soil.
- Edgar Castillo made his first MNT appearance since a 2-0 loss to Ukraine on March 5, 2014.
- John Brooks did not dress due to a left knee contusion. The defender departed camp Friday morning to return to Hertha Berlin.
- Defender Matt Besler did not dress due to a concussion suffered during training on Thursday. Since being diagnosed, Besler has been following U.S. Soccer’s return to play protocol and he will continue to be evaluated in the coming days by U.S. Soccer doctors. His availability for Tuesday’s match is dependent on his recovery and progression through the return to play protocol.
- MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann fielded a starting back line of Geoff Cameron at right back, with Omar Gonzalez and Michael Orozco deployed centrally and Edgar Castillo at left back.
- The midfield consisted of Michael Bradley and Mix Diskerud inside, with DeAndre Yedlin and Alejandro Bedoya on the right and left wings, respectively. Veteran Clint Dempsey led the forward line up top along with Bobby Wood.
- Guatemala starting forward and goalscorer tonight Carlos Ruiz will not travel with the team to Columbus, Ohio, because of a legal matter in Guatemala that prohibits him from leaving the country.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Guatemala
Date: March 25, 2016
Competition: 2018 World Cup Qualifying - Semifinal Round
Venue: Estadio Mateo Flores; Guatemala City, Guatemala
Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET (8 p.m. local)
Weather: 68 degrees; partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
GUA 2 0 2
GUA – Rafael Morales (Jean Marquez) 7th minute
GUA – Carlos Ruiz (Paulo Motta) 15
USA: 12-Tim Howard; 20-Geoff Cameron, 3-Omar Gonzalez (17-Jozy Altidore, 66), 14-Michael Orozco (9-Gyasi Zardes, 59), 23-Edgar Castillo; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 10-Mix Diskerud (16-Darlington Nagbe, 46), 11-Alejandro Bedoya; 8-Clint Dempsey, 7-Bobby Wood
Subs Not Used: 1-Brad Guzan; 5-Matt Besler, 6-Lee Nguyen, 13-Ethan Finlay, 15-Kyle Beckerman, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 19-Ventura Alvarado, 21-Steve Birnbaum, 22-William Yarbrough
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
GUA: 12-Paulo Motta; 3-Cristian Jimenez, 4-Hamilton Lopez, 5-Moises Hernandez, 8-Jean Marquez, 9-Gerson Tinoco, 10-Jose Contreras (13-Carlos Castrillo, 71), 14-Rafael Morales, 18-Stefano Cincotta (16-Marco Pappa, 46), 20-Carlos Ruiz (17-Gerardo Arias, 89), 22-Rodrigo Saravia
Subs Not Used: 1-Ricardo Jerez, 2-Jonathan Winibacker Lopez, 6-Marco Rivas, 7-Luis Fernando Martinez, 11-Mafre Icute, 15-Luis Cardona 19-Kevin Arriola, 21-Jose Carlos Garcia, 23-Edi Guerra
Head coach: Walter Claveri
Stats Summary: USA / GUA
Shots: 8 / 10
Shots on Goal: 5 / 4
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 18 / 14
Offside: 4 / 1
GUA – Moises Hernandez (caution) 8th minute
GUA – Marco Pappa (caution) 78
USA – Michael Bradley (caution) 83
Referee: Jafeth Perea (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Ronal Bruña (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Baines (PAN)
4th Official: Ariel Sánchez (PAN)
Budweiser Man of the Match: TBA