Late goal denies US victory
Livingston Scott, Gleaner Writer
José Andres Rumph's last-minute equaliser denied group A favourites United States a win in their opening game of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship and earned the Guatemalans a valuable point to start their campaign, as the tournament got under way yesterday at the National Stadium with a triple-header.
Cameron Carter-Vickers put the United States in front 14 minutes after the half-time break. But the Guatemalans came back strong towards the end of the half, and central midfielder Rumph netted a deserving equaliser, firing home an unstoppable shot from 20 yards that gave goalkeeper Zachery Steffen no chance.
Guatemala's coach, Carlos Ruiz, said his team did well without the ball, but thought they could have done better in possession. However, his counterpart, Tab Ramos, said he knew it was going to be a tough game, but was disappointed with the result nonetheless.
"We came for three points and we are disappointed that we did not get it," Ramos, the former US star midfielder, stated.
Panama beat Aruba
In the curtain-raiser, Panama, through a brace from Ismael Leon, eased past first-time CONCACAF qualifiers Aruba 4-0.
Leon gave Panama the lead after 19 minutes, before Ervin Perez (30) and Edson Records (36) put them 3-0 up at the interval. Five minutes after the break, Leon added his second and Panama's fourth to seal the deal.
Panama's coach, Leonardo Pipino, said it was a better start than they had expected.
"The match wasn't easy until we scored the fourth goal. But four-nil is a good result, as we are not used to scoring wins like this," he said.
Aruba's new coach, Arent Bekhof, noted that Panama did all the attacking and they did the defending until the Panamanians netted their fourth.
"At half-time we were three-nil down and after a few minutes in the second-half they score again and took it easy," he declared.
Panama have four points, the United States and Guatemala one point and Aruba none.
The tournament continues today with a triple-header in Montego Bay.