Guatemala defeated Costa Rica to claim first win
PINAR DEL RÍO, Cuba, June 8, 2018.-
Guatemala defeated Costa Rica 3-1 (22-25, 25-15, 25-15, 25-17)
to claim their first victory at the NORCECA Men’s Challenger Cup
which grants a ticket for the winner to the World Final
qualifier towards the FIVB League of Nations 2019.
It was a game of similar level and physical, but the Guatemalans
overcame their bad start after bringing out their better
experience and the status of champion of Central America 2017
and as one of the eight classified to the Central American and
Caribbean Games Barranquilla 2018.
Guatemalan wing spiker Carlos Lopez topscored the match with 23
points, followed by his teammates Wagner Chacón (12) and middle
blocker Brandon Chinchilla (11). For their opponents the only
one with double digits was the opposite Gilberth Solano (15).
The Cuban Reider Lucas Mora, coach of Guatemala, said that "we
were not very happy although we lost against the strongest at
this Cup, Cuba and Puerto Rico, but the performance of my boys
had not been the best, they can still give more. Also three
fundamental players could not come, Leonardo Blanco, Erick
Flores, and captain Gerardo Gonzalez. Nevertheless we want to
achieve our goals with those here and tomorrow end up high
against the Trinidadians"
Lopez, Guatemalan captain, said that "in the initial set we
lacked concentration, but we made several changes to adjust and
when we entered the next one we recovered and maintained the
rhythm to win. Our goal at this tournament is to prepare us for
Costa Rican leader Andrés Araya pointed out that "although we
have a short process of preparation and this almost entirely a
new selection, but our general feeling is one of joy, we showed
in the first set that we can achieve more because we resisted
Guatemala consolidated by its experience.”
Another Cuban, José Enrique Pavón, director of the Costa Rican
national team, said that "they are two teams with a fairly even
level, but our rivals have a lot of work and know what to do in
each moment and especially the desire to win after they lost the
first set, that gave them the victory because we started well,
but the push by them was fundamental and defined the outcome".
On Saturday Guatemala will face Trinidad and Tobago from 3:30 pm
local time, and Costa Rica will meet Cuba starting at 6:30 pm.