HAVANA, Cuba, Mar 25 (ACN) Victim of its defensive inaccuracies and lack of teamwork, the Cuban national soccer team lost 0-1 to the local team of Guatemala on Wednesday at the Doroteo Guamuch Flores stadium, in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
There was optimism to see the performance of the senior squad under the aegis of Pinar del Rio's Pablo Elier Sanchez, which for the first time in its history gathered players residing abroad. But with only two days of training with the group that traveled to Guatemala from the Cuban capital, the result was again negative.
In the first half, the Chapines took the reins of the game with the contribution in the midfield of Jesús López and Rodrigo Saravia, while for Cuba their left winger Luis Javier Paradela stood out and made several attempts in the area.
But in that first half, there were no shots on goal by the Cuban attackers, who showed inaccuracies when giving the ball to the most unmarked teammate.
In the second half, Cuba brought on striker Onel Hernández, who had just arrived in the match. The team looked more willing and in the 49th minute, the first of two shots on goal for the Cuban team was taken by striker Joel Apesteguía in the 49th minute.
But when it seemed that Elier Sanchez's team was improving its teamwork, the Chapin goal came in the 60th minute in a set piece, poorly defended by the Cuban defense, and which was seized by striker Luis Martinez to stay alone and be able to hit it low and cross, uncatchable for goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez.
Just three minutes later (63'), Cuba was down a player when Costa Rican referee Benjamin Pineda gave an undeserved straight red card to midfielder Karel Espino, who will miss next Sunday's game against Curaçao.
The Cuban team's second shot on goal came in the 90th minute through substitute Asmel Núñez.