Guatemalan U-20 Team Sends Chapines To Their First-Ever FIFA World Cup

Carlos G GironContributor IIIApril 7, 2011

Gerson Lima scored a key goal for Guatemalan U-20 national team against Team USA.
Gerson Lima scored a key goal for Guatemalan U-20 national team against Team USA.

Mateo Flores Stadium, Guatemala City, Guatemala (April 6, 2011) - Boosted by their rabid fans, the U-20 “Chapines”defeated the heavily favored Team USA, 2-1, in front of a raucous crowd at Mateo Flores Stadium in Guatemala City.

With a lot of heart, and by “sweating the jersey” profusely, the Guatemala U-20 national team became the first ever team from the Central American nation to qualify to a FIFA World Cup.

It is not an exaggeration to say that Guatemala defeated a true CONCACAF “Goliath” as the United States had qualified to seven consecutive U-20 FIFA World Cups. The Americans were stunned failing to qualify for the tournament for the first time since 1995.

A resilient, tough, and scrappy Guatemalan team believed it can do it, and boosted by a lot of adrenalin and inspired by a loyal and determined crowd, their belief somehow became a reality.

One thing is for sure April 6, 2011, will be forever etched in the collective memories and hearts of all “Chapines.” The long-suffering Guatemalans have been used to living with pain and frustration for decades. Finally, they can switch from saying “Si se puede!” (Yes we can!) to “Si se pudo!” (Yes we did it!).

In what surely be considered as one of the biggest upsets in CONCACAF youth history, Guatemala defeated Team USA, 2-1 Wednesday night with goals from Gerson Lima (32nd minute) and Henry Lopez (68th minute), Guatemala's Man of the Match. The lone American tally came from striker Conor Doyle (65th minute) who scored after receiving a pass from U.S. Man of the Match, Amobi Okugo.

With the victory, the “Chapines” changed the history of the Central American nation and earned a spot in the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup to be held in Colombia in July. The history making Guatemalan team will be joined by Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama as the four representatives from the CONCACAF region.  

U.S. lineup:
MacMath; Valentin, Agbossoumonde (Orozco ’83), Kitchen, Hernandez; Lletget, Okugo, Rowe; Gyau, Doyle, Garza (Salgado ’77)

Guatemala lineup:
Garcia, Moreno, Ramirez, Enoc, Aguila, Ceballos (Norales ’72), Castillo, Lopez (Bonilla), Herrarte, Lemus, G. Lima (C. Lima ’46)