Guatemala-Honduras in action during the Central America Women's Cup
MANAGUA, Nicaragua, November 25, 2004.- Guatemala and Costa Rica kept their unbeaten record in the XIII Women´s Central America Cup while defeating Honduras and El Salvador respectively in the third round of action of the competition.
Guatemala defeated Honduras 3-1 and Costa Rica had no problems to beat El Salvador in straight sets.
These unbeaten squads face each other tonight with the winner automatically advancing to the final. The two teams with the best record in the five-country competition will play for the gold medal.
Guatemala took easily the first set 25-13 but Honduras reacted vigorously to win the second 25-20 with the attacks of Catarine Leiva and Claudia Evir plus good defense at the net by Michele Delgado and Indira Inestrosa.
The Guatemalans had to overcome a four-point deficit in the third to tie at 22-22 with excellent performance from Maria Jose Orellana, Ana Ramirez and Diana Arias and finally prevailing 25-22.
The fourth set was played evenly until the second technical time-out but Guatemala cruised the rest of the way winning 25-18 to take the match.
In the second match of the day, sisters Verania and Angela Willis joined forces with Johana Moore and Ingrid Morales to defeat El Salvador 25-14, 25-9, 25-17.
The blocking of Costa Rica proved to be too much for their rivals. They also showed good attack but still are far distant from the potential they exhibited two years ago.
Aida Calderon was the best offensive player for El Salvador with strong spikes, but the rest of the players, smaller in height and lacking experience, could not pass the blocking of Costa Rica.
Braulio Godinez, the Costa Rican coach, rotated his bench after the second set resting the Willis, Moore, Silvia Marin and the rest of the regulars.
"We tried to work the match with some variations, some kind of laboratory in order to see the whole team anticipating the toughest matches," said Godinez.
"Despite the fact that we won easily today, here there are no easy teams. Nicaragua suffered against Guatemala and the truth is that we have to work very hard to take the title and participate next year in stronger events," he added.
In today’s action, starting at five, Guatemala faces Costa Rica and in the nightcap Nicaragua will meet Honduras in the Polideportivo España.
The standing of the competition after three days is as follows: Costa Rica (2-0), Guatemala (2-0), Nicaragua (1-1), Honduras (1-2) and El Salvador (0-3).