Honduras held by nine-man Guatemala

Guatemala played with nine men in the final 11 minutes, but managed to tie Honduras 0-0 on Monday night in the second game of a Group B doubleheader at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

When the game was over, Guatemala’s fans celebrated as if their team had won.

Honduras played in the World Cup last year for the first time since 1982. Five members of that team started against Guatemala.

”We did a job, that’s for sure,” Guatemala coach Ever Hugo Almeida said. ”We wanted to recover the grit, the discipline and the desire not to lose.”

After the first group games, Jamaica holds first place with three points and a goal differential of plus-4 following its 4-0 victory over Grenada earlier Monday. Guatemala and Honduras are tied for second with one point.

Guatemala’s Gustavo Cabrera was ejected in the 61st minute after receiving his second yellow card. Teammate Henry Medina received two yellow cards within five minutes and was expelled in the 79th minute.

Guatemalan goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez made five saves. His biggest came in the 60th minute, when he blocked Carlos Costly’s point-blank shot seven yards from the goal line.

With seconds remaining, Guatemala’s fans chanted Jerez’s name.

”It was a difficult game,” Honduras coach Luis Ferando Suarez said. ”We had too much in common with our opponent and they caused us a lot of problems.”

Oscar Garcia had two chances to score for Honduras. But defender Cristian Noriega cleared Garcia’s 10-yard shot away from an open net in the 23rd minute. Then Garcia’s 22-yard shot hit the crossbar in the 33rd minute.

Henry Lopez, an 18-year old player from Osbourn High School in Virginia, made his debut for Guatemala’s senior team. Lopez scored the winning goal in a 2-1 win against the United States to put Guatemala in the FIFA U-20 World Cup.