Posted on September 8, 2012
Ruiz works his magic to rally Guatemala to comeback win
GUATEMALA CITY – There’s still some magic left in the legs of Carlos Ruiz.
Ruiz, who turns 33 on Sept. 15, tallied twice in the second half to spark Guatemala to a 3-1 win over 10-man Antigua and Barbuda in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying on Friday night.
The result moved Guatemala into a tie for second place in Group A with the United States. Both sides now have four points after the Americans fell 2-1 to Jamaica in Kingston, Jamaica on Friday. Antigua and Barbuda remained last with one point from three matches.
The victory ended a four-game losing streak for Guatemala and marked only its third victory in its last 10 games.
Guatemala had to overcome not only Peter Byers’ goal six minutes before halftime but a deluging rain that soaked Estadio Mateo Flores.
The hosts improved in the second and received their reward in the 60th minute. Marco Pappa wriggled free on the right side of the penalty area and curved a cross toward the back post with the outside of his foot for Ruiz to head home the equalizer.
The Central Americans escaped a further setback after 68 minutes when the visitors hit the bar, but Antigua goalkeeper Molvin James aided the Guatemalans’ efforts eight minutes later by procuring a second yellow card for delaying a restart.
Ruiz, an international striker, and his teammates soon took advantage of the extra space on a field littered with puddles of standing water. The veteran striker pounced again shortly after James’ dismissal to give the Guatemalans the lead before Dwight Pezzarossi secured the victory in second-half stoppage time by finishing off another Pappa feed.
Photo: Carlos Ruiz secured a brace to lift Guatemala to a comeback win. Andy Mead/YCJ
Categories: Caribbean, Central America, Cuba, Guatemala, World Cup Qualifying
Tags: Carlos Ruiz, Dwight Pezzarossi, Estadeo Matteo Flores, Marco Pappa, World Cup qualifying