U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann is just guessing like the rest of us in terms of offensive inclination from Guatemala, although it certainly fits the Guatemalan MO to set up more defensively, doggedly determined to be tough to break down.
They’ll play direct balls into Carlos Ruiz and depend on his hold-up ability to bring others slowly, cautiously into the attack, and to draw fouls that put Marco Pappa into dangerous free kick shooting spots.
But the U.S. coach knows one thing for certain about how Tuesday’s night’s match will unfold. Said Klinsmann at his news conference Monday about Guatemala’s mindset:
“It could be a defensive one. It could be that maybe they come out a little more offensively. No matter what shape they play, they will be very physical. They will run and fight for every ball. It is the game of their lives, really.
“The way they played their [previous World Cup qualifier, last week] with Jamaica, the first 20 minutes they ran out after everything on the field, every ball. So we are prepared for that. We respect them, but I expect, and we expect from ourselves, that we take care of the game. That we control that game, go forward and score, sooner rather than later.”
It’s an important point, because this has been an issue for the team under Klinsmann. Earlier this year Klinsmann admonished his team for not being “nastier” in a 4-1 loss to Brazil. (It was a choice of words the U.S manager most likely regretted.)
Ruiz is one of the most physical, frustrating forwards a defender will ever face. He’s a master of initiating contact first, then hunting for the ball. So, that’s the place to start when dealing with a physical game ahead.
Arsenal lead Chelsea 1-0 at half time of the 2016-17 FA Cup final, but they should be so much further ahead.
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Alexis Sanchez put Arsenal ahead in controversial fashion as Aaron Ramsey was clearly in an offside position and flagged for offside, but referee Anthony Taylor overruled his linesman to allow the goal to stand.
Ramsey didn’t touch the ball but was remarkably close to it when Sanchez raced through to score.
Mesut Ozil, Danny Welbeck and Ramsey had further chances to score with Gary Cahill twice clearing off the line, while Chelsea had two chances through Diego Costa but he couldn’t convert.
Click on the link above to follow all the action from Wembley live.
What a first 45 minutes!
At the FA Cup final on Saturday at Wembley there was a moving tribute to the people killed in the Manchester bombing attack earlier this week.
On Monday a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured a further 67 after detonating a bomb outside Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert.
Ahead of the FA Cup final, Arsenal and Chelsea came together to salute everyone impacted by the atrocity.
Watch the moving video below as 90,000 stood in silence to show their solidarity.
Alexis Sanchez’s goal put Arsenal 1-0 up early on in the FA Cup final against Chelsea in hugely controversial fashion.
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Initially the goal was called out for offside on Aaron Ramsey who didn’t touch the ball but was mightily close to the action, but referee Anthony Taylor overruled his linesman and gave the goal.
There was also a hint of a handball on Sanchez’s part as the ball ricocheted off him in a tackle.
Watch the video below as Chelsea were left fuming but Arsenal didn’t care…
The U-20 World Cup in South Korea continues to provide plenty of drama.
[ MORE: U-20 World Cup latest ]
In Group C already-qualified Portugal fought back from 1-0 down against Iran to win 2-1 and sealed their spot in the last 16, while Costa Rica join both Portugal and Zambia in the knockout rounds after they beat Zambia 1-0.
Italy led Japan 2-0 in Group D but Japan fought back to make it 2-2 as they made it through to the last 16 alongside Italy and Uruguay. Elsewhere in Group D Uruguay and South Africa played out a 0-0 draw with Uruguay already through to the knockout rounds (they have yet to concede a goal) and South Africa heading home.
The final set of group games take place on Sunday with Groups E and F coming to a close, including the U.S. facing Saudi Arabia as Tab Ramos’ men aim to seal a spot in the last 16.
Three of the eight last 16 matches have now been confirmed with England facing Costa Rica, Venezuela taking on Japan and hosts South Korea will play Portugal.
Click on the link above for all the latest news from the U-20 World Cup, while below are video highlights from Saturday’s four games in Groups C and D.
Group C – Portugal 2-1 Iran
Group C – Costa Rica 1-0 Zambia
Group D – Japan 2-2 Italy
Group D – Uruguay 0-0 South Africa