David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 28, 2023 – Guatemala (4-0) continues its dominant performance after defeating Costa Rica 3-1 (22-25, 28-26, 25-16, 25-21) on day five of the VI AFECAVOL Men’s U23 Central American Championship at La Basita Sports Center.
After losing the first set, Guatemala responded in the second by focusing on their defense, allowing them to recover from a four-point deficit (16-20) and then a two-point deficit (20-22) to close with a dramatic 28-26 and tie the match.
In the third and fourth sets, Costa Rica maintained the pressure, but setter Daniel Ralón distributed Guatemala’s attack between Carlos Caballeros and Yefeson Zavala, who each finished with 16 points, Jason Hernández with 15, and Leonardo Molina with 14.
For Costa Rica, Juan Diego Delgado scored 18 points, and Yulius Brown finished with 11.
Guatemala led in attacks 69-47 and in blocks 8-5. Costa Rica had a slim advantage in service points 4-3 but gave away 32 unforced errors compared to Guatemala’s 20.
Costa Rica plays against El Salvador on Friday at 2:30 p.m. (Panama time), and Guatemala faces Panama at 7:30 p.m.
Leonardo Molina, middle blocker of Guatemala: “It was difficult for us to adapt and find our rhythm, but once we started, we didn’t stop, and we managed to improve. The good thing is that we are more than a team; we are a family because we have a strong friendship, and that helps us. If someone can’t solve a situation, the other steps in and does it. Attitude was crucial today; we didn’t give up, and that helped us”.
Carlos Caballeros, opposite hitter of Guatemala: “I’m happy to contribute to the team and reach our goal. There are two important matches left, and we will try to do our best. I feel that we are a team that knows what we’re here for, and each one tries to do their best. Today, we had a good attitude, and that was important”.