It's too bad that Bob Gansler, coach of the United States soccer team didn't get to see Friday night's match between Guatemala and Chile at the Coliseum.
Gansler could have learned from watching Chile win, 1-0, because Guatemala is one of the teams that the United States will face in World Cup qualifying.
Sigi Schmidt, UCLA soccer coach, scouted the match for the U.S. and will brief Gansler, who'll be here for Sunday's match between Guatemala and Paraguay.
In the second game Friday night, Paraguay defeated El Salvador, 2-1.
How did the Chileans neutralize Guatemala?
They used an elastic 4-4-2 formation to control the midfield and the match. Chile absorbed relentless offensive presssure from Guatemala, which wasted three good scoring chances in the first half.
Just two minutes into the match, forward Raul Chacon missed a shot at a wide-open net. Chacon beat a Chilean defender one on one, but his shot sailed wide left.
Guatemala had another good chance in the 21st minute when forward Edwin Westphal set up midfielder Marvin Ceballos, but Chilean goalie Roberto Rojas, who spent much of the match roaming out of the goal, deflected Ceballos' shot.
Westphal had Guatemala's best chance, but Rojas deflected Westphal's scissors kick.
Schmidt, who diagrammed Chile's zone defense of Guatemala, said: "(Guatemala) played well the first half but they weren't lucky enough to get a couple of goals. They were much less effective in the second half."
In the second half, there was more action in the stands, where fights broke out among fans who set off fireworkds, than there was on the field.
The game's only goal came in the 67th minute when forward Ruben Martinez scored on an 18-yard shot into the left corner of the net.
That was the best moment for Chile, which appears to be rebuilding with young players. The Chileans, playing their second game in three nights, were unable to sustain an attack. Chile beat Guadalajara, 2-1, Wednesday night at the Santa Ana Bowl.
Guatemala had just one good scoring chance in the second half, but Rojas made a nice save on a free kick by defender Alejandro Ortiz.
The tournament concludes Sunday with Guatemala playing Paraguay at 4:30 p.m., followed by a match between El Salvador and Chile at 6:30. Guatemala and El Salvador will not meet because they are in the same qualifying group for the 1990 World Cup.