El Salvador thrashes Aruba and qualifies for the round of 16

The El Salvador under-20 team qualified for the round of 16 of the CONCACAF World Cup after beating 4-1 Aruba after a spectacular second half that made La Azul’s comeback effective at the Tegucigalpa National Stadium.

El Salvador started losing, but after a key play in which the VAR intervened, Isaac Esquivel scored a penalty and started a comeback that confirmed them for the next phase and made La Azul fight against Panama for the leadership of the group.

A fundamental goal by Andres Rivas, and a great brace by Javier Mariona gave El Salvador a great day in the middle of a rainy afternoon in Barrio Morazán.

The game started under intense rain that caused the grass conditions of the Tegucigalpa national stadium to become heavy, humid and the ball to roll irregularly.
It was a tough start for El Salvador, who came into the match as favorites to win after their comfortable victory against Guatemala, but Aruba took advantage of the poor field conditions to impose their physical volume against the marked style of play of Azul that was being affected by rain.

Despite the fact that El Salvador gave the first warning about the seven minutes in which Alejandro Cano managed to head into the area after a corner kick, the feeling of being a more dangerous team was for Aruba, which generated scoring chances through its striker Terick Monsanto star.

It was precisely the Sparta Rotterdam player, Terick Monsanto, who made an individual play through the center of the crescent that managed to enter the area and define precisely before the bailout that Damián Alguiera made for the 1-0 of the match. The Aruba team surprised locals and strangers at the Tegucigalpa national stadium and set off alarms in the El Salvador coaching staff, who asked their players to react in order to match the actions on the field.

El Salvador improved during the following minutes. Mayer Gil overflowed more on the left and Ronny Arévalo did his thing on the right. There was also a change of pace from captain Harold Osorio, who began to distribute the ball better throughout the field.

It was not until minute 16 when El Salvador registered the first arrival of clear danger on Aruba’s goal. A play along the left edge of the area where Isaac Esquivel managed to enter left a pass in the middle of the area for Andrés Rivas, who in his shot attempt failed to connect the ball in a better way.

A minute later, Ronny Arévalo fired a powerful shot down the left side that sailed past goalkeeper Samir Erasmus.

El Salvador’s ball position was complete, but the spaces in Aruba in the last line of the field were few, so those led by Gerson Pérez had problems finding depth.

The alternative for El Salvador was long range shooting and stationary plays. For example, at minute 26 Andrés Rivas took a free kick over the center of the field that went straight to the Aruba cabin, but Samir Erasmus prevented the ball from entering the net.


In the final stretch of the first half, El Salvador increased their arrivals in the Aruba area, but goalkeeper Samir Erasmus became a key figure so that the Central American team could not match the actions.

Occasions like Ronny Arévalo, Harold Osorio and Isaac Esquivel himself had opportunities to score, but Samir Erasmus took off the hero cape and avoided the tie until the 45th minute.


In stoppage time, a play by Mayer Gil on the inside of the area caused the Aruba defender to touch him from below, causing the Salvadoran player to fall. The Mexican, Enrique Santander, did not indicate anything at first, but after consulting with the VAR he indicated a penalty in favor of El Salvador.

It was at minute 49 where Isaac Esquivel made the penalty effective by throwing the ball to the left of Erasmus to put the tie 1-1 on the last breath of the first half.


The beginning of the complementary part El Salvador underwent modifications in its starting eleven. It was Hamilton Benítez and Alex Umaña who came in with the idea of ​​putting La Azul on top of the scoreboard over Aruba.

And El Salvador achieved its goal. From the beginning it was better than Aruba and its award came in the 54th minute through a header by Andrés Rivas that left goalkeeper Erasmus without options. The play originated from a ball by Cano from midfield where he found Hamilton Benítez glued to the wing, who without hesitation, sent a precise center towards Rivas’s head.

The changes in El Salvador were fundamental. Benítez gave the team another face on the right wing and Alex Umaña greatly hindered the central defenders of Aruba.

That’s why with the entry of players like Robinsón Aguirre, Javier Mariona and Jeremy Garay, El Salvador managed to materialize another win for El Salvador.

But it was Javier Mariona who finished off Aruba with a brace at minute 75′ and 83′.

The elusive Mariona player won the backs of the Aruba defense and effectively put the final 3-1 and 4-1.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.