Galacticos lead way for Guatemala
Led by three goals from their Los Angeles Galaxy attack force -- two from Guillermo Ramirez and one from Carlos Ruiz -- the Guatemala national team eased past Trinidad & Tobago 5-1 and for the moment took over the top spot in the final hexagonal in CONCACAF qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Substitute Dwight Pezzarossi, who once played for Bolton Wanderers in the English Premier League, also added a pair to complete the rout.
The Galaxy pair did what ever they wanted against the Trinidadian defense on the Estadio Mateo Flores field in the Guatemalan capital and thus pushed the team led by coach Ramón Maradiaga closer to its dream of participate in the biggest event in soccer on the planet for the first time.
The bicolor took the lead in the 16th minute when "Pando" Ramirez -- who yesterday celebrated his 27th birthday -- launched a right-footed shot from outside the area and T&T goalkeeper Shaka Hislop literally gave him a present when he allowed the ball to pass under his body.
The goal did nothing more than increase the chapines domination, and they added to their lead in the 29th minute thanks to a combination between the two Galaxy stars, which allowed Ramirez to find Ruiz in the area, and without a second thought he pounded the ball into the back of the net.
Eight minutes later, after Carlos Edwards pulled a goal back for the Soca Warriors, "El Pando" knocked home a Gonzalo Romero service to give Guatemala a 3-1 lead at the halftime break.
In the second half, the home side continued its dominance against an opponent who rarely troubled Guatemala 'keeper Ricardo Trigueño, although they had to wait until the 78th minute to add to the lead when Pezzarossi turned an error by defender Dennis Lawrence into the fourth goal.
The same Pezzarossi added his second three minutes before the end with the help of Carlos Figueroa -- who took the place of suspended Columbus Crew midfielder Mario Rodríguez -- to put the final cap in the bottle and finish off the 5-1 victory.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.