The road to Colombia
Guatemala earned their ticket to Colombia 2016 with a third-place finish at the CONCACAF Futsal Championship. Despite losing their opening fixture there to Panama (4-1), Los Catrachos showed character and consistency to overcome Mexico (6-2) and Honduras (6-4) to reach the last four and nail down a World Cup berth. And while they were no match for eventual champions Costa Rica in the semis (7-1), their maturity was again in evidence as they regrouped to see off Cuba and finish third.
Strengths and style
After replacing ground-breaking coach Eduardo Estrada in early 2015, the Spaniard Tomas de Dios Lopez has managed to maintain the team’s winning mentality, and this while overseeing a major overhaul of the squad. Under this process, veterans like Carlos Merida, the sole survivor from the 2000 side, and brothers Edgar and Miguel Santizo, are helping to bring on promising youngsters such as Roberto Alvarado and Jonatan Arevalo.
FIFA Futsal World Cup record
Colombia 2016 will be Guatemala’s fourth appearance at a Futsal World Cup and third in succession. Their first participation was as hosts of the 2000 edition, where they won their opening game but failed to survive the group after a 29-2 annihilation at the hands of Brazil. The team performed considerably better at Brazil 2008, progressing to the knockout phase and finishing 10th from a field of 20. At Thailand 2012, they then failed to come out of their group after losing all three of their games.