Guastatoya notched a 2-1 road victory over Comunicaciones in the first leg of the final of the Guatemalan soccer league’s Apertura tournament, although a second-half goal by Uruguayan midfielder Maximiliano Lombardi has given the capital club more hope heading into the second leg.
Guastatoya played to their strengths on Wednesday night at Doroteo Guamuch Flores Stadium in Guatemala City, leveraging their organized defense and solid execution on set pieces to record the win.
A key pillar of that defense, Panamanian international goalkeeper Jose Calderon, played a big role in shutting out Comunicaciones in the early going.
On the other end of the field, Guastatoya opened the scoring in the 30th minute when Lombardi tried to head away a free kick by Luis Martinez but instead sent the ball off the crossbar and over the line for an own goal.
The visitors then added to their lead 12 minutes later when Martinez got another chance at a free kick and this time booted it into the back of the net untouched past goalkeeper Javier Irazun, who casually watched the ball slip inside the near post.
Guastatoya had started the contest with a focus on defense and had even more reason to do so with a 2-0 lead, but they were unable to keep the hosts in check the entire game.
In the 68th minute, Rafael Morales sent in a cross to Lombardi, who headed the ball from near the top of the area past a diving Calderon.
In Saturday’s second and final leg at Guastatoya’s David Cordon Hichos Stadium, the home side will try to win their second championship and become the first club based outside of Guatemala City to win back-to-back league titles.
Guastatoya, for their part, will try to rally on the road and capture a record 31st league championship.