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Costa Rica comes back against Guatemala


PANAMA CITY, Panama, October 19, 2017 - Costa Rica got an exciting victory coming from behind after losing the first set to beat Guatemala 3-1 (22-25, 36-34, 25-20, 25-21) in the second game of the first day of the XII Central American U19 Men's Volleyball Championship.


Guatemala won the first set thanks to their attacks in zone 4, but Costa Rica adjusted and recovered from losing 21-24, to win 36-34, saving four set points of their opponents.


From then on both teams disputed each point as in a final, but it was Costa Rica who got the best part with the action. Sebastián Rivas had 15 points, Juan Arrieta 14 and 13 by Deykel Smith. Kevin Hoil of Guatemala scored 29 points and David Ismalej had 17.


Costa Rica led in blocks 18-4 and serve 9-5, but yielded in attack 48-60, and made more mistakes than their opponent (33-31).


Juan Acuña, coach of Costa Rica: "It was a very important triumph, first for being the first game and second against the vice champion of the category and our archrival of a lifetime. Always the initial games are difficult, the boys did not start working well, but we made adjustments, especially in the blocks. The rest was attitude, claw and team level, because we have height. All the teams are going to be difficult, it will be a very tough tournament."


Juan Arrieta, captain of Costa Rica: "At first it cost us a bit of the blockade, we knew how to rearrange and left as the coach told us. It is a very high confidence point, to start a championship of these is complicated and more against Guatemala that is a very strong opponent. We know that Panama (next opponent) is strong, we have to adjust the block and improve the defense. "


Edgar Callejas, Guatemala coach: "The two teams were good, it was like an early final. The second set was what made the difference, we both had to win and after the physical wear and tear of the game caused us to make mistakes. In the end influenced the changes, I think they were better than us. We have to move forward, although this was one of the games we had to win."


David Ismalej, captain of Guatemala: "We did a good job, we lacked to define in the last instances, but in the remainder of the tournament we are going to improve that ... there is a lot ahead. In the second set we wear, we had several points to define the set and we could not. It was a good game, we played well, but they knew how to get the last points. "