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Guatemala highly motivated for second friendly against Cuba

- 16:25 - 17/08/2018

    Guatemala City, Aug 17 (EFE).- Guatemala's national soccer team has enlisted a different group of players for its second friendly of the week against Cuba, but the squad will look to bring the same enthusiasm on Saturday that it showed in a 3-0 win in the first match.

    The team posted a good result on Wednesday night, meeting head coach Walter Claveri's expectations in its first contest since failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

    Shortly after its World Cup hopes were dashed, the team was suspended by FIFA from international competitions in October 2016 for its refusal to extend the mandate of an oversight body set up to run Guatemala's soccer federation (Fedefut).

    That body had been put in place after a former Fedefut president, Brayan Jimenez, was arrested in connection with soccer's global corruption scandal.

    FIFA lifted the ban in May after the country complied with anti-corruption rules.

    The most important aspect of Wednesday's match was the reunion with the fans, said Juan Carlos Plata, a former Guatemalan national team player and current member of the FIFA-appointed oversight body.

    Claveri has called up a different group of players for Saturday's game in the western Guatemalan city of Quetzaltenango.

    Cuba, for its part, will try to make a better impression after a poor match on Wednesday in which it showed almost no offensive initiative.

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