Philadelphia Union forward Carlos "El Pescadito" Ruiz and the Guatemalan national team earned a 4-0 win over Grenada on Monday night at Red Bull Arena, which was enough to earn them a place in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Gold Cup by virtue of being one of the top two third-placed teams.
Ruiz's goal, which came in the 54th minute, was the goal that sent Los Chapines to the next round. After El Salvador finished the group stage Sunday night with four points and an even goal differential, Guatemala needed to win by three goals over Grenada to finish ahead of El Salvador in the standings of third-placed teams. Guatemala came into the game with a -2 differential, so when Ruiz's goal made it 3-0, that was enough for Guatemala.
Their opponent in the next round is yet to be determined, but a quarterfinal showdown with juggernauts Mexico is a serious possibility. It all depends on what happens Tuesday night in Group C. If the third-placed team from Group C finishes with a better record than Group A's El Salvador, then Guatemala will take on the first-placed team in Group C, which is currently Panama (but that could change too). If El Salvador ends up with a better record than Group C's third-placed team, then Guatemala would play against Mexico on Saturday.
Since Guatemala will be in action on either Saturday or Sunday for the quarterfinals, Carlos Ruiz will miss another Philadelphia Union game, this one being at Empire Field against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. If Guatemala advances even further, then Ruiz would miss the team’s following game as well, at home against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, June 22.