The team of head coach Kolf was placed in a group with Costa Rica, Cuba and Canada. With destination Panama, all ingredients were present for a good performance.
Cuba: 1-1, draw
Natio played a very solid match against Cuba. From a solid organization, the team played with a lot of patience on possession. By means of very well executed position play, the team managed to find a free player. Through counter attacks, Cuba created some minor opportunities. Natio had to watch out for these.
Despite that, Natio created the best chances. By means of a well-executed attack from the right, Jaycee Marsidin was able to shoot at the goal. A splendid save from the Cuban goalkeeper prevented a goal. This goal keeper had several splendid saves in this game.
From a standard situation, a corner from the right, the ball was headed in nicely which caused Natio to be behind: 0-1.
Natio continued playing from a good organization which resulted in good opportunities. The intangible Archero Hoever, also Natio’s most dangerous attacker, equalized the score after a splendid individual action: 1-1. Later on Natio created some more chances to turn the game around in their advantage. Unfortunately the team was not sharp enough to make a second goal. Because the attackers were not focused enough, the game finished in 1-1. Another reason for not scoring a second time was the Cuban goalkeeper. He played a world class match. After all, Natio’s could be satisfied with a 1-1 final score.
Costa Rica: 0-3, defeat
Costa Rica, which started with very skillful players, knew that it could advance to the next round with a win. Both teams played with high pressure but it was Costa Rica that was more convincing in the beginning of the match. I can be brief about that. A very well playing soccer team with good and very agile players. Costa Rica dominated the match from the beginning. One could see immediately that Natio had a lot of difficulty with the change of pace from Costa Rica.
Especially the Costa Rican midfield was the better part of the team and that resulted in splendid attacks from where the goals were scored. After a 2-0 advantage Costa Rica could find their free players very easily. The result of that was that Natio couldn’t play their own game. Given the game and the chances it was a deserved victory for Costa Rica: 0-3.
Canada: 0-2, defeat
After two games one could make up the balance. Canada, two games played and zero points, did not enter the pitch with a lot of confidence. But still, in no time they were searching for the essential points. Natio, despite their defeat against Costa Rica, tried to play their own game. Through playing from the back, Natio could find the midfielders very easily. However, real chances were not created.
Canada, which the Natio staff had analysed well, proved to be a bridge too far also. Natio played a mature match but didn’t reward themselves. After the break Canada increased the speed of the game. Natio couldn’t play the game as they wanted anymore. Both physically and conditionally they were exhausted. The boys fought like lions until the last minute, the problem was certainly not the effort and work that the squad had put in.
After the group stage:
Top goalscorer of Natio : Archero Hoever (1 goal)