El Salvador national football team
La Azul y Blanco
|Association||Salvadoran Football Association|
|Sub-confederation||UNCAF (Central America)|
|Top scorer||Raúl Díaz Arce (39)|
|Home stadium||Estadio Cuscatlán|
|FIFA ranking||68 20 (9 July 2015)|
|Highest FIFA ranking||32 (April–May 2012)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||132 (November 2006)|
|Elo ranking||89 (July 2015)|
|Highest Elo ranking||31 (60 March 1946)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||121 (May 2007)|
| Guatemala 1-2 El Salvador [note 1]
(Guatemala city, Guatemala; September 14, 1921)
| El Salvador 12–0 Anguilla
(San Salvador, El Salvador; February 6, 2008)
| Hungary 10–1 El Salvador
(Elche, Spain; June 15, 1982)
|Appearances||2 (First in 1970)|
|Best result||Round 1, 1970, 1982|
& Gold Cup
|Appearances||14 (First in 1963)|
|Best result||Runners-Up, 1963, 1981|
El Salvador's National Football Team (Selección de fútbol de El Salvador in Spanish) represents El Salvador in international football and is sanctioned by the Federación Salvadoreña de Fútbol (FESFUT). In 1899, Santa Ana and San Salvador met for the first hosted football game in El Salvador. El Salvador's national football team's first match was in September 1921, when they were invited to participate in a tournament to celebrate 100 years of Central American Independence.
El Salvador has made two FIFA World Cup appearances: first in 1970 and again in 1982, but have never progressed beyond the first group stage of a finals tournament. They were the 1943 CCCF champions, and finished in second-place in the 1941 and 1961 championships. They have competed in the CONCACAF regional tournaments fourteen times, finishing as runners-up in 1963 and 1981. La Selecta also competes in the biennial UNCAF Nations Cup, the Pan American Games, the Olympics, and have achieved two gold medals in the Central American and Caribbean Games.
The Estadio Cuscatlán, also known as "El Coloso de Montserrat" and "La Catedral del Espectáculo", is the official home stadium of the El Salvador national football team. Since 2008, the national team has had a kit sponsorship contract with England-based supplier Mitre. As of March 2012[update], Raúl Díaz Arce is the top-scorer with 39 goals, while Alfredo Pacheco has the record of being the most capped Salvadoran player with 85 appearances. The El Salvador national football team has presented itself with 47 managers in total.
- 1 History
- 2 FIFA World Cup record
- 3 CONCACAF Championships record
- 4 Other tournament records
- 5 Stadium
- 6 Schedule and results
- 7 Kit
- 8 Players
- 9 Coaching staff
- 10 Records and honors
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Beginnings of the national team
Salvadoran football had its birth in the city of Santa Ana on a field called Campo Marte. This was the first time a football game was hosted in El Salvador. That first game took place on July 26, 1899 among players from Santa Ana and San Salvador. Both teams had several foreign players from England who are credited with introducing football to El Salvador. The local team won the game 2–0.
Although El Salvador played a few games in the early part of the 20th century, they did not become a fully committed national team until 1921 when players such as José Pablo Huezo, Carlos Escobar Leiva or Santiago Barrachina revolutionized football in the country. In September 1921, El Salvador were invited to Guatemala to take part in the Independence Centenary Games, to celebrate 100 years of Central American Independence. The tournament was compromised as only Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and El Salvador were able to participate. By fact, Guatemalans and Costa Ricans had more experience with football than the Salvadorans and Hondurans. It was a single-elimination tournament, or round-robin format, with Guatemala playing Honduras and El Salvador playing Costa Rica. El Salvador, which were dressed with white shorts and black shirt, underwent the classic 2–3–5 scheme with Carlos Escobar Leyva; Spanish resident Santiago Barrachina, José Pablo Huezo; Benjamín Sandoval, Emilio Dawson, and Frenchman Emilio Detruit; Víctor Recinos, brothers Guillermo, and José E. Alcaine, Guillermo Sandoval and Enrique Lindo. By the first half Costa Rica had scored 3 goals, and by the final whistle of 80 minutes (40 minutes for each half) won 7–0. Despite the loss, this tournament is seen by many as the starting point of the El Salvador national team.
After the 1921 Guatemala tournament, El Salvador only played three other international friendlies against Costa Rica and Honduras. El Salvador lost the first match 3–0 against Costa Rica, while the second and third ended in a 1–0 loss and 0–0 draw against Honduras. On 7 December 1928, El Salvador recorded its first ever win: a 5–0 victory over Honduras, the team that would later become their traditional rivals. The game was played at Campo Marte San Salvador and was not only El Salvador's first ever recorded win, but also the first time the team had scored in an international match. On the day, Gustavo "Taviche" Marroquin become the first ever Salvadoran player to score five goals in a single game for the El Salvador national football team, a feat later equaled by Miguel Cruz and Rudis Corrales.
In the early 1930s, El Salvador appointed its first official national coach, American national Mark Scott Thompson, in preparation for the 1930 Central American and Caribbean Games in Havana, Cuba. El Salvador finished in fourth place at the games. The Federación Salvadoreña de Fútbol, the official governing football organization in El Salvador, was founded in 1935. By this time, El Salvador were coached by Spaniard Pablo Ferre Elías. The El Salvador-hosted 1935 Central American and Caribbean Games took place in the new government funded Estadio Flor Blanca, at that time the biggest stadium in the country. The Salvadoran squad consisted of Edmundo Majano as goalkeeper; Tobias Rivera and Raúl Castro in defense; Américo Gonzalez and Napoleon Cañas as midfielders; and Alex Morales, Rogelio Aviles, Fidel Quintanilla, Miguel "Americano" Cruz, and Andres Hernandez as strikers. Previously the national team had worn black and white striped jerseys and this was the first time they turned out in a new blue strip. The team improved their performance over the previous competition to finish in third place as bronze medal winners.
By 1938 the Federación Salvadoreña de Fútbol had become affiliates of FIFA. Once again the El Salvador national football team participated in the 1938 Central American and Caribbean Games in Panama, which was won by Mexico with Costa Rica in second place. El Salvador won two games and lost three out of the five played. A match for third place between Colombia and El Salvador was scheduled but was cancelled due to bad physical state of the players. El Salvador finished in fourth place by goal difference.
On April 26, 1940, the first national football federation was approved, with Dr. Luis Rivas Palacios as president. In 1941, the first international competition in the CONCACAF, the continental governing body for football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, the Central American and Caribbean Championship (CCCF) took place in Costa Rica. El Salvador took part for the first time alongside teams from Costa Rica, Curaçao, Panama, and Nicaragua. El Salvador were runners-up, recording two wins, one tie, and one loss.
The 1943 CCCF Championship took place in San Salvador with the participation of Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. The El Salvador team were coached by former national player Américo González. At the end of the tournament, El Salvador and Guatemala ended up with the same number of points and so had to play a tiebreaker. On December 21, Guatemala failed to show up for the match resulting in El Salvador declaring themselves 1943 CCCF Championship winners by goal difference. This was the country's first international title. El Salvador's 10‒1 win over Nicaragua set the team's record for the most goals scored in a single game. It was also the second time a Salvadoran player (Miguel "Americano" Cruz) had scored five goals in a single match. El Salvador participated in the 1946 CCCF Championship, hosted in Costa Rica, alongside six other participants. The national team finished in second place, winning three matches and losing two. In 1948, the El Salvador national football team participated in its fourth CCCF Championship, the 1948 CCCF Championship in Guatemala alongside teams from five other countries. For the third time, Costa Rica won the championship with El Salvador finishing in fifth place.
El Salvador were invited by Brazil but turned down an invitation to play in the 1950 FIFA World Cup, and did not participate in the playoffs for the subsequent World Cups in 1954, 1958, 1962, and 1966. Reasons for these refusals to participate might have possibly be due to economic issues since in those times they had never played so far from home. At that time it had a good quad with players like goalkeeper Manuel "tamalon" Garay, Rafael "chapuda" Reyes, Conrado Miranda, Miguel "americano" Cruz, Rafael Corado and Mando Rivas.
At the group stage of the 1950 Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico, El Salvador recorded two wins, one tie, and one loss. They began the final round by beating Curaçao 3–1, but lost their other two matches leaving them in fifth place. In 1953, the El Salvador national football team took part in its fifth CCCF Championship, the 1953 CCCF Championship held in Costa Rica. together with seven other national teams. Costa Rica became champions for the fourth time, and El Salvador finished in fifth place. El Salvador won their second international title in 1954 under the direction of Carbilio Tomasino, and a team consisting of Yohalmo Aurora, Manuel "tamalones" Garay, Hugo Moreno, Armando Larin, Luis Regalado, Conrado Miranda, Fernando Barrios, Ramon "pezote" Chavez, Jose Hernandez, Mario Montoya, Juan Francisco "cariota" Barraza, Ricardo "chilenito" Valencia, Alfredo "Baiza" Ruano, and Obdulio "calulo" Hernandez. They debuted against Colombia in a 2–2 tie, beat Cuba 3–1, beat Mexico 3–2 and finally beat Panama 1–0 with a goal by "Cariota" Barraza. The 3–2 victory against Mexico, with two goals from Mario Montoya (16',36')[note 2] and one from Ricardo Valencia (37'), was the first victory by a Central American team against Mexico.
At the 1955 CCCF Championship in Honduras, El Salvador's sixth, the national team took part along with seven other participants. For the fifth time Costa Rica crowned themselves champions with El Salvador as 4th place.
The El Salvador football team participated in its seventh CCCF Championship, the 1961 CCCF Championship in Costa Rica, in competition with nine other teams with El Salvador finishing in fourth place. El Salvador hosted the first CONCACAF Championship qualification tournament (a replacement for the CCCF Championship) in 1963. There were nine other participants, with Costa Rica becoming the first CONCACAF champions, and El Salvador finishing as runners-up. Chilean Hernán Carrasco Vivanco became coach in 1964 and would later revolutionize Salvadoran football. He led the national team for the first time at the 1965 CONCACAF Championship in Guatemala, where they won 2–1 against Costa Rica and 3–1 against Haiti. The team tied 1 game, losing two eventually finishing in fourth place. In 1966 the El Salvador football team took part in the Central American and Caribbean Games for the sixth time in a competition that took place in Puerto Rico. The national team participated alongside seven other teams, finishing in fourth place.
The first elimination rounds at the CONCACAF level were in preparation for the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy, whilst similar elimination rounds were held for Central American members prior to the Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics. In 1968 El Salvador qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time. They lost 4–0 to Hungary, 3–1 to Israel, and tied 1–1 with Ghana. The coach by this time was Rigoberto Guzman.
Gregorio Bundio and his assistant Jose Santacolomba coached the team in the qualifying stages for the 1970 FIFA World Cup. This would be the first time that El Salvador would participate in this qualifying tournament. For this World Cup, CONCACAF would be represented by Mexico (host of the World Cup) and another national team. El Salvador won group 3, playing four games, winning three and losing one. Their record was 10 goals for and 5 goals against with 6 points. As a result, they qualified for a 3-game playoff against the group 2 winner, Honduras. Immediately following the match an eighteen-year-old Salvadoran girl Amelia Bolaños shot herself in the heart, and was subsequently regarded as a martyr in El Salvador, with her funeral being televised and the El Salvador president and national football team walking behind her coffin. The second game, on 15 June 1969 in the Salvadoran capital of San Salvador, which was won 3–0 by El Salvador, was followed by even greater violence. A play-off match took place in Mexico City on 26 June 1969. El Salvador won 3–2 after extra time. As a result of existing tensions being exacerbated by the football matches, on 14 July 1969 the two countries began the a 100-hour-long war known as the Football War. As a result of the conflict, El Salvador and Honduras were disqualified from entering the 1969 CONCACAF Championship qualification.
The final set of qualifying games for the 1970 FIFA World Cup took place against Haiti. The first leg was won by El Salvador in Haiti, 2–1, with goals from Elver Acevedo (43') and Mauricio 'Pipo' Rodriguez (62'). The second leg was lost 3–0. The third game on 8 October 1969 was won by El Salvador with a goal by Juan Ramon "Mon" Martinez (14' a.e.t.). The El Salvador national football team qualified for their first FIFA World Cup, even though it was their first time in the qualifying stages.
In their first ever World Cup Finals appearance, at the 1970 FIFA World Cup, El Salvador lost their first game 3–0 to Belgium in Mexico City on June 3. The second match was played against the host nation, Mexico, on 7 June. The game turned on a controversial moment near the end of the first half with the score at 0–0. Egyptian referee Hussain Kandil awarded a free kick to El Salvador in their own half. However a Mexican player took the free-kick, passing to another Mexican player who scored. The Salvadoran players protested vigorously, to the extent of physically jostling Bermudan linesman Keith Dunstan, but the goal was allowed to stand. El Salvador restarted the game by kicking the ball into the crowd in protest. They eventually lost the game 4–0. The team's third and final game occurred on June 10 with El Salvador losing the game 2–0 to the USSR in Mexico City, to finish at the bottom of Group A.
"El Pajaro Picon Picon" was a Colombian song written by Eliseo Herrera which was very popular in El Salvador during the qualifying stages of the 1970 World Cup. During a radio show, Mauricio Bohorquez parodied the song, which he named "Arriba con la Seleccion". That parody became so famous that it became the "official anthem" of the El Salvador national football team.
At the 1971 CONCACAF Championship, which was hosted on Trinidadian soil, El Salvador advanced from the first round with an aggregate score of 4–2 against Nicaragua. In the second round, El Salvador withdrew from the playoff when they had to play against Honduras with Honduras eventually making the finals. The national team took part in the 1973 CONCACAF Championship qualification process for the 1974 FIFA World Cup but they did not advance to the final stage after they were eliminated by Guatemala with an aggregate score of 0–2 (0–1, 0–1).[note 3] The team was managed by Hector D'Angelo. In 1975 El Salvador participated at the Pan American Games for the first time at the VII (7) Pan American Games, hosted in Mexico. The national team participated in a group that included Brazil, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. They debuted with a 4–1 score against Nicaragua on October 14 with 3 goals from "Pajarito" Huezo and the debut of Francisco "Paco" Jovel. Then they played against Brazil on the 15th—for the first time in history—and lost 0–2. They ended the tournament by playing against Costa Rica, where they tied 0–0, and wherein "Pele" Zapata missed a penalty. They could not proceed to the next stage, and finished at third place in Group D.
At the 1977 CONCACAF Championship qualification, La Azul played against four other teams on a home-and-away basis. The group winner (Guatemala) and runner-up (El Salvador) advanced to the Final Round. In the final round, El Salvador played five games; they won two, drew one, and lost two with 5 points. They finished in thirs place, below Haiti (7 points) and Mexico (10 points). In 1978 the El Salvador football team took part in the Central American and Caribbean Games for the seventh time in the competition that took place in Colombia. For the fourth time, Cuba was crowned champions. El Salvador finished in ninth place.
At the 1981 CONCACAF Championship qualification, La Azul and five other teams played against each other on a home-and-away basis. The group winner (Honduras) and runner-up (El Salvador) advanced to the final round. On November 19, 1981, in the hexagonal at Honduras, El Salvador beat Haiti by 1–0 with a penalty kick taken by Norberto Huezo. Honduras tied with Mexico, meaning the national team scored more points than Mexico and qualified for the second time for a World Cup, alongside Honduras. In the hexagonal games, La Selecta won 1–0 over Mexico—with a memorable goal from Ever Hernandez on November 6—and Haiti. The national team tied 0–0 against Cuba and Honduras and lost to Canada 0–1. The national team was under the direction of Mauricio "Pipo" Rodríguez.
In 1982 El Salvador took a 20-man squad (two players short of the normal 22, for controversial and economical problems), coached by Mauricio "Pipo" Rodríguez, to Spain. The team's experience was an unhappy one. In their first match on June 15 in Elche, they were defeated 10–1 by Hungary, a scoreline that stands as a World Cup record to this day. One comfort was that Luis Baltazar Ramírez Zapata scored the country's first World Cup goal during the game, albeit at a point when the Salvadorans were already down 5–0.
El Salvador managed to regain some pride in their subsequent games: displaying much-improved levels of organisation and commitment, they lost 1–0 to Belgium on June 19 in Elche and 2–0 to the then-reigning world champions, Argentina, in Alicante on June 23.
El Salvador, within many surprises among the Spanish press for the qualification to the 1982 FIFA World Cup, had a terrible experience in personal terms. First of all, El Salvador took 20 players to the World Cup, leaving behind Gilberto Quinteros and Miguel González. According to Luis Guevara Mora, goalkeeper of the team by that time, the Salvadoran Football Association decided to take a few friends of the association in exchange for such players that had participated in the qualification process. By the way, those friends never took part with the team in the notorious World Cup but did take a trip around Europe. Some fellow players tried to gather in some money to help pay for the flight. El Salvador took 3 days to arrive to Spain and was the last team to do so. Adidas sent four white and three blue uniforms for each player. But mysteriously only three white and one blue remained. The remaining uniforms were taken away by the association. They decided to play with the white uniform and keep the blue as a keepsake. Someone had stolen the balls that the team would train with. The day prior to the match against Hungary, the Hungarians had the 25 balls the organization had given them and trained with them. El Salvador had never seen Hungary play. The only knowledge that they had about the team was a lone video that they had bought. When Zapata scored against Hungary, some Salvadorans cried out to Zapata not to celebrate the goal effusively because it might make the Hungarians mad. The fourth goal of Hungary was the fault of the deafness of Francisco Jovel. Jovel had received a heavy blow on the cheek and almost could not hear. So when Guevara Mora cried off to stop a ball, the defender did not hear him. The rejection was defective, Mora had left the goal and the Hungarian player only had to push it inside. After the match against Hungary, the Salvadoran squad had a tense meeting with the coaching staff. The continuing matches against Belgium and Argentina were managed by players Jovel, Huezo and Fagoaga.
Even though they had a bad experience in the World Cup, El Salvador had some relieved moments. Jorge "Magico: Gonzalez was considered by the national and international press as the best player. "Magico" Gonzalez stayed in Spain where he played for Cádiz CF, Real Valladolid. Ricardo Guevara Mora, the goalkeeper, was the youngest player to play at the 1982 FIFA World Cup with 20 years of age.
In the 1985 CONCACAF Championship qualification, El Salvador and 15 other teams were paired up to play knockout matches on a home-and-away basis. With an aggregate score of 8–0 (5–0, 3–0) against Puerto Rico, El Salvador passed to the first round of the final tournament. They were unable to advance to the second round, with 5 points (2 won, 1 tied, 1 lost). In the qualifying stages they eliminated the Netherlands Antilles 1–0 and 5–0, and in the final round they placed fifth, with 2 points in 6 games (victories were then counted as two points).
In the 1991 UNCAF Nations Cup, La Selecta defeated Nicaragua with an aggregate score of 5–2 (3–2, 2–0) at the first round. In the final round, they played three games, drawing in one and losing two. They ended in fourth place and thus did not advance to the 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
In the 1993 UNCAF Nations Cup, La Selecta played three games, drawing in one and losing two. They ended in fourth place and thus did not advance to the 1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup. They were coached by Jorge Vieira. Also, in the qualifiers, they eliminated Nicaragua (5–0,5–1), then finished first in a group composed of Bermuda (0–1 and 4–1), Canada (1–1 and 3–2), and Jamaica (2–0, 2–1). Already in the final quadrangular, they debuted by beating Mexico 2–1, but lost the next 4 games, losing all classification option. They came in third with 4 points in 6 games (victories were then counted as two points).
In the first round of the 1995 UNCAF Nations Cup, they won their first two games. La Selecta won Belize 3–0 and Costa Rica 2–1. In the semifinals they lost against Guatemala 0–1, so they had to go for the third-place playoff against Costa Rica. In that game they won by a score of 2–1; goals came from Raúl Díaz Arce (18') and Jorge Rodríguez (21'). For the first time they advanced to the Gold Cup.
At the 1996 CONCACAF Gold Cup, El Salvador defeated Trinidad and Tobago 3–2, with goals from Raúl Díaz Arce (34', 72' )(pen.) and Ronald Cerritos (50'). They lost to the United States, and thus could not continue in the competition.
In the first round of the 1997 UNCAF Nations Cup, La Selecta lost to Honduras 3–0 but defeated Costa Rica 2–0. In the final round they lost against Guatemala 0–1, Costa Rica 0–1, and tied Honduras 0–0. They finished in third, with 1 point. They advanced to the 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup. At the US-hosted 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup, El Salvador were coached by Kiril Dojcinovski. In Group A, El Salvador tied with Guatemala 0–0 and lost to Brazil 0–4 and Jamaica 0–2.
After the global stakes in 1970 and 1982, this was the playoff which was closest to a return to a World Cup, which created great excitement among the fans in El Salvador. In the final round, the club finished in fifth place, with 10 points in as many games.
In the first round of the 1999 UNCAF Nations Cup, El Salvador tied Guatemala 1–1 and defeated Nicaragua 1–0, with goals from Magdonio Corrales. In the final round they lost to Honduras 1–3, Guatemala 0–1, and Costa Rica 0–4. They finished in fourth place, with 0 points, and did not advance to the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup. They were coached by Mario Peres Ulibarri.
In the group stage of the Honduras-hosted 2001 UNCAF Nations Cup, El Salvador defeated Nicaragua by 3–0, defeated Panama 2–1, and tied with Honduras 1–1. At the final stage of that tournament, they tied Guatemala 0–0, Panama 1–1, and Costa Rica 1–1. El Salvador advanced to the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup after ending up in third place. They were coached by Carlos Recinos.
Still coached by Recinos, El Salvador lost to Mexico 0–1 in Group A of the 2002 Gold Cup. On January 23, they defeated Guatemala 1–0, with a goal from Santos Cabrera (58'). For the first time, they advanced to the Quarter-finals of a Gold Cup. On January 27, they lost to eventual champions United States by a score of 0–4.
The 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification process marked the beginning of the current decline in Salvadoran football, because after being a regular in the CONCACAF final round, the team was eliminated in the second round by Honduras and Jamaica, who later participated in the final round.
In the 2003 UNCAF Nations Cup in Panama, El Salvador managed to get third place, with Juan Ramón Paredes as head coach. In the tournament El Salvador won against Panama 2–1, lost against Costa Rica 0–1, defeated Nicaragua 3–0, defeated Honduras 1–0, and lost against Guatemala.0–2. They qualified for the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup alongside Guatemala and Costa Rica (Honduras went to the playoffs).
El Salvador lost to the United States 0–2 in Group C of the 2003 Gold Cup. On July 16, they won over Martinique 1–0 with a goal from defender Marvin Gonzalez (76'). For the second time, they had advanced to the Quarter-finals of a Gold Cup. On July 19, they lost to Costa Rica by 2–5. Three of the seven goals were penalty kicks counted by the referee, Mexican Felipe Ramos.
In the 2005 UNCAF Nations Cup in Guatemala, El Salvador lost against Panama 0–1 and Costa Rica 1–2. They were not able to qualify for the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. They were coached by Carlos Cavagnaro.
In the 2007 UNCAF Nations Cup, hosted on Salvadoran soil, El Salvador won over Belize and Nicaragua by 2–1, and tied with Guatemala with no goals. They advanced to the Semifinals as top of Group 1. At the semifinals, El Salvador lost to the eventual champions, Costa Rica, by two early goals. For the third place playoff, El Salvador lost 0–1 to Guatemala but still qualified to advance to the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The team was coached by Carlos de los Cobos.
At the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Ramon Sanchez (38') and Dennis Alas (81') scored to give the national team their only victory in the tournament against Trinidad and Tobago. They lost the following two matches against Guatemala 0–1 and United States 0–4.
On June 16, 2007, a match that recognized the biggest defeat of the Salvadoran team was scheduled between El Salvador and Hungary. Many of the same players that had assisted the match between El Salvador and Hungary in the 1982 FIFA World Cup played again at the Estadio Cuscatlán. The stadium that filled 22,000 spectators saw a match tied at 2–2 with goals from Lázár Szentes and Ferenc Csongrádi for Hungary and two goals from Luis Ramírez Zapata for El Salvador. Victory was a foregone conclusion with the recognition of the past, to the best generation of El Salvador.
In the 2009 UNCAF Nations Cup, El Salvador defeated Belize 4–1, tied against Nicaragua 1–1 with an own-goal, and lost to Honduras 0–2. They qualified for the semifinals. At the semifinals, the game was called after 60 minutes of play when El Salvador was reduced to six players. Two El Salvador players, Alexander Escobar and Eliseo Quintanilla, were awarded red cards in the first half, and Deris Umanzor, Rodolfo Zelaya, and goalkeeper Juan José Gómez were injured and had to leave the game after El Salvador had already exhausted their three substitutions. The game was awarded 3–0 to Costa Rica. In the third place playoff, Honduras earned a win over los Cuscatlecos with an only goal scored by Roger Espinoza (30').
At the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, El Salvador were in Group A, along with Costa Rica, Canada, and Jamaica. They debuted against Costa Rica, with two goals scored by Osael Romero in the 19th and 85th minute. The next two games were defeats by a score of 1–0. The team was still coached by Carlos de los Cobos.
For the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification process, the team passed the first round by defeating the weak selection of Anguilla 12–0 and 4–0 and surprisingly, in the next round, eliminated Panama 0–1 and 3–1. By August 2008 they played the third phase against Costa Rica, Haiti and Suriname, after which they were in second place. El Salvador and five other teams that reached the fourth round formed one double-round-robin, home-and-away group. The top three teams qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The fourth place team qualified for a home-and-away play-off against the fifth-place team from CONMEBOL. After the qualifying round (final stage) the team was in fifth, with eight points. Rudis Corrales was top goalscorer of the qualification process with 8 in total.
On 11 May 2010 The FIFA Emergency Committee suspended the Salvadoran Football Association (FESFUT) on account of government interference. This decision by FIFA was based on the fact that the statutes ratified by the FESFUT general assembly in August 2009 had not been formally entered in the country's official register, and that the government had failed to acknowledge the authority of the Normalisation Committee set up to represent FESFUT. Consequently, FIFA considered that it was not possible for FESFUT to organise the elective general assembly in line with the action plan that had been drawn up, and suspended FESFUT. For the suspension to be lifted, Salvadoran authorities needed to recognize the legitimacy of the Normalisation Committee of the Salvadoran Football Association. The suspension was lifted on May 28. By FIFA lifting the suspension, El Salvador was allowed to participate in international tournaments at both club and national levels. El Salvador's under-21 team qualified for the CAC tournament in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. However, CONCACAF made a decision to suspend football at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games shortly thereafter. Metapán and FAS participated in the CONCACAF Champions League. The Salvadoran referees selected for the 2010 FIFA World Cup were able to participate in the World Cup. El Salvador will also be able to participate in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
At the 2011 Copa Centroamericana, formerly known as the UNCAF Nations Cup, El Salvador achieved fourth place. Los Cuscatlecos defeated Nicaragua 2–0 and Belize 5–2, and lost against Panama 2–0. At the semifinals they lost against Honduras once again by a 2–0 score. In the third place match, they lost to Panama in a penalty shootout by a score of 4–5. The team was coached by José Luis Rugamas, and qualified for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Forward Rafael Burgos received the Golden Boot, with three goals.
Rubén Israel, who took over El Salvador's coaching administration from José Luis Rugamas in April 2011, introduced a new system and spirit into the team. At the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, El Salvador started off holding Mexico to a 0–0 draw through 55 minutes, which included several close calls, but then allowed five goals in the next 35 to lose 5–0. Against Costa Rica, Rodolfo Zelaya scored a 25-yard free kick opener before the half. It was until the fifth minute of injury time where it allowed an equalizing goal and settled for a 1–1 draw. El Salvador opened the doors to the quarterfinals as second–best third after they defeated Cuba 6–1. The goals were scored by 5 different players, including 2 from Rodolfo Zelaya. The goal difference was instrumental in El Salvador's qualification. A 1–1 draw with Panama and Canada enabled El Salvador to advance to their first quarterfinal berth since 2003 and third overall. At the quarterfinals against Panama, Panamanian goalkeeper Penedo stopped a penalty at the 23' from Salvadoran striker Rodolfo Zelaya, who also finished converting another penalty kick at 78' with a shot that was embedded in the upper left corner. Panama forced an extra time at 89', when striker Luis Tejada between several defenders drove a ball that bounced in front of goal and goalkeeper Miguel Montes managed to catch. The play left confused doubts whether the shot from Tejada was with his head or his hand. Eventually, the referee Wálter Quesada decided that Montes caught the ball behind the goal line and ruled the goal to a 1–1 tie at the last minute. The coach of El Salvador called the decision an "error of haste" that cost the whole team the pass to semifinals. Also, both teams played the extra time with 10 men after Panamanian striker Blas Pérez and Captain Luis Anaya engaged in a discussion at the end of the second half. The Panamanians converted their 5 shots and Penedo stopped a shot by Salvadoran Dennis Alas to leave a Salvadoran loss of 3–5 after a 1–1 draw during the 90 minutes and 30 in overtime.
For the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification process, El Salvador were second seed in the playoffs with a first round bye. La Selecta achieved its first victory and beat the Dominican Republic by 3–2 but left many doubts in its debut. Despite a scoreless draw at the end of the first half, El Salvador regained its position—that being at home—and won under goals by Rodolfo Zelaya (54', 77') and Christian Bautista (63'). El Salvador won 4–1 to the Cayman Islands, a score that could have been bigger but the goalposts and the keeper prevented a higher defeat. El Salvador won their second game and took an important step in the qualifiers with goals from Christian Bautista (50') and defenders Luis Anaya (63', 80') and Xavier García (90+3'). El Salvador visited the Estadio Panamericano, San Cristóbal in the Dominican Republic and came out with a victory of 2 to 1. Osael Romero scored the opening goal from the penalty spot and Léster Blanco would get the 2 to 1 with a powerful header. Even though, El Salvador received the necessary 3 points, the performance of the team was not as expected. El Salvador won 4–0 in the second playoff against the Cayman Islands in a game that was delayed over an hour and a half due to severe rain. Nevertheless, El Salvador showed a more attractive technique and earned the win. The goals were scored by Víctor Turcios (5'), Steve Purdy (12'), Jaime Alas (44') and Herbert Sosa (pen. 88'). The last being the 1000th goal scored in the history of the El Salvador national football team.
Six wins in six matches, the Uruguayan coach Rubén Israel qualified the football team of El Salvador for the third round for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF). Fallen into the same group as Mexico, Costa Rica and Guyana, El Salvador heroic snatched a draw in San José (Costa Rica) (after being 2–0 down to score) on 8 Jun 2012. Four days later, a home defeat against Mexico (1–2) precipitated the departure of Rubén Israel whose poor relations with Jaime Rodriguez, president of the National Institute of Sport Salvador (INDES) were known all. Salvadoran Football Association (FESFUT) under pressure following the surprise resignation of Rubén Israel, named the Mexican Juan de Dios Castillo at the head of the selection July 14, 2012. Despite a good start (1–0 in a friendly against Guatemala after 10 years of failure against this opponent) the draw conceded Estadio Cuscatlán in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF), facing Guyana modest (2–2) earned him the wrath of the public. A victory in extremis (2–3) at Georgetown, Guyana (with a penalty stopped by goalkeeper Dagoberto Portillo in extra time) allowed El Salvador to stay in the race for qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Unfortunately the home defeat (0–1) against Costa Rica buried the hopes of qualifying for the national team. Juan de Dios Castillo was removed from office in November 2012 and replaced on December 17 by the Peruvian Agustin Castillo, five national champion with C.D. FAS. Against all odds, El Salvador finished 3rd in the 2013 Copa Centroamericana mean qualification for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the USA in July when El Salvador shares the same group as Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti.
The national team had accusations of several players purposely losing matches on purpose in exchange for monetary rewards. Some of these allegations involved games against Venezuela, Mexico, USA, and Costa Rica. After an investigation, 14 players were handed immediate lifetime bans from football on September 20, 2013. Those players were Luis Anaya, Osael Romero, Ramón Sánchez, Christian Castillo, Miguel Granadino, Miguel Montes, Dagoberto Portillo, Dennis Alas, Darwin Bonilla, Ramon Flores, Alfredo Pacheco, José Mardoqueo Henriquez, Marvin Gonzalez, and Reynaldo Hernandez. Carlos Monteagudo received a ban of 18 months. Eliseo Quintanilla and Victor Turcios received 6 month bans. Alexander Escobar, Christian Sanchez, and U-20 goalkeeper Yimmy Cuellar received a ban of 30 days. Other players were forced to go through the investigation for 20 more days. After the 20 day investigation, Rodrigo Martinez was sentenced to a ban of 5 years, Rodolfo Zelaya to a ban of one year, and Benji Villalobos to a ban of 6 months.
FIFA World Cup record
El Salvador has never advanced beyond the first round of the finals competition. El Salvador declined to participate at the 1950 FIFA World Cup.[note 4]
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup Qualification record|
|1930||Did not enter||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1938||Withdrew [note 4]||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1954||Did not enter||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1974||Did not qualify||2||0||0||2||0||2|
|1986||Did not qualify||6||4||1||1||15||2|
CONCACAF Championships record
In 1963 El Salvador participated in the first CONCACAF Championship which included all countries of the region, North America, Central America and the Caribbean. During 1963 to 1971 only 5 championships were played. El Salvador achieving only a runner-up in 1963. From 1973 to 1989 no championship was played. The CONCACAF proclaimed champion of the region for the country that achieved the first place in qualifying to the FIFA World Cup. In 1990, CONCACAF again created a tournament as its showpiece event to crown the regional champion of the CONCACAF. The event was named the CONCACAF Gold Cup, with the USA hosting the first competition in 1991. In the 2002, 2003, and 2011 events El Salvador reached the Quarter-finals.
|1967||Did not enter|
|1973||Did not qualify|
|1991||Did not qualify|
|2000||Did not qualify|
|2005||Did not qualify|
- *Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
- **Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.
Other tournament records
The tournament has been held since 1991 as the UNCAF Nations Cup and serves as a qualifying event for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The competition was re-branded as the Copa Centroamericana from the 2011 edition. El Salvador has participated in all of the tournaments and has managed to get up to third place in various occasions.
The El Salvador national football team have competed in the CCCF Championship in seven occasions. El Salvador won the 1943 CCCF Championship, their only championship in the competition.[note 5] El Salvador were runners-up in the editions of 1941 and 1961.
The El Salvador national football team have competed in the Olympics on one occasion; the 1968 games. They reached the first round of the competition.
El Salvador's current national stadium is the Estadio Cuscatlán which saw its first game in 1976. Before the opening of the Estadio Cuscatlán the national stadium was the Estadio Nacional de la Flor Blanca (now known as Estadio Jorge "Mágico" González).
During El Salvador's early run of existence, the team's national stadium was the Campo Marte, a 16 acre of land that housed a ministadium, (now known as Parque Infantil) between 1928 and 1934. Succeeding, El Salvador played at the Estadio Nacional de la Flor Blanca (now known as Estadio Jorge "Mágico" González) in San Salvador, El Salvador. It was first built in 19 April 1932 during the presidency of Maximiliano Hernández Martínez in preparation for the 1935 Central American and Caribbean Games. On 24 March 1935 El Salvador played its first game at the Flor Blanca against Cuba and won 4–1. El Salvador played at this stadium for the 1970 FIFA World Cup qualification, and accomplished to qualify for the 1970 FIFA World Cup. A one-off hame was played at the stadium to commemorate a major refurbishment, it was the last time El Salvador played a game in the stadium, on 15 November 2000, against Jamaica in the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification process.
In 1969, EDESSA (Estadios Deportivos de El Salvador Sociedad Anonima) first proposed the idea of a new national stadium. This came to fruition when the construction of the new national stadium, the Estadio Cuscatlán, began on March 24, 1971, with then-president of El Salvador, General Fidel Sánchez Hernández, breaking ground. There were options for the name such of that of San Salvador, Fraternidad, and Cuscatlán but, of course, was named Cuscatlán. After 5 years of construction, the stadium was opened and held its very first game on July 24, 1976, in a friendly match. The game saw German Bundesliga champions Borussia Mönchengladbach play the El Salvador national football team, with the match ending in a 2–0 victory to the German side. The German squad featured 1974 FIFA World Cup champions, such as Berti Vogts, Rainer Bonhof, Wolfgang Kleff and Jupp Heynckes. Also Allan Simonsen, who eventually won the 1977 Ballon d'Or and later form part of FC Barcelona. El Salvador aligned itself with Tomás Pineda (Mauricio "Tarzán" Alvarenga), Guillermo "Billy" Rodríguez Bou, Ramón Fagoaga, Humberto "Imacasa" Recinos, Eduardo "Conejo" Valdés, Víctor "Pato" Valencia, Warner Solís, Félix "Garrobita" Pineda (César "Piscucha" Acevedo), Luis "Pelé" Ramírez Zapata (Abraham Coreas) & Ismael "Cisco" Díaz (David Cabrera). While Borussia played with Wolfgang Kneib, Hans-Jürgen Wittkamp, Berti Vogts, Horst Wohlers, Dietmar Danner, Hans Klinkhammer, Carsten Nielsen, Uli Stielike, Jupp Heynckes and Allan Simonsen. Since that match, El Salvador has used the stadium for almost every major home game, and it is the official home stadium of the El Salvador national football team and the Salvadoran club Alianza FC. On May 25, 1978, EDESSA agreed to sign a 99-year lease of the stadium to CLIMA (Asociación de Clubes de Liga Mayor A) to operate and control which events are held there.
The Estadio Cuscatlán also features the following specifications:
- A 45,925 capacity.
- 15 entrances to the stadium.
- 10 ticket offices available for ticket sales.
- A irrigation system and French drain.
- 4 fully equipped dressing rooms and a gymnasium.
- A large 50 m2 LCD screen of high definition.
- 6 robotic cameras strategically placed at the stadium for the transmission on the large screen.
- Internal sound system with Dolby Digital Surround.
- 16 booths for radio and television transmission.
- 3 electronic lighting towers, which have their north and south towers with 22 beacons and in the center with 24 beacons and 10 halogen lamps each.
- Parking for 8,500 cars.
Schedule and results
The following is El Salvador's schedule and results for the 2015 season.
Win Draw Loss
|Friendly March 28, 2015||El Salvador||1 – 2||Argentina||Landover, Maryland, USA|
|16:30 EDT (UTC−04:00)||Ceren Goal min 79||Report||Renderos 54' (o.g.)
|Stadium: Fedex Field
Referee: Mario Escobar (Guatemala)
|Friendly 31 March||El Salvador||0 – 0||Guatemala||Carson, United States|
|20:00 (UTC-8)||Report||Stadium: StubHub Center
|Friendly 31 May||Honduras||2 – 2||El Salvador||Washington, D.C., United States|
|16:00 (UTC-5)||Martínez 7'
|Report||Ceren min68 Alvarez min 87||Stadium: Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Referee: Christopher Prenzo (United States)
|Friendly 5 June||Chile||1 – 0||El Salvador||Rancagua, Chile|
|19:00 (UTC−3)||Valdivia 14'||Report||Stadium: Estadio El Teniente
Referee: Fernando Rapallini (Argentina)
|2018 FIFA World Cup Q 11 June||Saint Kitts and Nevis||2 – 2||El Salvador||Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|20:00 (UTC-4)||Mitchum 68'
|Stadium: Warner Park Sporting Complex
Referee: Mathieu Bourdeau (Canada)
|2018 FIFA World Cup Q 16 June||El Salvador||4 – 1||Saint Kitts and Nevis||San Salvador, El Salvador|
|19:00 (UTC-6)||Cerén 2'
Bonilla 54', 81'
|Harris 69'||Stadium: Estadio Cuscatlán
Referee: Óscar Dávila (Nicaragua)
|2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup 8 July||El Salvador||0 – 0||Canada||Carson, United States|
|19:30 (UTC-8)||Report||Stadium: StubHub Center
Referee: Oscar Moncada (Honduras)
|2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup 11 July||Costa Rica||1 – 1||El Salvador||Houston, United States|
|20:00 (UTC-6)||Ruiz 60'||Report||Corea 90+2'||Stadium: BBVA Compass Stadium
Referee: Jair Marrufo (United States)
|2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup 14 July||Jamaica||1 – 0||El Salvador||Toronto, Canada|
|18:00 (UTC-5)||McCleary 71'||Report||Stadium: BMO Field
Referee: Walter López (Guatemala)
|2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Third Round 31 August||Curaçao||v||El Salvador||Willemstad, Curaçao|
|2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Third Round 8 September||El Salvador||v||Curaçao||San Salvador, El Salvador|
El Salvador's traditional first kit colour is blue with white trim, their second kit being white with blue trim. The current home and away kit features the traditional colours with the exception of bold curved trims that run from the center of the neck and open to the sides, forming two panels on the chest that contain the Mitre logo and emblem of the Salvadoran Football Federation. At the center of the kit the Salvadoran national emblem, once again, is shown. The right sleeve shows the national flag.
El Salvador and Mitre announced a new partnership in 2008 that saw them supply the Central American national football team with home and away kits, training, and bench wear until August 2010. Mitre, and their Panamanian partner, The Harari Group, designed the kit that El Salvador used. The kit was showcased by the team on February 11, 2009 as they started their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign against Trinidad & Tobago in the CONCACAF (Central-American Football Union) Hexagonal Cup. On October 22, 2010, the FESFUT extended the contract with Mitre by four years. The first home and away kit made by Mitre feature a watermark of the country's national shield on the center of the shirt and some horizontal stripes along the kit. The current kit featured white remains along the neck, at the bottom of the kit, and over the shoulders. When this kit was introduced in 2009 it also introduced a new logo that replaced the typical logo of an "E" and an "S" surrounded by a circle.
The following players have been called up to the El Salvador squad in the past 12 months.
Top ten appearances
Note: Players in bold text are still active with El Salvador. Last updated: July 14, 2015.
| style="width:50%; text-align:left; vertical-align:top;" |
Top ten goal scorers
|1||Raúl Díaz Arce||1991–2000||39|
|2||Jorge "Mágico" González||1976–1998||21|
|3||Juan Francisco Barraza||1953–1969||19|
|José María Rivas||1979–1989||19|
|7||Luis Ramirez Zapata||1971-1989||16|
Note: Players in bold text are still active with El Salvador.
|TBD||El Salvador||Head coach|
|TBD||El Salvador||Assistant coach|
|Pablo Muñoz||Spain||Video coordinator|
|Juan Pablo Rodas||El Salvador||Fitness coach|
|Raul Garcia||El Salvador||Goalkeeping coach|
|Dr. Francisco Amaya||El Salvador||Doctor|
|Douglas Lemus||El Salvador||Physiotherapist|
|José Luis Rodriguez||El Salvador||Kitman|
|Ernesto Góchez||El Salvador||Team Coordinator|
Since the creation of the national team in 1921, several coaches have been in charge of managing El Salvador. From 1930 to 1935, Mark Scott Thompson was appointed as El Salvador's first ever manager. As of January 2012[update], the El Salvador national football team has presented itself with 60 managers in the national team. It is reported that all 3 titles (1943, 1954 and 2002) have been won by Salvadoran born managers. Conrado Miranda has managed in 4 different occasions and Armando Contreras Palma in 3. Chilean Hernán Vivanco was manager when El Salvador competed at their first World Cup. Mauricio Rodríguez managed to qualify El Salvador to another World Cup. Rodiguez participated at the 1970 FIFA World Cup.
Records and honors
El Salvador were the first Central American team to qualify for a FIFA World Cup, in 1970, and the first Central American team to qualify twice which they achieved with entry into the 1982 World Cup. They were the first Central American team to ever score a goal in a FIFA World Cup on June 15, 1982. They were the first Central American country to qualify their football team to the Olympic Games (Mexico 1968). They were the first Central American team to sign up for a World Cup qualifier (France 1938). They were the first Central American team to be champions of the Central American and Caribbean Games (Mexico 1954). They were also the first Central American team to organize the Central American and Caribbean Games (1935) and the first ever CONCACAF Championship (1963). El Salvador were also the first Central American team to beat Mexico in Mexico City; by a score of 3–2 at the 1954 Central American and Caribbean Games. Scorers of that game are as follows: Mario Montoya 16' (0–1), Antonio Jasso 27' (1–1), Mario Montoya 36' (1–2), Ricardo Valencia 37' (1–3), Rafael Gutierrez 64' (2–3). The 1st goal in a World Cup qualifier was scored by Joel Estada on 12 December 1968 against Dutch Guiana. The 50th goal in a World Cup qualifier was scored by Ever Hernández in a 1–0 victory—on 2 December 1981—against Mexico. The 100th goal in a World Cup qualifier was scored by Jorge "Mágico" González on 2 May 1993 against Canada. The 150th goal in a World Cup qualifier was scored by Víctor Velásquez in a 2–1 victory—on 13 June 2004—against Bermuda. The 200th goal in a World Cup qualifier was scored by defender Xavier García in a 4–1 victory—on 6 September 2011—against the Cayman Islands.
- CONCACAF Championship / CONCACAF Gold Cup
- List of football clubs in El Salvador
- Primera División de Fútbol Profesional
- El Salvador national football team all-time record
- The final score of the first match has also been considered to be 0-4. Different texts of sports magazines and books on Guatemalan, Salvadoran and Costa Rican football history do not agree with the result obtained.
- Some notes in this article indicate the time at which a goal was scored; for example, (30') indicates that a goal was scored at the 30th minute. This may also be combined by other goals scored by one player; for example, (30',63') indicates that 2 goals were scored at the 30th minute and 63rd minute by one player—which should be noted right before.
- Some notes in this article indicate the two scores that add to the aggregate score; for example, (2–0,1–1) results in an aggregate score of 3–1—2–0 being the first match played and 1–1 being the second match played.
- El Salvador turned down invitation from Brazil.
- El Salvador was crowned champions by goal difference after Guatemala withdrew from the final between the both countries.
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- "Directores" [Managers] (in Spanish). El Balon Cuscatleco. 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
- González, Pablo. "El gol 200 de El Salvador en eliminatorias" (in Spanish). culebritamacheteada.com.sv. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- "CONCACAF Nations Cup 1977". RSSSF. 1998-07-13. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "CCCF Championship 1961". RSSSF. 1999-08-06. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to El Salvador national football team.|
|Picture of the Team|
- Federación Salvadoreña de Fútbol Official Site (Spanish)
- El Salvador national football team (Non-Official Site) (Spanish)
- El Salvador – Details of World Cup Qualifiers
- 1921 to 2008 El Salvador match results by Barrie Courtney at RSSSF
1941 Costa Rica
1943 (First title)
1946 Costa Rica
|Central American and Caribbean Games Champions
1954 (Second title)
|Central American and Caribbean Games Champions
2002 (Third title)