For Guatemala, the draw felt like a win. It's a boost, but not one to rely on heading to its next game at the Gold Cup.
Overcoming the ejection of two players, Guatemala was able to earn a 0-0 result with Honduras Monday night in nightcap of the Group B opening doubleheader, yet still needs to do better to reach the quarterfinals.
"We're happy with the effort we gave, but not satisfied," Guatemala's Marco Pappa said. "You always have to improve and we have some opportunities to improve here coming up. We have to look forward to the next match and just continue working hard."
Group B heads to Miami for the next round of games on Friday, when Guatemala will face Jamaica - 4-0 winners over Grenada. Honduras will take on the Spice Boys.
Honduras manager Luis Fernando Suarez says Honduras still has some adjusting to do.
"What most affected us was the fact of the recent additions of those players coming from Europe," Suarez said. "We had three-week training sessions with the local players and those are without doubt the players that are in the best shape right now. We saw that and trying to integrate those guys from Europe is the biggest challenge right now."
Guatemala was a decided underdog, but buoyed by the mostly partisan Guatemalan crowd at Home Depot center, Ever Almeida's side felt it took a step forward.
"Guatemala is not the favored team to go to the next round, so we have to show every game we can play hard we can play good and we have another exam against Jamaica," Guatemala striker Carlos Ruiz said.
For Jamaica, its win over Grenada was clearly one-sided, yet coach Theodore Whitmore still saw room for improvement.
"Still we're a work in progress, a lot of things to be done, don't want to give away anything.," he said. "We possessed the ball a lot tonight and once again keeping the ball away from the opponent is going to be the best thing."
The speed of Dane Richards, Ryan Johnson and Luton Shelton overwhelmed Grenada frequently, creating 23 chances to Grenada's two. Jamaica had several more near misses, including Johnson's second-half shot off the crossbar.
"That's a plus for us to be blessed with Shelton, Richards and Johnson," Whitmore said. "I think this is the first game the coordination between the three is a bit off this afternoon. Again, this is the first game and we have two more to do in this round for now."
For Grenada coach Michael Adams, his plan to infuse the side with foreign-based talent and improve on Grenada three-loss and out performance in 2009 suffered a clear setback.
"Realistically, what we came out here to do is to get into the second round. Now we have to go back to the drawing board," Adams said. "Obviously Grenada has yet to score its first goal and get its first point and the confidence factor of achieving that is what we have to look at next."
"We've got Honduras and Guatemala to face and we need to regroup. We certainly need to look at ourselves tactically now because from what I've seen today we definitely need to change some things."
One of them will be its approach to defending.
"I think one of the things we got to look at is certainly get more numbers higher up the pitch and not make it so easier for teams to come out, so what we have to do is use attackers as our main defense," Adams explained.
Though Grenada isn't in the echelon of a United States or Mexico, Johnson says Jamaica's win has reinforced his confidence the Reggae Boyz can make a long Gold Cup run.
"I feel like we can be the team that can win this, but it takes us concentrating on each game at a time," Johnson said. "We can't look past any opponent. At the same time, we have to have the confidence that we can win it and that's the confidence I have for our players and our country."