The Islanders dominated play for most of the night Thursday in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, but could not hold off a late push from Guatemala's Municipal and surrendered a goal with only four minutes of play remaining to lose 1-0.
Guillermo "Pando" Ramirez nearly gave the visitors the lead in the 42nd minute when his shot from distance was spilled by Islander goalkeeper Bill Gaudette. Luckily for the home fans, Gaudette was able to get up and make a second save on the rebound.
The Islanders would get their best chance to score three minutes later when William Yomby's effort brushed the post but the game would go to halftime scoreless.
With the Islanders seemingly in control of the game and pressing to get a late a winner, a loose ball squirted into the Islanders box and was pounced on by Municipal's Mario Acevedo. The ageless 39-year-old placed it past Gaudette with a first-time shot. El Coyote's goal was all the Guatemalans would need to collect their first win of the group stage and set up a very important final round of games in Group D.
Puerto Rico's loss allowed Mexico's Santos Laguna to secure a spot in the quarterfinals with nine points. The Islanders and Tauro are tied on seven points and Municipal's win gave Los Rojos five points heading into the final week of group play.
The Islanders travel to Panama next Wednesday to take on Tauro with both teams having a chance to move into the next round with a win. A draw between Tauro and the Islanders would leave the door open for Municipal to advance with a win over Santos next Thursday.