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19 May 2019
USA and Mexico qualify for FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup!
The final of the Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship Puerto Vallarta will be fought between USA and Mexico!
USA and Mexico continue their unbeaten runs to make it all the way to the final in Puerto Vallarta, at the same time confirming their places as the Concacaf representatives at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
The hosts made it to their third consecutive final with a win against Panama while it took late goals and penalties for USA to eventually sink El Salvador.
USA v El Salvador
This match represented the reason that both of these teams had traveled across the continent, as the prize for victory here today would mean qualification for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019.
The sides were very well-matched and victory would not be easy, as both were yet to be beaten in Puerto Vallarta; but that run would end for one of them today.
Pedromo rifled in the opener to nudge El Salvador ahead after seven minutes, but the USA showed that they weren’t going to get disheartened, as Perera struck the crossbar directly from the kick off.
This was just a warning, and after a very tight first period, the big number seven slotted away a set-piece with just six second left!
The second period began with the sides on level terms and this is how it stayed thanks to the performance of both goalkeepers who had to be on constant alert with such prolific goal scorers on the sand.
But the deadlock was broken when Perdomo blasted the ball into the roof of the net with less than a minute of the second period to go.
With a slim lead and just the final 12 minutes to play, the Salvadorians pushed hard and grabbed a third, Perdomo hitting a brilliant overhead. However, Canale diverted an off-target long shot from Toth to take bring the US to just one behind again.
Time was running out, and the US desperately fought to regain control of the game. An equalizer finally came when El Salvador were caught napping as a quick Mondragon throw was headed in by Don Santos, forcing extra time.
When a winning goal didn’t appear in the added three minutes, there was only one way to settle the tie – penalties! History seemed to be repeating itself for El Salvador, as in the 2017 semi-final their run ended from the penalty spot against Panama.
The teams netted their opening three penalties but as the pressure mounted in the Sudden Death stage, the Salvadorians blinked first. Robles skied his penalty as the USA player celebrated returning to the global showdown.
Goals: 0-1: Perdomo, min. 5 (1); 1-1: Perera, min. 0 (1); 1-2: Perdomo, min. 0 (2); 1-3: Perdomo, min. 7 (3); 2-3: Canale, min. 7 (3); 3-3: Dos Santos, min. 1 (3);
PSO: 1-0: Perera, scored; 1-1: Ruiz, scored; 2-1: Reyes, scored; 2-2: Perdomo, scored; 3-2: Toth, scored; 3-3: Batres, scored; 4-3: Akol, scored; 4-4: Ramirez, scored; 5-4: Mondragon, scored; 5-4: Robles, missed;
Mexico v Panama
This meeting of national teams was a repeat of the last final of the Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship, after both had already qualified for the previous edition of the World Cup; this time, the stakes were arguably much higher…
Could the hosts follow the United States to qualify to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup? Or would Panama make it to the final for the second edition running.
Neither team were willing to make an initial error, but Mexico gradually became braver as the opening period continued. Despite creating numerous chances, the first 12 finished goalless.
The pressing continued into the second period and Panama held strong against the barrage of attacks. But the goal had been coming, and come it did when Maldonado rose above the defenders to nod in a corner for Mexico.
After defending so well for half of the match, Panama were undone by a surprisingly simple move and they were beaten again when the Mexican keeper Villaseñor hit a very stoppable shot from his own area, but the ball somehow slipped through the gloves of his opposite number, Jose Victoria.
With two goals conceded so simply, Panamanian heads seemed to drop a little and deep into the third period, a Nestor Martinez shot, which was heading wide, was turned into the net by Panama defender, Kelly.
At 3-0, and just three minutes on the clock, Panama were in a race against the clock, a race which they ultimately lost.
The hosts had been the better side and with a superior performance take the victory to extend their unbeaten run into the final showdown against the USA on Sunday – don’t miss it!
Goals: 1-0: Maldonado, min. 7 (2); 2-0: Villaseñor, min. 6 (2); 3-0: Kelly (OG), min. 4 (3);
Friday 17th May
14:15 – El Salvador 8-4 Bahamas (Quarter-final)
15:30 - USA 5-1 Guadeloupe (Quarter-final)
16:45 - Panama 6-4 Guatemala (Quarter-final)
18:00 - Mexico 5-4 Trinidad and Tobago (Quarter-final)
Saturday 18th May
16:45 – USA 3(5)-(4)3 El Salvador (Semi-final)
18:00 – Mexico 3-0 Panama (Semi-final)
Sunday 19th May
14:15 – Panama v El Salvador (Third-place play-off)
15:45 – Mexico v USA (FINAL)