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30 Mar 2015
Groups becoming clearer after amazing day 2
With every team from every group having played at least one match the excitement is building for the knockout stages
Guatemala quiets Panama offense in tight win
The 2-1 win for Guatemala over Panama was thrilling, in spite of the low score, in fact, due to the low scoring but high quality play, it was a great match. The Panamanians hit first, but the Guatemalans slowly and methodically broke down the Panama defense and excellent play from their keeper. Panama ruled the first period but did not have the bunches of goals they wanted, and Guatemala was in the same form in the second period, but in the end, Guatemala was able to pull ahead and stay there. The win gives Guatemala three points in their first match of the event and they will be thirsty for more on Monday against the US Virgin Islands. Panama played a great match that might have them on the victorious side against many other teams but they will have the chance to rebound against Costa Rica on Monday.
Playing in their first matches of the event, Guatemala and Panama both had fresh legs and the kind of excitement that only accompanies having the first crack at the cherry in a World Cup qualifying event. As the crowd grew so did the emotions, with both teams nearly scoring first only to see their attempts denied and with only a few minutes remaining in the opening frame, the score was still 0-0. La Marea Roja got on the board first with a bouncing shot from Obregon that proved to be the only score of the period, leaving the Panamanians up 1-0 after the first period. Guatemala did not look very concerned at facing the slim deficit and they seemed the more comfortable team as they opened the second 12 minutes on the attack. Los Chapines were in complete control in the second period but they still lacked the equalizing goal until their captain, Saenz scored on a thumping direct kick, putting the score at 1-1. La Azul y Blanco were very aggressive but the spectacular play from the Panamanian keeper kept the score level at 1 going into the final frame.
The two keepers great play was on full display from start to finish but the impossible saves became commonplace in the closing period as both sides stayed close thanks to the stoppers. A great chance for the Guatemalans went missing when a player was unmarked on a corner, but Panama quickly recovered, only to cede a goal mere possessions later on a tight angled shot from Gonzalez, which put Guatemala up 2-1 early in the frame. Panama did continue to play with urgency and fire but the one goal advantage would prove to be just enough as the Guatemalans fought until the final whistle blew with them holding the 2-1 lead.
Goals: 0-1: Obregon, min. 2 (1); 1-1: Saenz, min. 8 (2); 2-1: Gonzalez, min. 8 (3).
Trinidad and Tobago continue rolling with 2nd straight win
The 6-2 victory for Trinidad and Tobago was even more sound, especially defensively, than their opening match win. They played solid against a very hopeful Turks and Caicos squad, and they steadily navigated their way through the Turks and Caicos defense, almost at will and whenever they needed to get the momentum back. Turks and Caicos found the back of the net very late in the match and that looked to inspire the whole squad but it was not enough to bring them back within striking distance. The win gives the victors six points in two wins in two games and they will look to stay undefeated in the group against Mexico on Tuesday. Turks and Caicos fought hard in the end and will be able to use that focus against Guadalupe on Tuesday.
The second match of the day began just as exciting as the first and Trinidad and Tobago, who had a very high quality win on day 1, again looked like a contender in this qualifier. The Soca Warriors jumped out to the lead in this match also, using sound teamwork to slot home an early shot that left the score at 1-0. The score held late into the frame but Turks and Caicos did well to limit the chances for Trinidad and Tobago, but a last minute goal put Trindad and Tobago up 2-0 going into the middle frame. Turks and Caicos were looking at a daunting 3-0 deficit in the first minute of the frame, but they then were gifted a great opportunity on a penalty kick but were unable to connect and the score remained 3-0 going into the middle of the match. The second period wound down with Trinidad and Tobago only scoring once more, but they held all the cards and took a 4-0 lead into the last period.
Trinidad and Tobago were very content with their performances in the opening two frames and decided to play a conservative third period, as they kept many defenders back and did not press, however their undeniable ability and skill could not stop them from scoring and they did just that in the final frame. Not needing to score and playing loosely was just fine for the leaders as they did not show any signs of slippage. Turks and Caicos had their chances to bring the match closer but were unable to fully slip behind the Soca Warriors’ defense. The final frame saw an extremely aggressive Turks and Caicos side try to intimidate and be more physical but the result was the same as Trinidad and Tobago stayed strong for the 6-2 win.
Goals: 1-0: Hislop, min. 9 (1); 2-0: Woodley, min. 0 (1); 3-0: Thomas, min. 11 (2); 4-0: Stafford, min. 0 (2); 5-0: Woodley, min. 6 (3); 6-0: Augustine, min. 4 (3); 6-1: Magny, min. 2 (3); 6-2: Magny, min. 0 (3).
Mexico comes alive late for 2nd win
The 8-1 victory for Mexico over Guadalupe was in doubt for much of the match until the sluggish start, that also plagued them in the first match, was all but history. The second period proved to be the catalyst for the Tricolor as they built on a slim lead and then eventually took over while limiting Guadalupe and their many fans. Physicality was very much in play in the final frame but the Mexicans were more than ready for it, as it did not throw them off their game. The win gives Mexico their second win in two games and they are in complete of the group. Their next battle will be Against Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday, while Guadalupe will face Turks and Caicos on Tuesday.
Guadalupe began the match with an inspiring push but the Mexicans held strong and began mounting attacks of their own, but the goals did not come for either side as they went late into the match still tied at 0. An upset would shock the field and Guadalupe had the mind to do exactly that. The home crowd was clearly cheering for the Guadalupe side and that spurred on the underdogs, however Mexico did find their stride and quieted the crowed with a rocket from Gonzalez that put the Tricolor up 1-0 late in the period, and that is how the opening period would end. The neck-and-neck battle continued into the second period, with neither side wanting to give an inch but Los Manitos did break through again, for the second time, to take a 2-0 lead. Guadalupe was not ready to roll over and they reinvigorated the fans with a great bicycle kick in front the goal to pull back to within one goal, at 3-1. The Mexicans had a reply with another goal and scored late in the second period to take a 4-1 lead into the last period.
Guadalupe began the final 12 minutes with just as much energy as ever but Mexico began to wear them down and eventually turned more and more chances in front of goal into scores. The Tricolor looked to be in complete control and got into a rhythm that could very well put them into the next round and beyond. The pace continued, in favour of Mexico, and Las Aztecas added to their lead but not at a risk to their backline and they closed out the match on a big run that left them ahead 8-1 when the last buzzer sounded.
Goals: 1-0: Gonzalez, min. 3 (1); 2-0: Maldonado, min. 5 (2); 3-0: Pichardo, min. 4 (2), 3-1: Hell, min. 3 (2); 4-1: Maldonado, min. 0 (2); 5-1: Gomez, min. 8 (3); 6-1: Rodriguez, min. 4 (3); 7-1: Cati, min. 3 (3); 8-1: Gomez, min. 1 (3).
El Salvador looks unstoppable after 2nd win
The 7-0 victory for El Salvador over Puerto Rico was a performance that will not soon be forgotten by either side, with El Salvador beginning a little slow, by their standards, before turning on the after burner and using their agility and fancy moves to take the Blue Hurricanes out of their comfort zone. Puerto Rico held strong and looked like the capable team but El Salvador was just too much and too fast to contain. The win has El Salvador on a historic run that will see them advance and quite possible win the event that they are hosting. The hosts will next face Jamaica on Monday. Puerto Rico should not be disappointed in their performance against one of the best teams so they will use the newfound knowledge against Belize on Monday.
El Salvador has been nothing short of spectacular in the event so far and the opening minutes of the match against Puerto Rico, things were much of the same. The El Salvadorians put the PuertO Ricans in a quick two goal deficit, and then continued to attack, with a concentrated team effort with passes, set pieces, and quality strikes. At the end of the period, the score could have been much higher but Puerto Rico kept the score close, only leaving the hosts up 3-0 at the break. The hurried pace continued for both teams, though it was the Cuscatlecos setting the pace and breaking through first in the middle frame, leaving the score at 4-0 for the hosts. The score sat at 5-0 for El Salvador, heading into the final minutes of the period the frame eventually ended with a score of 5-0.
A five goal advantage did not satisfy the hosts as they started just as strong in the closing frame and looking like the more fresh team. El Salvador struck the posts multiple times in the opening minutes of the last period and were it not for that, they would have taken an even bigger advantage. The Puerto Ricans continued to play with pride and heart and were successfully limiting the El Salvadorian goals, keeping the score at distant but doable distance of 5-0. However, the lead was pushed to six when El Salvador kicked a great overhead, that was going well wide, but Batres came in and redirected the shot with an impossible to stop header, putting the El Salvador National Selection up 4-0. They would add two more goals and close out the game winning by a score of 7-0.
Goals: 1-0: Ramos, min. 11 (1); 2-0: Velasquez, min. 6 (1); 3-0: Velasquez, min. 1 (1); 4-0; Henriquez, min. 9 (2); 5-0: Velasquez, min. 6 (2); 6-0: Batres, min. 7 (3); 7-0: Velasquez, min. 0 (3).
Jamaica finds a way to win despite being down until late
The 8-5 victory for Jamaica over Belize was a alternating affair, with Belize going ahead often, but only narrowly and having Jamaica tie the match again and again before taking their first lead in the final frame and running away at that point. Belize seemed to be in great position to surprise Jamaica and earn their first win and points of the tournament but Jamaica used their clutch gene to come up bigger late and secure their berth into the next round. The win gives Jamaica 2 wins out of two games in Group A, and regardless of the outcome of their final group game against El Salvador on Monday, both will advance to the quarterfinals. The loss for Belize eliminates them from the quarterfinals but based on their tough nature, they will have a good shot in their final match against Belize on Monday.
Belize started firing quickly and took their first lead of the event, first at 1-0, and then they doubled their lead to leave them feeling good about their chances against Jamaica. The Jamaicans quickly awoke and responded with two goals of their own to put the score at 2-2 going into the final minutes of the opening frame. The Belize side slammed home a late goal on a direct kick to take the lead, by the slimmest of margins, into the first break. Close calls were the name of the game early in the second period, but also redemptions played a big part, as James of Belize missed a penalty kick, only to wait a minute later to score his third of the match on a more difficult, putting Belize up 4-2. The Reggae Boyz had a reply and brought themselves back to within one goal at 4-3, still eyeing the win and three points that come along with it. The hope was growing, along with the confidence, as Jamaica found the equalizer just after the half-way point in the game, tying the score at 4.
The first goal of the closing frame came from Jamaica and it was the third of the day for Reid. The goal was made even more special as it gave the Reggae Boyz their first lead of the match. As Belize showed all day, they did not wilt under the pressure and were able to stick to their game plan and did not panic. The calm play gave way to Jamaica nailing another goal home from Reid, giving the team a 7-5 lead and giving Reid his fourth. Belize tried to keep up the energy but could not get the necessary pressure or goals and when the match came to an end, the Jamaicans had build a safe enough lead to win the game 8-5.
Goals: 0-1: Nunez, min. 11 (1); 0-2: James, min. 6 (1); 1-2: Peddie, min. 6 (1); 2-2: Peddie, min. 4 (1); 2-3: James, min. 2 (1); 2-4: James, min. 10 (2); 3-4: Reid, min. 9 (2); 4-4: Benjamin, min. 5 (2); 4-5: King, min. 2 (2); 5-5: Reid, min. 2 (2); 6-5: Reid, min. 9 (3); 7-5: Reid, min. 7 (3); 8-5: Simpson, min. 2 (3).
Costa Rica handily defeats US Virgin for 1st win
The 12-1 win for Costa Rica was very convincing and proved that they are a force to be reckoned with in Group D. It was both teams first match of the event and they both still have much to prove. Costa Rica needs to show that they can keep the momentum going and play with the kind of intensity they did tonight, while the US Virgin Islands will undoubtedly rebound, but they need to take the bright spots they had in this matchup and show that they can do those things for a sustained 36 minutes. Costa Rica will next play Panama on Monday. The US Virgin Islands will face another tough test on Monday against Guatemala.
Both sides were very evenly matched and the end coast-to-coast action more than showed that, however Costa Rica gained their footing and got on the horse quicker, scoring four quick goals to take the early lead. The US Virgin Islands stopped the bleeding and safely finished the period without giving up another goal. The disadvantage did not dishearten them as they continued to look ready to attack, but unfortunately, Los Metacampeones were just as tough with their defense and the Costa Ricans took the 4-0 lead into the middle frame. The Costa Rican fury was not over yet as they opened the middle frame much like the first period, scoring. Costa Rica added two more goals, bringing their lead to 6-0. When the middle frame ended, the US Virgin Islands got on the board but it was only one goal compared to the five they gave up, leaving the score at 9-1 going into the last 12 minutes.
The scoring could not stay at the torrid pace it was flying along at, but the diving saves from both goalies continued. The Costa Ricans did add to their lead in the frame, and hit the double digit mark for goals early. The goal in the second period did not lead to more goals for the US Virgin Islands like they would have liked, but their goalkeeping and defense did a better job of sticking to their men and limiting the goals. When the last whistle sounded, it marked the end of the match and Costa Rica finished up 12-1.
Goals: 0-1: Sanchez, min. 11 (1); 0-2: Leon, min. 9 (1); 0-3: Leon, min. 8 (1); 0-4: Azuola, min. 8 (1); 0-5: Mendoza, min. 11 (2); 0-6: Pacheco, min. 8 (2); 0-7: Jhonson, min. 4 (2); 0-8: Pacheco, min. 3 (2); 0-9: Pacheco, min. 3 (2); 1-9: Fuller, min. 0 (2); 1-10; Sanchez, min. 7 (3); 1-11; Pacheco, min. 3 (3); 1-12: Jhonson, min. 0 (3).
CONCACAF BEACH SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS EL SALVADOR 2015 (FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP 2015 – CONCACAF QUALIFIER)
14:00 – Guatemala 2-1 Panama (Group D)
15:15 – Trinidad and Tobago 6-2 Turks and Caicos Islands (Group B)
16:30 – Mexico 8-1 Guadalupe (Group B)
17:45 – El Salvador 7-0 Puerto Rico (Group A)
19:00 – Jamaica 8-5 Belize (Group A)
20:15 – US Virgin Islands 1-12 Costa Rica (Group D)
14:00 – Guatemala vs. US Virgin Islands (Group D)
15:15 – Bahamas vs. Antigua and Barbuda (Group C)
16:30 – Puerto Rico vs Belize (Group A)
17:45 – Costa Rica vs Panama (Group D)
19:00 – USA vs Barbados (Group C)
20:15 – El Salvador vs Jamaica (Group A)