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Joaquín AlonsoSpain National Coach and FIFA InstructorWomen’s beach soccer has evolved greatly
04 Apr 2015
Mexico and Costa Rica to represent CONCACAF at World Cup
Semifinals had unexpected results yet amazing play as the US and El Salvador have to lick their wounds in the 3rd Place Match
Guatemala to battle for 5th place on Saturday
The 9-3 win for Guatemala over Jamaica did not begin how Los Chapines wanted but they answered the call and responded in a big way. Los Azules y Blancos faced an early deficit but turned that into a small lead going into the middle frame, before charging ahead to control the rest of the match. Jamaica started strong but could not find that same level of force late in the match and they ended up failing to the very impressive Guatemala squad. The win puts Guatemala in the 5th place match on the final day of play, tomorrow, Saturday. Jamaica will still have a chance to prove themselves on the final day, in the 7th place match.
If there was any need for extra motivation to get-up for this math, it did not show as Jamaica and Guatemala began the watch with an intensity that would have rivaled any other match this week. The Jamaicans begin the match with numerous attempts on goal and scored the first goal of the match from their captain, Reid. Guatemala did not start the game as quick they did find a rhythm and used that to level the score at 1 just past the midway point in the period. The tides shifted and Los Chapines took control of the match late in the period, scoring two more goals to take a 3-1 lead into the middle frame. The Reggae Boyz gave up another goal to Avila early in the middle frame, giving him three for the day, but their intensity slowly began to build again and they pushed the tempo, though they had nothing to show for it besides their lone first period goal until a bulls eye header from Simpson brought Jamaica back to within three goals at 5-2. The Guatemalans were not happy with the goal and responded with three more of their own and took a commanding 8-3 lead into the final break.
The Reggae Boyz showed some great finesse and touch that was missing in the opening frames, but they were still unable to claw back closer as the match headed into the final minutes. The skill that was shown by the Jamaicans would have surely yielded them more goals had it been present in the first and second periods, but they still fought and showed great resolve on defense, effectively shutting down the Guatemalans. Guatemala was not playing it safe in the final frame and they were lucky to have not conceded any goals going into the final minutes. When the final whistle signaled, Guatemala has secured the 9-3 win.
Goals: 1-0: Reid, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Avila, min. 5 (1); 1-2: Saenz, min. 3 (1); 1-3: Avila, min. 1 (1); 1-4: Avila, min. 10 (2); 1-5: Quezada, min. 8 (2); 2-5: Simpson, min. 4 (2); 2-6: Polanco, min. 4 (2); 2-7: Avila, min. 2 (2); 3-7: Simpson, min. 1 (2); 3-8: Alas, min. 0 (2); 3-9: Zaldaña, min. 10 (3).
Trinidad and Tobago methodical in play-off win
The 4-1 win for Trinidad and Tobago very deliberate and surgical as they slowly but surely broke down the sturdy Bahamas defense and took an early lead but did not secure matters or have things settled completely until the minutes. The Bahamas found themselves in a hole and had to dig their way out, which expended much of their energy. The Bahamas did find the next level of excitement late in the frame but Trinidad and Tobago were able to weather the storm and hold on for the win. The victory means that Trinidad and Tobago will play for outright 5th place on Saturday, against Guatemala. The tough loss does not mean the end of the event for the Bahamas as they will play in the 7th place match on Saturday against Jamaica.
The Bahamas may have looked like the faster team but Trinidad and Tobago were the stronger and they tried to push around the Rake and Scrape Boys, but nothing gave for either side and the score remained 0-0 going into the heart of the first period. The Bahamas did not have many early chances and the Soca Warriors were tallying their shots on goal but nothing was falling until Trinidad and Tobago smacked a shot in from midfield to take the one goal lead. The period would end with a flurry of shots, but the same score, 1-0 for Trinidad and Tobago. The first minutes of the game belonged to Trinidad and Tobago and the opening minutes of the second period were the same, but thanks to great goalkeeping from the Bahamas, there was not a change in score. The game got better and better and the Soca Warriors clutched the1-0 lead going into the final minutes of the frame. Trinidad and Tobago would add one more goal in the frame and they held onto a 2-0 advantage going into the final 12 minutes.
Trinidad and Tobago seemed in their comfort zone, pressing the attacks when they saw opportunities but also sitting back on defense. It looked like they had an extra defender at all times as they were swarming to the ball. The Rake and Scrape Boys had their chances early, and facing only a two goal disadvantage meant that they were very much still in the mix to win. Trinidad and Tobago took a direct kick from long used early in the frame and a perfect hit pushed the lead to 3-0, but the Bahamas came alive and got their first goal of the day, from St Fleur, which kindled the hope of a comeback for the Bahamas. The two goal lead would prove to be enough as Trinidad and Tobago added another safety and came away with the 4-1 win.
Goals: 1-0: Appoo, min. 4 (1); 2-0: Woodley, min. 4 (2); 3-0: Perry, min. 9 (3); 3-1: St Fleur, min. 8 (3); 4-1: Appoo, min. 1 (3).
Mexico heading to World Cup after tight win
The 4-3 win for Mexico over the United States of America was a cracker from start to finish, having early goals, a comeback, late goals, and an emotional finish for both teams. Mexico began the match very fast and shocked the Americans, but the Yanks bounced back to keep things close before needing a very late charge to tie things. Mexico used a clutch late goal to then take back the lead and hold on for the win. The victory sends Mexico to the World Cup and they will be playing for the CONCACAF crown on Saturday as well. The loss was tough for the United States as they won the last edition of the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championships and now they will be battling for 3rd place on Saturday.
The crowd grew, screams got louder, and the tension was mounting with a spit in the finals and FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Portugal 2015 on the line. The Mexicans were the first to break through on scrappy play in front of the goal on a rebound. Things got worse for the Yanks as they allowed another goal before the middle of the period arrived and the score sat at 2-0 for the Aztec side. The crisp ball movement of the US finally paid off when they scored on a great cross and then finishing header by Perera to draw the Americans back to within one goal at 2-1. The frame came to a screeching halt, as both sides were pushing matters but unable to score again, with Mexico up 2-1. The quality of play hit new heights, but spectacular saves from both keepers kept the score the same until a beautiful direct kick from Cati of Mexico put El Tricolor up 3-1. The USA struck the goal posts multiple times in the second period but were not able to hit the back of the netting and the match went into the final period with the Mexicans up 3-1.
The Red, White, and Blue looked destined to fall to Los Manitos, getting unlucky bounces and having shots hit off the frame and the early minutes of the final frame came and went without any goals. Just as is seemed like the Stars and Stripes would get one back, a penalty was called on the goal, thus nullifying the shot. The Mexicans began to send more players back to create a defensive stone wall. The wall eventually began to crack when Valentine and Feld both scored the US to tie the score at 3 with under six minutes left. The high wave for the Americans quickly took a turn as they were scored on again, on the second goal from Rodriguez, which put the Aztecs up 4-3 late in the game. The comeback by the USA might not have been fully realized but Mexico quickly changed their strategy and began attacking once more.
Goals: 0-1: Rodriguez, min. 10 (1); 0-2: Gonzalez, min. 7 (1); 1-2: Perera, min. 4 (1); 1-3: Cati, min. 9 (2); 2-3: Valentine, min. 6 (3); 3-3: Feld, min. 5 (3); 3-4: Rodriguez, min. 5 (3).
Costa Rica upends hosts for upset and World Cup berth
The 2-1 win for Costa Rica over El Salvador was as intense as any discussion you get into about politics or religion, however for all intents and purposes, everyone came out on top in this one. The fans were delighted, albeit not the result they wanted, but the products on the field was as good as any all week or even year to this point. The two squads used the first period to try and further understand their opposite numbers, but then Costa Rica struck. El Salvador did not fold and bounced right back but the attacking speed of the Costa Ricans was too much in the end. Costa Rica will be heading to the World Cup in July thanks to this win and they will have a chance to earn the title of Best in the CONCACAF Region on Saturday against Mexico. El Salvador will be disappointed with the result, though not their effort and they will be playing for 3rd place against the USA on Saturday.
As the host team went, so did the crowd and the opening minutes were like rock concert where you are waiting for your favourite band to come back on stage for the encore; constant cheers, yelling, and hopeful screams for the group to play another song, or in this case, score the first goal. Costa Rica and El Salvador exchanged shots and chances but a little bit of luck, great goaltending, and tight defense, meant the score stayed tied at 0 going into the final minutes of the opening frame. The first 12 minutes were played to a stalemate and the game when into the second period knotted at 0-all. With only 24 minutes remaining and the sneaking feeling that Los Ticos needed to score before the Cuscatleco offense came alive, the Costa Ricans matched the El Salvadorian speed and scored a highlight worthy bicycle kick to open up the scoring. The early surprise after the stunning goal, had Los Matacampeones more than just believing in an upset. The hosts were finding opening spaces and using their veteran knowledge and experience to get good looks, but Costa Rica was clever in their own right and were shockingly shutting out El Salvador going into the final minutes of the second period. All that changed when Velasquez scored from distance on a rocket hat was perfectly place in the corner of the net to tie things at 1 going into the final period.
Everything was on the line, literally everything, as both sides could not separate themselves and they knew that their tickets to the World Cup Finals were on the line. El Salvador opened the periods with a determination to score the next goal, but initially Los Ticos were able to keep things level. The Costa Ricans went on the offensive and the sentiment around the Costa del Sol Stadium was that one way or another, something big was about to happen. Unfortunately for the hosts, but fortunately for guests, Pacheco netted his first of the match to put Costa Rica back up 1-0 and almost quiet the crowd. The local fans would not be swayed that easy and knew they could comeback, especially after facing a 4-0 deficit to Jamaica in the quarterfinals before soundly defeating them. The comeback would not come again and Costa Rica surprised most, not themselves, with the 2-1 win.
Goals: 1-0: Villegas, min. 10 (2); 1-1: Velasquez, min. 2 (2); 2-1: Pacheco, min. 7 (3).
CONCACAF BEACH SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS EL SALVADOR 2015 (FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP 2015 – CONCACAF QUALIFIER)
16:30 – Jamaica 3-9 Guatemala (Playoff for 5th Place)
17:45 –Trinidad and Tobago 4-1 Bahamas (Playoff for 5th Place)
19:00 – USA 3-4 Mexico (Semifinals)
20:15 – Costa Rica 2-1 El Salvador (Semifinals)
16:30 – Jamaica vs. Bahamas (7th Place Match)
17:45 – Guatemala vs. Trinidad and Tobago (5th Place Match)
19:00 – USA vs. El Salvador (3rd Place Match)
20:15 –Mexico vs. Costa Rica (Final)