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27 Feb 2017
Panama claim maiden CONCACAF title
The CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship has new winners after Panama beat Mexico on Sunday.
Panama are the new CONCACAF Beach Soccer champions are beating former holders Mexico 4-2 in Nassau on Sunday.
Both sides will represent the federation at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in the Bahamas in April and May but it was Panama, rather than favourites Mexico, who won out as Justo Arrocha’s brace and further goals from Alfonso Maquensi and Rafael Garcia tied up victory.
Mexico - who had boasted a 100 per cent record in CONCACAF finals - saw the competition’s joint-top scorer Jose Ramon Maldonado Alonso bag a brace but they came up short against a spirited Panama featuring in only their second such tournament.
El Salvador salvaged a third-place finish from their campaign as they saw off Guadeloupe 7-2.
The former champions - who have still not finished below third since 2007 - would have been tipped by many to contest Sunday’s final but, following defeat to Panama, Rudis Gallo’s men bounced back with the help of a Jose Ruben Batres brace.
Hosts Bahamas succumbed to defeat in Sunday’s fifth-place play-off as they were beaten 4-2 by USA.
Played in front of a consistently fervent home crowd, the USA did enough to dampen cheers in Nassau as the influential Nick Perera - returning from suspension - notched along with Oscar Reyes, Alessandro Canale and Christopher Toth.
Despite a rare off-night, Bahamas have done more than enough to build enthusiasm for the sport ahead of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which begins on April 27th.
Captain Greivin Pacheco Quesada’s hat-trick helped Costa Rica edge Canada 5-4 in extra time and secure ninth place on the final day of action in the Bahamas capital.
Costa Rica led 4-1 midway through the second period after skipper Pacheco’s first two but Canada battled back with a quickfire double from Jacob Orellana and Danilo Pessoa early in the third.
Johnson got Costa Rica’s fifth although that was swiftly cancelled out by Milos Scepanovic, and it ultimately fell to Pacheco to clinch the tie with his hat-trick goal.
Antigua finish ninth after an 8-6 win against Guyana, with the former having initially moved into a 4-1 lead thanks to goals from Kevin Richards, Elvis Thomas, Omarie Daniel and Sherwin Warner Jr before a Jamal Haynes hat-trick helped restore parity.
However, Daniel O’Dell Murray and Stephen Hughes wrestled the victory back from Guyana, as Antigua ended on a high.
Belize hit the goal trail in their 13th-place play-off success against Turks & Caicos Islands, easing to a 9-4 win.
Marlon Meza scored four times in a dominant victory while Jeremy James and Alexander Jones added a brace apiece to tie up 13th spot.
In the first game of the final day, Barbados fought from a goal down to beat US Virgin islands 3-1 and condemn their opponents to last place.
Vincent Schulz got the Islands off to a strong start with the opening goal only for Barbados to claim the victory with goals from Andre Pinder, Elvin Griffith and Ramon Manning.
11.15 - Barbados 3-1 US Virgin Islands (Fifteenth-place play-off)
12.30 - Belize 9-4 Turks & Caicos Islands (Thirteenth-place play-off)
13.45 - Antigua & Barbuda 8-6 Guyana (Eleventh-place play-off)
15.00 - Canada 5-6 Costa Rica (AET) (Ninth-place play-off)
16.15 - Jamaica 3-9 Trinidad & Tobago (Seventh-place play-off)
17.30 - El Salvador 7-2 Guadeloupe (Third-place play-off)
18.45 - Bahamas 2-4 USA (Fifth-place play-off)
20.00 - Panama 4-2 Mexico (Final)
Golden Ball: Alfonso Maquensi (Panama)
Golden Glove: Diego Villasenor (Mexico)
Top Scorers: Marlon Meza (Belize) and Jose Ramon Maldonado Alonso (Mexico) (12 goals each)
Young Player Award: Jamal Haynes (Guyana)
CONCACAF Fair Play Trophy: Canada
3rd: El Salvador
7th: Trinidad & Tobago
9th: Costa Rica
11th: Antigua & Barbuda
14th: Turks & Caicos Islands
16th: US Virgin Islands