• Friday Aug 25, 2017

    Grupoline, Zuñiga aim to show strength of Costa Rican futsal

    Diego Zuñiga (#12) is congratulated by Grupoline Futsal goalkeeper Alavro Santamaria during a CONCACAF Futsal Club Championship match against Sidekicks on August 23, 2017, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

    TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Founded only last year, Grupoline Futsal is already making a large impression on the futsal world.

    Not only is it the current Costa Rican champion, it is also on the verge of an appearance in the 2017 CONCACAF Futsal Club Championship final.  A semifinal win over El Salvador’s Soyapango FC on Friday will see Grupoline battle either Utah Elite Futsal or Habana for the right to lift the trophy.

    While that type of meteoric success is not achieved every day, star attacker Diego Zuñiga believes he has pinpointed the reason why its has occurred on this occasion.

    “The team has been united, with great desire and willingness to do things well, in pursuit of the same goal,” the 27-year-old told CONCACAF.com.  “The keys to reaching the semifinals have been the unity of the team throughout the group stage, where -- despite having adversities – we have managed to impose our game, never stopping to think of the opponent’s goal and scoring at the necessary times.”

    Grupoline and the USA’s Utah Elite Futsal were the only two teams to complete the group stage with perfect 3W-0D-0L records.  The Costa Rican side has netted a tournament-best 21 goals, with Zuñiga striking six times, including three in a 10-7 win over Sidekicks of Mexico.

    All of this is not to say that Grupoline is an overnight success.  Many of its players (including Zuñiga) represented Costa Rica in the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup.  One of those, forward Juan Cordero, has scored seven goals to be the joint-top scorer in the CONCACAF event.

    “At the team level, it is the first experience at an international level,” commented Zuñiga.  “However, we have several players who already have international experience with our national team, which gives us a plus to face this competition,”

    Costa Rica won the 2016 CONCACAF Futsal Championship.  What would it mean for Grupoline to do the same at the club level?

    “[It is} an important step for the purpose of the club and for each of its members,” Zuñiga finished.  “It is a showcase that opens up to us internationally and a way to demonstrate the level of futsal in Costa Rica.”

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