Panama (pictured) celebrates after defeating Mexico in the 2016 CONCACAF Futsal Championship and qualifying for the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup on May 10, 2016, in San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Panama and Guatemala claimed places in the next FIFA Futsal World Cup as each completed 2016 CONCACAF Futsal Championship (CFC), Group A play with wins on Tuesday at BN Arena.
The Panamanians earned the top spot, finishing with a perfect 3W-0D-0L record after a 4-3 win over Mexico. Guatemala won for second straight time, overcoming Honduras, 6-4.
In the opening encounter, Mexico appeared ready to bounce back from a loss to Guatemala by jumping out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals by Cesar Saldivar (9’) and Christian Hernandez (13’).
Demonstrating a renewed sense of urgency, the Panamanians exploded for four unanswered goals to take a 4-2 lead with slightly more than five minutes left on the clock.
Claudio Goodridge netted in his third straight game to make 2-1 just after halftime, while Fernando Mena put Panama ahead with a pair of goals. His first in the 29th minute off a neat give-and-go with Joshua Brown was well executed and the second came after he stole an errant pass.
In the 35th minute, Carlos Perez netted an insurance goal that proved necessary, when Hernandez drilled home his second of the afternoon as time expired.
Afterwards, Jonatan Arevalo struck for a tournament, single-game high four goals as Guatemala held off Honduras.
The 23-year-old leveled the score at 1-1 in the ninth minute, dribbling past a pair of defenders down the right side, before firing in at the near post.
Guatemala went on to score three more goals to take a 4-2 lead into the break, including another off the right foot of Arevalo. The best of the trio was Jose Mansilla’s volley at the left post off a kick-in from the right side by Edgar Santizo to make 2-1 in the 12th minute. Mansilla finished the game with two goals.
Arevalo completed his impressive performance with strikes in the 21st and 25th minutes, extending the lead to 6-2.
Honduras ended its first-ever CFC appearance on a bright note as Rivera (26’) and Carlos Montes (32’) netted in a comeback bid.
Panama and Guatemala also advanced to Thursday’s CFC semifinals and will know their opponents after the completion of Group B play later in the evening.
GROUP A SCORING SUMMARIES
May 10, 2016
Mexico 3, Panama 4
1-0 Cesar Saldivar, Mexico (8:44)
2-0 Christian Hernandez, Mexico (12:29)
2-1 Claudio Goodridge, Panama (20:38)
2-2 Fernando Mena, Panama (28:32)
2-3 Fernando Mena, Panama (32:43)
2-4 Carlos Perez, Panama (34:29)
3-4 Christian Hernandez, Mexico (39:59)
Guatemala 6, Honduras 4
0-1 Luis Rivera, Honduras (6:10)
1-1 Jonatan Arevalo, Guatemala (8:12)
2-1 Jose Mansilla, Guatemala (11:37)
3-1 Jonatan Arevalo, Guatemala (13:27)
4-1 Jose Mansilla, Guatemala (16:15)
4-2 own-goal (Roberto Alvarado, Guatemala), Honduras (18:17)
5-2 Jonatan Arevalo, Guatemala (20:30)
6-2 Jonatan Arevalo, Guatemala (24:59)
6-3 Luis Rivera, Honduras (25:11)
6-4 Carlos Montes, Honduras (31:40)