Spain's Antonio (red) challenges Tomas Hernandez of El Salvador during their FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup quarterfinal at the Tahua To'ata Stadium on September 25, 2013, in Papeete, Tahiti. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
PAPEETE, Tahiti – El Salvador’s bid for a second straight FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup semifinal berth fell one game short when it lost to Spain, 2-1, in a quarterfinal at To’ata Stadium on Wednesday night.
Antonio Mayor scored the game-winner with 2:32 left in the third period on his second bicycle kick goal of the tournament, helping the European champion advance to a semifinal encounter against Brazil.
Spain took a 1-0 lead midway through the first period as Llorenc Gomez leaped over Elmer Robles to score on a header directly off a throw-in.
The Salvadorans equalized with 59 seconds left in the second quarter, when Walter Torres put away a penalty kick.
El Salvador’s dreams of duplicating its performance in the 2011 tournament, when it finished fourth after losing to eventual champion Russia in the semifinals, were dashed by Mayor’s late heroics.