Agustin Ruiz (right) scored three goals in El Salvador's 5-1 win over England in the Copa Pilsener Futbol Playa on April 12, 2014. (Photo: Lea Weil/beachsoccer.com)
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Agustin Ruiz scored three goals and El Salvador defeated England, 5-1, on Friday in the opening match for each in the four-team 2014 Copa Pilsener Futbol Playa.
The host jumped out a 2-0 lead by the end of the first period thanks to a pair of strikes from Ruiz (6’, 2’), who has netted 17 times in 16 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup games.
Aaron Clarke halved the deficit midway through the second period for England, but the Cuscatlecos responded magnificently. As time elapsed in the frame, goalkeeper Jose Eliodoro Portillo fired home distance and Frank Velasquez converted a penalty kick to make it 4-1.
The Central Americans employed a tight formation to close out the match. Ruiz completed his hat-trick late in the third period.
Earlier in the day, Brazil topped Switzerland, 7-3. Benjamin Jr. scored three goals and Catarino added two in a winning effort.
On Saturday, El Salvador will face Switzerland, while England will look to bounce back against the Brazilians.