Cuba goalkeeper Breniht Suarez (pictured) has been one of the standout performers at the 2016 CONCACAF Futsal Championship. (Photo: Mexsport
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – There’s a saying that goes “practice makes perfect.”
For Cuba at the 2016 CONCACAF Futsal Championship practice may not have made perfect, but it did play a major role in earning a FIFA Futsal World Cup berth.
The Caribbean champion posted an impressive 7-4 win over Canada on Tuesday, a result that was required for it to have any chance of qualifying for Colombia 2016.
“We’re always practicing in Cuba,” said standout goalkeeper Breniht Suarez. “We went to Peru. We went to Brazil and played two times against the national team and two times against local clubs.”
Suarez was influential in Cuba securing a victory against the North Americans after it only acquired a single point in two previous outings -- an opening 1-1 draw with Curacao and a 6-0 loss to host Costa Rica.
With Canada narrowing Cuba’s four-goal lead to one with less than five minutes remaining on the clock, Reinier Socarras struck for his first goal of the competition to make it a two-goal lead. Then, after saving a shot off the right-foot of his Canadian counterpart Josh Lemos, Suarez’s precise punt found the back of an empty net to punctuate the scoreline.
“Great,” Suarez responded when asked how he felt about scoring. “It was very important. It was a goal we needed at that moment, so it was very important for us.”
Continuing a main theme, the towering 31-year-old added with a smile: “We practice that (kick) a lot it in Cuba.”
Head coach Vicente Reinoso was impressed by Suarez’s ability to prevent and score goals.
“He has been great during the group stage and also during the Caribbean Cup,” he commented.
Suarez and Cuba will try to make it two wins in a row on Thursday, when they face Panama in the CFC semifinals.