• Monday Sep 19, 2016

    Futsal WC: CONCACAF champion Costa Rica advances

    Costa Rica's Alejandro Paniagua (left) and goalkeeper Nicolas Sarmiento of Argentina battle for the ball during their FIFA Futsal World Cup match on September 18, 2016, in Bucaramanga, Colombia. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images) 

    CALI, Colombia – Costa Rica earned a Round of 16 berth at the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup after playing first-place Argentina to a 2-2 draw in Group E on Sunday at the Coliseo de Pueblo. 

    CONCACAF’s other three representatives – Cuba, Guatemala and Panama -- dropped decisions in their last respective group games and were eliminated. 

    The Costa Ricans, who advanced past the group stage for the first-ever time in four appearance, will face Portugal on Wednesday. 

    CONCACAF.com recaps the most recent encounters.   

    September 16, 2016 

    Group A (at Cali, Colombia): Panama 3, Colombia 4

    In an entertaining encounter, host Colombia (1W-2D-0L, 5 points) got goals from four different players to post a 4-3 win over Panama (1-0-2, 3). With the result, the Panamanians dropped to third place and ultimately missed out on advancement due to tiebreakers.

    The CONCACAF runner-up equalized at 1-1 through a stunning strike from Josue Brown (8:08), after Angellot Caro (3:32) gave Colombia an initial lead. It would not get any closer as the Colombians went up 3-1 on goals by Jhonatan Giraldo Toro (11:26) and Jorge Abril (21:42), following the dismisal of Panama’s Michael De Leon. Abdiel Castrellon (27:57) was able to pull one back for the Central American side, cleverly spinning his defender and finishing calmly. Andre Camilo Reyes (33:02) restored Colombia’s two-goal cushion, which proved to be needed when a Fernando Mena (36:39) strike gave Panama late hope.  

    Group B (at Cali, Colombia): Russia 7, Cuba 1

    With the contribution of seven different goal scorers, Russia (3-0-0) earned a 7-1 victory over Cuba (0-03) to clinch top-spot in Group B and eliminate the CONCACAF side. The Russians held a 4-0 lead at halftime, before Daniel Hernandez (29:33) struck for Cuba’s lone goal. 

    September 17, 2016

    Group C (at Cali, Colombia): Guatemala 4, Paraguay 8

    Guatemala (0-0-3, 0) let a 2-0 lead slip away and fell 8-4 to Paraguay (2-0-1, 6), a result that saw the CONCACAF side be eliminated with a fourth-place finish. Jonatan Arevalo (1:54) and Walter Enriquez (2:28) both found the back of the net before three had passed, but Paraguay responded with five unanswered goals to move ahead 5-2 with less than 13 minutes remaining in the game. Jose Mansilla (33:50) and Jose Gonzalez (38:07) also got on the scoresheet for Guatemala, which did not venture past the group stage for the fourth time in as many attempts. Paraguay’s Enmanuel Ayala struck for a hat-trick.   

    September 18, 2016 

    Costa Rica (1-1-1, 4) took a two-goal lead, but had to settle for a 2-2 draw with first-place Argentina (2-1-0, 7). The result, though, proved to be sufficient for the CONCACAF champion to advance to the Round of 16 as one of the four best third-place teams. Juan Cordero (18:49) scored late in the first half to put the Ticos ahead and Edwin Cubillo (29:14) doubled the advantage before 30 minutes had elapsed. Cordero, though, was red carded in in the 23rd and his absence proved to be costly as Santiago Basile (30:32) and Fernando Wilhelm (34:20) eventually netted the goals that would put the sides on level terms. Costa Rica had a chance to win the match, by Erick Brenes saw his penalty kick be saved by goalkeeper Nicolas Sarmiento.

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