Costa Rica's Alejandro Paniagua (#7) celebrates after converting a penalty kick against the Solomon Islands in the FIFA Futsal World Cup on September 12, 2016, in Bucaramanga, Colombia. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
CALI, Colombia – CONCACAF’s four representatives have played one game each at the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup, with two winning and two falling.
Panama and Costa Rica top the tables in their respective groups, while Cuba and Guatemala will look to bounce back from initial setbacks.
CONCACAF.com takes at how the Confederation’s best are faring in Colombia.
2016 FIFA FUTSAL WORLD CUP
September 10 – October 1, 2016
September 10, 2016
Group B (at Medellin, Colombia): Cuba 1, Egypt 7
After an eight-year absence, Cuba’s return to the FIFA Futsal World Cup ended with a 7-1 loss to Egypt, which jumped out to a 6-0 lead within the opening 31 minutes. Alejandro Marrero (31:08) struck from distance for the CONCACAF side’s only goal. Egypt got a hat-trick from Mostafa Eid. The Cubans return to action on Tuesday against Thailand, hoping to notch a second-ever win in their 15th all-time World Cup match.
Group A (at Cali, Colombia): Uzbekistan 1, Panama 3
Panama got off to a strong start in its second-ever FIFA Futsal World Cup appearance with a 3-1 win over tournament newcomer Uzbekistan. Abdiel Castrellon (15:57), Michael De Leon (29:34) and Fernando Mena (35:33) scored for the Panamanians, who will next face Portugal on Tuesday.
September 11, 2016
Group C (at Cali, Colombia): Vietnam 4, Guatemala 2
Minh Tri Nguyen netted a hat-trick as Vietnam earned a 4-2 win over Guatemala. Wanderley Ruiz (23:04) equalized at 1-1 for the Chapines early in the second half, but Nguyen netted twice in a row to give the Asian side a lead it would not relinquish. Patrick Ruiz (30:11) made it a one-goal game just past the half-hour mark, only for Vietnam’s Van Vu Tran to net from the penalty spot with 56 seconds remaining. Guatemala will square off against Italy on Wednesday.
September 12, 2016
Group E (at Bucaramanga, Colombia): Solomon Islands 2, Costa Rica 4
In a wild match with five penalty kicks, two of which were missed by the CONCACAF champion, Costa Rica hung on to defeat Solomon Islands, 4-2. Alejandro Paniagua (18:26, 32:05 pen) netted a brace for the Ticos, who owned a 3-0 lead with less than eight minutes left on the clock. An Elliot Ragomo (35:42) penalty kick got the Solomon Islands on the scoreboard, but Erick Brenes (36:02) restored Costa Rica’s three-goal advantage seconds later. Carlos Chaves (23:32) also scored for Costa Rica, which will tackle Kazakhstan on Thursday.