• Wednesday May 08, 2013

    Goals mark start of Beach Championship

    NASSAU, Bahamas - The 2013 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship, the confederation's qualifying competition for the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, got off to a roaring start on Wednesday with 36 goals scored in four group stage games at the Malcolm Park Beach Soccer and Futsal Facility. The opening day marked the first time that a Caribbean country hosted the confederation's beach soccer championship.

    Defending champion Mexico led the strike parade with 10 tallies in a shutout victory over Canada, as Morgan Plata (4) and Angel Rodriguez (3) combined for seven goals.

    Lesly St. Fleur netted three goals to propel tournament host Bahamas past Puerto Rico, 9-1, a result that pleased the home supporters.

    Here's a recap of Wednesday's action:

    GROUP A
    United States 5, Guatemala 2
    The United States got three goals from Nicolas Perea to defeat Guatemala 5-1 in the tournament's opening match.

    Erick Suriano had given the Central Americans the lead only two minutes into the encounter, before Perea leveled with his first three minutes later.

    The U.S., looking to make its first World Cup appearance since 2007, closed the first period with goals from Jason Leopoldo (7') and a second from Perea (1').

    Guatemala's Jaime Veliz (10') cut the deficit to one with the second period's only goal, but Brendon Taguinod (3') and Perera (1') made sure the Americans wouldn't stumble by increasing the Americans' lead in the third period.

    Puerto Rico 1, Bahamas 9
    The Bahamas broke a 1-1 tie after the first period, scoring eight unanswered goals to beat Puerto Rico, 9-1. Lesly St. Fleur, who scored five goals in a FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 qualifier against Turks and Caicos Islands, found the back of the net once in each quarter to finish with a game-high three strikes.

    Esteban Torres netted Puerto Rico's only goal, while Gary Joseph added a brace for the home side.

     

    GROUP B
    Mexico 10, Canada 0
    Mexico sent a strong message that it intended to defend its CONCACAF title with a comprehensive 10-0 win over Canada.

    Morgan Plata took an early advantage as the tournament's top scorer, netting four goals in the opening 26 minutes. Angel Rodríguez scored two first-period goals and added a third with seven minutes left in the game.

    Mexico can qualify for the semifinals with a win over Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday.

     

    GROUP C
    El Salvador 7, Jamaica 2
    El Salvador started its quest for a fourth consecutive FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup appearance with a 7-2 win over Jamaica. Walter Torres, Agustín Ruiz and Frank Velasquez scored two goals each for the Central American side.

    The Cuscatlecos jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but Phillip Peddie gave the Jamaicans hope, cutting the deficit in half with a goal just before the end of the second period.

    The third period belonged, however, to the Salvadorans, who got goals from Ruiz (9'), Velasquez (4') and Torres (3').

    El Salvador, which can qualify for the semifinals with a win in its next game on Friday, finished fourth at the 2011 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

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