• Saturday Aug 26, 2017

    Grupoline wins CONCACAF Futsal Club Championship

    Grupoline Futsal players and staff (pictured) celebrate after defeating Utah Elite Futsal in the CONCACAF Futsal Club Championship final on August 26, 2017, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

    TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Grupoline Futsal scored the last two goals to earn a 5-4 win over Utah Elite Futsal in the 2017 CONCACAF Futsal Club Championship final on Saturday night at the Universidad Pedagogica Nacional Francisco Morazan.

     Both entered the decider with perfect 4-0-0 records, only for Grupoline’s Juan Cordero game-winning goal with 37 seconds left on the clock separating the sides.  The 29-year-old attacker collected the ball at the halfway line, dribbled down the right and on his fourth touch snapped off a shot that beat goalkeeper Sanaldo Carvalho.

     The goal capped off an enthralling evening of futsal that saw the Costa Rican champion stage a memorable comeback after falling behind 4-3 seven minutes into the second half.

     Utah Elite took a 3-2 lead into halftime.

     Thiago Mendes Goncalves gave the United States champion a 1-0 lead in the first minute, when he tapped home at the left post after a long sprint.

     Grupoline then went ahead 2-1 on goals by Gilberth Garro (13’) and Alejandro Paniagua (18’).

     The end-to-end action continued as Ricardo De Maria Sobreira leveled in the 18th minute, before a spectacular strike by Hewerton Moereira restored Utah’s one-goal lead in two minutes later.  The 38-year-old received a pass from goalkeeper Sanaldo Carvalho with his crest and turned to fire a right-footed shot into the back of the net without the ball touching the ground.

     In the 25th minute, Milinton Tijerino leveled for Grupoline with a skillful sequence that saw him elude three defenders, before finishing with his right foot from within the penalty area.

     Guilherme De Veiga took a pass from Christopher Molina in the 27th minute to put Utah Elite ahead 4-3, but Grupoline – as it has done throughout the competition – responded to adversity with goals.

     Jorge Jimenez swept home with his right foot in the 36th minute, paving the way for Cordero’s heroics.

     Guatemala’s Glucosoral won the inaugural CONCACAF Futsal Championship in 2014, overcoming Borussia of Costa Rica, 5-4 on penalty kicks, after their final ended 4-4 at the Domo Polideportivo in Guatemala City.

     NOTES: Soyapango FC prevailed over Habana, 5-4 on penalty kicks, after their third place match ended in a 4-4 draw.  In the tightly-contested encounter, Soyapango jumped out to a 3-0 lead, before Habana scored four of the next five goals.  Feice Marino scored two goals for Habana, but goalkeeper Francisco Bonilla converted the fifth and final penalty kick to put Soyapango on the podium.

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