NASSAU, Bahamas - Defending champion Mexico took another step towards a fourth-ever appearance at a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, defeating Trinidad & Tobago 9-1 on Thursday and earning a semifinal place at the 2013 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship.
Mexico finished its Group A schedule with a perfect 2-0-0 record, scoring 19 goals and conceding only one.
In the day's other games at the Malcolm Park Beach Soccer and Futsal Facility, Costa Rica got past Jamaica on penalty kicks, the United States topped Puerto Rico and host Bahamas posted a narrow victory over Guatemala.
Here's a recap of the second matchday in Nassau:
United States 5, Puerto Rico 0
Nicolas Perera scored two goals and the United States defeated Puerto Rico 5-0 for its second straight Group A win.
Despite the final score, it was not an easy contest for the Americans, who held a slim 1-0 lead with only eight minutes left in the game.
Christopher Toth scored the opener - his first of the tournament -- with four minutes left in the first period.
It was not until four minutes into the third period that the U.S. cracked the Puerto Rican defense, as Perera (8', 5') struck twice during a four-minute stretch, giving him five goals in two outings.
Kyle Nakazawa (4') and Michael Enfield (2') netted a goal each to cap off a shutout triumph.
Bahamas 4, Guatemala 3
Nesley Jean's goal with a little more than a minute left on the clock boosted the Bahamas to a dramatic 4-3 win over Guatemala in a game that saw the score knotted on three occasions. The victory elevated the tournament host into first place in Group A on goal difference over the United States, both on six points. They square-off on Friday in a top-of-the-table clash to determine the group winner.
Puerto Rico and Guatemala, who also meet on Friday, were eliminated from contention.
Mark Daniels gave the Bahamas a 1-0 lead two minutes into the game, only to see Wilson Gonzalez equalize five minutes later.
Jean scored the first of his two tallies five minutes into the second period, but the resolute Chapines leveled again five minutes later through Eduardo Samayoa.
Ehren Hanna gave the Bahamas a 3-2 advantage just seconds into the third period. The Guatemalans regrouped and replied, as Oscar Cardozo evened the contest with 8:40 left on the clock.
With time running out, Jean brilliantly finished a counterattack to seize all the points for his side.
Mexico 9, Trinidad & Tobago 1
Mexico defeated Trinidad & Tobago, 9-1, getting two goals apiece from Angel Rodriguez, Ricardo Villalobos and Morgan Plata. The trio each scored once during a 1:06 stretch near the end of the first period, staking the eventual winner to a 3-0 lead.
After earning maximum points from its pair of group games, El Tri has earned a semifinal place, while possessing a goal difference of +18.
Gustavo Rosales, Jorge Rodriguez and Francisco Cati added single tallies for Mexico.
Shallun Bobb netted the lone goal for a Trinidad & Tobago side that will face Canada twice on Friday.
Costa Rica 3 (2), Jamaica 3 (1)
Costa Rica earned two points after overcoming Jamaica 2-1 on penalty kicks, following a 3-3 draw in regulation. The result eliminated the Caribbean side from contention.
Isaias Mora gave the Ticos a 1-0 lead eight minutes into the match, but Jermaine Anderson equalized with the first of his two strikes just seconds into the second period.
Costa Rica went ahead thanks to an Omar Brenes goal seven minutes later.
The Reggae Boyz, however, went up 3-2 on tallies by Phillip Peddie (3') and Anderson (0') before the second period ended.
With slightly less than four minutes left in the game, Jose Mendoza leveled for Costa Rica.
In the penalty kick phase, Mendoza and Greivin Pacheco converted for the Central Americans. Peddie scored for Jamaica, but Anderson saw his effort saved by Claudio Adanis.
Costa Rica will meet first-place El Salvador on Friday.