NASSAU, Bahamas - Nicolas Perera scored the last two goals of the game, including the dramatic title-clincher in extra time, to give the United States a 5-4 win over El Salvador on Sunday in the final of the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship at the Malcolm Park Beach Soccer and Futsal Facility.
Both teams entered the game with tickets to the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup already assured, but the U.S. captured the trophy for the first time since 2007. El Salvador finished as runner-up for the second consecutive occasion.
The Central Americans jumped out to a lead only two minutes into the encounter, as Elmer Atilio Robles struck for his fourth goal of the tournament.
Lewie Valentine equalized four minutes later and Ryan Futagaki put the U.S. ahead with four minutes left in the period. Agustin Ruiz, who was named the competition's Most Valuable Player, leveled for El Salvador just before the initial break.
Futagaki netted his second goal three minutes into the second period, but Wilber Zabala canceled that advantage, tallying for the Cuscatlecos at the midway point.
El Salvador looked to be on its way to lifting the trophy, when Frank Velasquez - after a brilliant move - fired home to give it a 4-3 lead three minutes into the third period.
Perera, however, had different ideas and made his influential presence felt not once, but twice, again.
The tournament's top scorer knotted the score at 4-4 with six minutes remaining in regulation to send the game to extra time. Then, with seconds left in the supplemental period, the 27-year-old struck for his 11th goal in five outings to break the stalemate, enabling the U.S. to make a return to the CONCACAF summit.
NOTE: Christopher Toth of the United States won the award for the tournament's best goalkeeper.