Through "CONCACAF Retro" you will revisit the region's most memorable people, events and crowning achievements.
The Ticos become first team to win all five matches in tournament playCONCACAF Retro Gallery: Costa Rica, Futsal, 2000
After missing out on a semifinal berth four years earlier, Costa Rica captured its first CONCACAF futsal championship by going a perfect 5-0-0 and winning the 2000 event held at home in Heredia's Palacio de los Deportes (July 20-29, 2000).
"Those were good memories," said Ticos' Head Coach Carlos Quiros."We had excellent fan support and I think that tournament marked a new era in futsal in the CONCACAF region and also in the new millennium.
"It was a very competitive tournament with excellent teams.The great players we (Costa Rica) had at that time really left their mark on the sport itself in the country."
Costa Rica's trek to the title started with a 10-1 victory over Nicaragua (July 20).Juan Rafael Valverde and Diego Solis led the offense, scoring three goals apiece.
Two days later, a dramatic second half comeback was required for the Ticos to earn a 5-3 win against Suriname.With five minutes left on the clock, forward Jose Carvajal scored to level the score at 3-3, setting the stage for the game-winning goals by defender Jose Picado (39', 40').
Costa Ricaconcludedgroup stage play on July 24 with a 4-2 triumph over second-place finisher Cuba.Once again, down at halftime (1-0), Costa Rica got second half tallies from Valverde (21') and Freddy Espinoza (22') to take the lead.Cuba's Boris Sanamé tied it in the 34th minute, but Picado (39', 40') was the hero once again, scoring twice in the final two minutes to seal the result and the Group A title.
A July 27 semifinal encounter against Mexico was next on the agenda.The winner was guaranteed a place at the 2000 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Guatemala and the opportunity to compete for the confederation crown.On this occasion, Costa Rica got all the scoring it needed in the first half as Carlos Chavez (9'), Solis (15') and Carvajal (17') each netted one goal in a narrow 3-2 success.
Cuba posted a 4-2 win over defending champion United States in the other semifinal, ensuring a meeting against the host nation in the July 29 championship match.
With the CONCACAF crown on the line, Costa Rica did not disappoint the home crowd of 2,900, getting goals from Solis (the tournament's MVP) and Valverde in the 14th and 19th minutes, respectively, on the way to a 2-0 win.
"I'm very grateful to have been a part of that team and be part of futsal's historical beginning in the country," said former captain Solis, who has been Costa Rica's head coach since early 2012. "We had very compact and united team under the direction of Carlos Quiros.
"I think that gave us the strength and determination to win the CONCACAF tournament."
Costa Rica and Cuba went on to compete at the FIFA Futsal World Cup (November 18 - December 3, 2000), which was hosted by Guatemala.
"Along with winning the title and competing at the FIFA Futsal World Cup, it was also important that the event took place in our region of CONCACAF, as it helped us secure a regular program for the (futsal) national team within the Costa Rican federation," said Quiros, who is now a FIFA futsal instructor.
Costa Ricabecame the first-ever side from Central America to win a match at the Futsal World Cup, opening Group C with a 6-2 win over Australia (November 19).The Ticos, however, followed that result with losses to Russia (November 21: 6-1) and Croatia (November 23: 4:1) and were eliminated.
Quiros addsed: "In 2000, many of our players came from outdoor football (11 v 11) and had to adjust to the futsal style. Now we have pure futsal players from our own country's league (Liga de Futbol Sala de Costa Rica)."
More than a decade later, Costa Rica returned to the top of the CONCACAF futsal mountain by claiming the 2012 title after defeating the host Guatemala 3-2 in the final.The Ticos, under the direction of Solis, qualified (along with Guatemala, Mexico and Panama) for the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand.
Solis will become the first individual to participate at a FIFA Futsal World Cup as a player (Hong Kong 1992, Guatemala 2000) and as a head coach (Thailand 2012).
Costa Rica Roster - 2000 CONCACAF Futsal Championship
GOALKEEPERS: Jose Garro (Juventud Olimpica), Randall Salas (Desamparados)
DEFENDERS: Erick Arce (Desamparados), Ricardo Juarez (Desamparados), Jose Picado (Desamparados)
MIDFIELDERS: Gilberth Alpizar (Desamparados), Freddy Espinoza (Desamparados), Diego Solis (Unviersidad de Costa Rica), Carlos Zamora (Juventud Olimpica)
FORWARDS: Jose Carvajal (Desamparados), Carlos Chaves (Universidad Nacional LDA), Juan Rafael Valverde (Universidad de Costa Rica).
TD: Carlos QUIROS
2000 Results - Heredia's Palacio de los Deportes
20.07: Costa Rica - Nicaragua 10:1
22.07: Surinam - Costa Rica 3:5
24.07: Costa Rica - Cuba 4:2
27.07: Costa Rica - Mexico 3:2
29.07: Costa Rica - Cuba 2:0
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