GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala -- Adrian Gonzalez struck for a dramatic late winner to lift Mexico to a hard-fought 5-4 win over St. Kitts & Nevis at the Domo Polideportivo.
The Caribbean nation, playing in only its second-ever international, led for most of the game and was within tantalizing grasp of an historic accomplishment.Gonzalez, though, salvaged the result for Mexico with less than a minute left on the clock by deftly flicking a Francisco Cati corner that deflected off St. Kitts' Aiden Nurse and past goalkeeper Julani Archibald.
With the victory, Mexico takes over the top spot in Group B on four points, one ahead of Cuba, which plays Costa Rica later today.
Both teams started the game well, but St. Kitts & Nevis got on the board first in the 7th minute thanks to a Carlos Ramirez own-goal.
Ramirez would make amends for that inadvertent error only seconds later, leveling the score with his first goal of the competition.
St. Kitts immediately went on the offensive, grabbing a 3-1 lead through goals from Jason Lake and Nurse in the 9th and 10th minutes, respectively.Nurse's goal came as a result of a clever side-footed shot while parallel to the net from very close range.
Cati, though, narrowed the gap with an 18th minute goal from the left after an enterprising run from inside his own half.
Two minutes later, Miguel Limon equalized for the Mexicans with his third goal in two games.
St. Kitts was undaunted and regained the advantage as Travis Somersall knocked home a rebound, breaking the short-lived deadlock and giving his side a 5-4 lead at the interval.
The second half was a somewhat bumpy affair, but it wasn't because of a lack of effort or skill.An abundance of determination was evident in the faces and actions of all the players.
The score remained in St. Kitts' favor until the Limon brought Mexico back on level terms in the 35th minute, setting up Gonzalez's heroics.
Mexico faces Cuba tomorrow in its last group game, while St. Kitts & Nevis will look to rebound against Cuba.
Cuba 1, Costa Rica 2
Costa Rica outlasted Cuba 2-1 in an exhilarating CONCACAF Futsal Championship encounter at the Domo Polideportivo.
The victory gives the Central Americans four points from its opening two games, placing them atop the Group B standings along with Mexico, and eliminates St. Kitts & Nevis.Cuba, which easily raced past St. Kitts 10-0 on Monday, is in third on three points.
After a scoreless first half, the Ticos took a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute, when Luis Paniagua fired home a pass from Michael Cordoba.
Erick Brenes, who was extremely active throughout the afternoon, doubled Costa Rica's advantage 11 minutes later, blasting a penalty kick through the legs of Cuban goalkeeper Wilfredo Carbo.
In the 34th minute, Yulier Olivera kept Cuba's hopes alive, halving the deficit by slotting an Eduardo Morales free kick past goalkeeper Jairo Toruño.
Carbo was in outstanding form late in the game, thwarting Brenes twice on double penalties in the 35th and 36th minutes.
Costa Rica is now 4-0-0 in four all-time meetings against Cuba at the CONCACAF Futsal Championship.