USA-Costa Rica among exciting slate of CBSC quarterfinals
MIAMI, Florida – The knockout stage of the 2023 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship at the Malcolm Beach Soccer Facility in Nassau, Bahamas gets started on Friday with an exciting slate of four quarterfinal match-ups.
USA vs. Costa Rica
Kicking off the action will be two-time champions the United States taking on two-time finalists Costa Rica.
The U.S. has been one of the most prolific teams in the tournament, with 22 goals scored in the group stage. Leading the way is Nick Perera, who has six goals thanks to a hat trick in the opening 11-1 win versus Dominican Republic and the 6-2 victory over Trinidad and Tobago.
Costa Rica counter with a team that is equally dangerous with 19 goals scored in the group stage, including 18 in their first two matches. Lonis Calero has been a headache for opposing defenses and is the only Costa Rican player to have scored in all three games, with seven goals in total.
El Salvador vs. Guatemala
A Central American showdown will then follow as defending champions El Salvador lock horns with Guatemala.
El Salvador were perfect in the group stage with three wins from three matches. On the attacking end, the Cuscatlecos led all teams with 27 goals in the group stage and they were just as strong defensively in conceding just five goals. Jason Urbina already has eight goals under his belt and will be keen for more.
After coming up just short in their first two encounters, a penalty shootout loss to Bahamas and a 6-3 defeat to Mexico, Guatemala topped Belize 3-2 in their group stage finale to seal their quarterfinal spot. Six different players account for Guatemala’s eight goals, so a well-balanced attack will be out to breach the El Salvador defense.
Bahamas vs. Panama
Host nation Bahamas will face Panama in the next quarterfinal in what should be a vibrant affair. Each team finished second in their respective group and each boast a tough defense, along with an opportunistic defense.
Legendary beach and grass player Lesly St. Fleur has been his usual excellent self in the tournament, but Bahamas have also gotten strong contributions from James Thompson, Kyle Williams and Evelt Julmis. Meanwhile, 2017 CBSC champions Panama are boosted by the presence of 2017 CBSC Best Player Alfonso Maquensi and Jaime Londono (3 goals).
Mexico vs Trinidad and Tobago
The quarterfinal round will then wrap up with four-time champions Mexico squaring off with Trinidad and Tobago.
Mexico got three wins from their three-group stage matches and have a pair of players peaking at the right time in Diego Martinez and Jose Vizcarra, who have combined for five goals in the last two games.
Trinidad and Tobago secured the final berth into the quarterfinals thanks to a dramatic third period comeback in their group stage finale against Dominican Republic in a 3-2 final. The Soca Warriors will try to continue that momentum into the knockout stage with the help of Kareem Perry, who has two goals in the tournament.