U.S. Futsal Team Tops Costa Rican Club Side in Closed Door Match
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Wednesday, July 19, 2000) - In preparations for the 2000 CONCACAF Futsal Championship in Heredia, Costa Rica that begin tomorrow (July 20), the U.S. National Futsal Team defeated Fortuna F.C. of the Costa Rican Futsal First Division by a 5-1 score in an exhibition match played behind closed doors at the Villa Olimpica Gym.
The match was the final game for the Americans before they defend their 1996 CONCACAF title won in Guatemala City.
"This game was an excellent opportunity for us to play against a futsal team from this region," said Head Coach Keith Tozer. "This will certainly help us for the upcoming CONCACAF Championship."
The first half saw both squads create scoring chances and many near misses, as well as forcing both goalkeepers to make several key saves, going into the intermission as a scoreless deadlock.
In the second half, forward Matt Tirschman (Milwaukee Wave - NPSL) scored his first of three goals on the day in the 22th minute, giving the USA a 1-0 lead.
Fortuna equalized in the 24th minute with a goal by forward Estavar Naranjo, but the U.S. answered 60 seconds later with as defender Jeff Davis (St. Louis Steamers - WISL) fired an eight-yard shot off an assist by forward Brian Loftin (Milwaukee Rampage/Wave - A-League/NPSL) for the 2-1 advantage.
Tirschman notched his second goal of the game in the 28th minute off a short back heel pass from forward Lee Tschantret (Detroit Rockers - NPSL) inside the Fortuna's penalty area for a 3-1 score.
Forward Bernie Lilavois (Connecticut Wolves - A-League) added to the U.S. offense with a goal in the 30th minute of play.
Tirschman completed the hat-trick with his third tally in the 39th minute (one minute from the end of the match) as the USA walked off the court with a 5-1 victory.
The Americans, who are the top seed in Group B, will open the CONCACAF tournament with Puerto Rico on Friday (July 21), before facing the Netherlands Antilles on Sunday (July 23) and then closing out group play with Mexico on July 25.
Only the top two will advance, along side the top two from Group A, to the semifinals on July 27. The two finalist will not only play for the CONCACAF title on July 29, but will have earned the final two berths to the 2000 FIFA Futsal World Championship in Guatemala (Nov. 18 - Dec. 3, 2000). The other 14 qualified nations in the 16-team tournament are: Guatemala (host); Brazil (champion); Africa - Egypt; Asia - Iran, Kazakhstan, Thailand; CONMEBOL - Argentina, Uruguay; Oceania - Australia; UEFA - Croatia, Holland, Portugal, Russia, Spain.
The Americans, who are looking to advance to the world championship for a fourth consecutive time, won the bronze medal at the 1989 FIFA competition in Holland and then took the silver in 1992 in Hong Kong.
2000 U.S. FUTSAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Futsal Team vs. Fortuna Futsal Club (Costa Rica)|
|Venue:||Villa Olimpica (San Jose, Costa Rica)|
|Date:||July 19, 2000 - kickoff 3 p.m. local (MT)|
USA - Matt Tirschman, (Lee Tschantret), 22,
FOR - Estavar Naranjo, (Fredy Espbomez), 24,
USA - Jeff Davis, (Brian Loftin), 25,
USA - Tirschman, (Tschantret), 28,
USA - Bernie Lilavois, (Wes Wade), 30,
USA - Tirschman, (Loftin), 39.
USA - GK-Victor Nogueira, D-Sean Bowers (Capt.), D-Jeff Davis, F-Lee Tschantret, F-Matt Tirschman; Subs - GK-Otto Orf, D-Glenn Carbonara, D-Josh Timbers, D-Wes Wade, F-Bernie Lilavois, F-Brian Loftin, F-Temoc Suarez.
FOR - GK-Jorge Ramirez (Capt.), D-Alvaro Espinoza, D-Mario Rojas, F-Fredy Espbomez, F- Estavar Naranjo; Subs - F-Vari Ramirez