U.S. goalkeeper Otto Orf (Cleveland Crunch - NPSL) faced seven dangerous shots on goal by the Netherlands Antilles but made all seven saves to earned his first-ever shutout for the U.S. and fifth career victory in five starts.
"It feels great that we (team) have not given up a goal in this tournament," said Orf. "This team plays great defense and we are going to take it one game at a time and try to maintain a clean sheet in goal."
The USA earned its second consecutive shutout and third in the last four international matches. It is also the first time since its inception in 1986, that a U.S. Futsal Team earns back-to-back shutouts.
"I'm happy that I have a team that takes such pride in playing excellent defense," said Head Coach Keith Tozer. "With this win, we accomplished our first goal which was to guarantee a spot in the semifinals. Our next goal is to finish first in our group."
The Americans got on the board early as defender Jeff Davis (St. Louis Steamers - WISL) scored off a freekick just two minutes into the match.
Forward Matt Tirschman (Milwaukee Wave - NPSL), playing in only his second international game for the USA, made it 2-0 in the ninth minute after stealing the ball at mid-court and shooting a seven-yarder past the Caribbean goalkeeper Giovanny Molina. A minute later, defender Sean Bowers (Detroit Rockers - NPSL) scored off an assist by Davis that increased the U.S. lead to 3-0.
Forward Lee Tschantret (Detroit Rockers - NPSL) made it 4-0 U.S. with one minute remaining in the first half off a corner kick by Bowers.
After Davis added his second tally of the night one minute into the second stanza, Tschantret also notched his second by scoring off a rebound shot by Tirschman in the 24th minute.
Forward Temoc Suarez closed out the scoring spree with an upper-left corner shot off a pass from Tschantret in the 28th minute for his first international goal.
With the U.S. (2-0, 6 Points) win over the Netherlands Antilles (0-2, 0 Points), the team clinched a berth in Thursday's (July 27) semifinals along with Mexico (2-0, 6 points), which came from a 2-0 halftime deficit to defeat Puerto Rico (0-2, 0 Points) 4-2 in the opener of the twin-bill.
The first round continues tomorrow (Monday, July 24) and concludes on Tuesday (July 25). Monday night will have the conclusion of Group A with Surinam (0-1, 0 Points) facing Nicaragua (0-2, 0 Points), and then, semifinal bound Cuba (2-0, 6 Points) and Costa Rica (2-0, 6 Points) for the top spot in group play. In Group B, Puerto Rico will meet the Netherlands Antilles in game one and then the USA will battle Mexico on Tuesday for the Group B Title in the final game of the first round.
The four semifinalists will play on Thursday and the winners will not only play for the championship on Saturday, July 29, but both teams will earn the final two berths for the Fourth FIFA Futsal World Championship in Guatemala (Nov. 18 - Dec. 3).
The U.S., which is 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:||United States Futsal Team vs. Netherlands Antilles Futsal Team|
|Competition:||2000 CONCACAF Championship|
|Venue:||Palacio de los Deportes (Heredia, Costa Rica|
|Date:||July 23, 2000 - kickoff 8:30 p.m. local (MT)|
USA - Jeff Davis (Unassisted), 2,
USA - Matt Tirschman (Unassisted), 9,
USA - Sean Bowers, (Jeff Davis), 10,
USA - Lee Tschantret, (Sean Bowers), 19,
USA - Davis (Unassisted), 21,
USA - Tschantret, (Tirschman), 24,
USA - Temoc Suarez, (Tschantret), 28.
USA - GK-Otto Orf, D-Sean Bowers (Capt.), D-Glenn Carbonara, F-Bernie Lilavois, F-Temoc Suarez; Subs - D-Jeff Davis, D-Josh Timbers, D-Wes Wade, F-Brian Loftin, F-Matt Tirschman, F-Lee Tschantret.
ANT - GK-Giovanny Molina; D-Sharlon de Windt (Capt.), D-Genaro Cicilia, F-Clifford Braafhart, F-Joshua Bicentini; Subs - D-Angelo Martina, D-Clifford Pauletta, F-Judmar Borgschot, F-Anthony Martis.
|Head Coach (caution)||29,|
|Bernie Lilavois (caution)||35,|
|Clifford Braafhart (ejection)||38.|
|2000 CONCACAF Championship (Heredia, Costa Rica)|
|Cuba||2||2||0||0||22||6||6 (+16 GD)|
|Costa Rica||2||2||0||0||15||4||6 (+11 GD)|
|Surinam||2||0||2||0||7||18||0 (-11 GD)|
|Nicaragua||2||0||2||0||3||19||0 (-16 GD)|
|2000 CONCACAF Championship (Heredia, Costa Rica)|
|United States||2||2||0||0||12||0||6 (+12 GD)|
|Mexico||2||2||0||0||8||3||6 (+5 GD)|
|Puerto Rico||2||0||2||0||2||9||0 (-7 GD)|
|Neth. Antilles||2||0||2||0||1||11||0 (-10 GD)|
July 20 Cuba 13, Surinam 4
July 21 Mexico 4, Netherlands Antilles 1
July 22 Cuba 9, Nicaragua 2
July 23 Mexico 4, Puerto Rico 2
|July 24||Nicaragua vs. Surinam||7 p.m.|
|July 24||Costa Rica vs. Cuba||8:30 p.m.|
|July 25||Puerto Rico vs. Netherlands Antilles||7 p.m.|
|July 25||USA vs. Mexico||8:30 p.m.|
|July 27||Winner of Group B vs. Second of Group A*||7 p.m.|
|July 27||Winner of Group A vs. Second of Group B*||8:30 p.m.|
|July 29||Third Place Match||7 p.m.|
|July 29||Championship*||8:30 p.m.|
|* Both finalists (semifinal winners) advance to 2000 FIFA World Championship.|