US SoccerUS Soccer

U.S. Falls, 6-5, to Portugal in Overtime of Final Group Match

RIO DE JANEIRO (November 6, 2007) – The U.S. Beach Soccer team missed advancing to the next round of the 2007 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup after a last-second, overtime goal by Portugal made the score 6-5 in favor of the Europeans.

Portugal controlled much of the beginning of the match, scoring two goals before Benyam Astorga broke through in the 17th minute on a deep free kick. The U.S. was down, 4-1, in the 18th minute, but then mounted a comeback with three unanswered goals.

Astorga scored his second goal in the 21st minute, also off a free kick. Five minutes later, Josh Nolz stole the ball deep in Portugal’s end and whipped it past the Portuguese goalkeeper. Anthony Chimienti added one in the 30th minute, poking the ball into the net after the U.S. put pressure on the Portuguese defense.

Jevin Albuquerque scored what appeared to be the game-winner in the 35th minute, chipping the goalkeeper on a free kick when the ‘keeper had come out far to take away the angle, but Portugal’s Madjer evened the score at five just two seconds later.

Despite hitting the crossbar and having a plethora of shots, the U.S. was unable to capitalize during the two-minute extra period and Madjer scored again, hitting a sliding volley from a throw-in at the buzzer, to seal a victory for Portugal, as well as a place in the second round.