SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (March 31, 2015) – U.S. Beach Soccer National Team captain Lewie Valentine scored three times on Tuesday night to help the USA earn a 6-2 victory over the Bahamas in its final group match of the 2015 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship at Estadio de Fútbol de Playa Costa del Sol in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Valentine opened and closed the USA’s scoring, notching his goals in the second minute, the 33rd and the 35th. Valentine’s goal in the first period was the first time the USA was able to break through and get on the board within the first 12-minutes of play.
Jason Leopoldo added a goal in the fourth minute for his second of the tournament, and helped guide the U.S. into the end of the first period with a lead for the first time in the competition.
Andrew Feld, who scored the opening goal for the U.S. in the tournament against Antigua and Barbado, also tallied a score in the 14th minute.
Unable to do much in the first two periods of the game, the Bahamas found some rhythm in the final period of the match. Lesly St. Fleur sent a right-footed strike inside the near post past Chris Toth to give his team a chance to perhaps ignite the comeback.
However, the USA’s Max Griffin quickly added to the U.S. lead, nabbing his first score of the tournament in the 31st minute.
After a second yellow card was shown to Ryan Futagaki in the third period, the Bahamas took advantage of the U.S. playing a man down and was able to get on the board in the 33rd in a second strike attempt from St. Fleur following a blocked penalty kick.
With a 4-2 lead quickly being reduced, Valentine took charge and closed out the game scoring two of his three goals in the last three minutes of the game.
With the win, the USA finished atop Group C standing with nine points and advances to the quarterfinals, where it will face Jamaica on April 2 at 7:45 p.m. ET. Beach Soccer Worldwide is streaming the tournament live. For game results and updates you can also visit ussoccer.com or follow on Twitter @ussoccer.
The 2015 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship runs from March 28-April 4, and for the first time in its history, it will feature a record 16 nations vying for two qualifying spots for the 2015 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Portugal from July 9-19.
- U.S. Beach Soccer National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Beach Soccer National Team vs. Bahamas
Date: March 31, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship
Venue: Estadio de Fútbol de Playa Costa del Sol; San Salvador, El Salvador.
Kickoff: 9:00 p.m. ET
Scoring Summary: 1 2 3 F
USA 2 1 3 6
BAH 0 0 2 2
USA Lewie Valentine 2nd minute
USA Jason Leopoldo 4
USA Andrew Feld 14
BAH Lesly St. Fleur 26
USA Max Griffin 31
BAH Lesly St. Fleur 33
USA Lewie Valentine 33
USA Lewie Valentine 35
USA: Chris Toth, Jason Santos, Jason Leopoldo Lewie Valentine (capt.), Andrew Feld, Max Griffin
Subs: Harry Abraham, Ryan Futagaki, Chris Cummings, Aldo Balsano, Alessandro Canale
*Nicholas Perera was serving a suspension due to yellow cards accumulation and did not play in the match.
Head Coach: Eddie Soto
BAH: Christopher Davis, Nesly Jean, Ehren Hanna, Lesly St. Fleur, Gavin Chrsitie
Subs: Tori Ferguson, Daron Beneby, Gary Joseph, Dwayne Forbes, Timothy Munnings, Kyle Williams, Donovan Williamson
Head Coach: Roberto Ceciliano
USA – Ryan Futagaki (caution) 7th minute
USA – Andrew Feld (caution) 14
USA – Ryan Futagaki (caution) 33
USA – Ryan Futagaki (ejection) 33