PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico (May 18, 2019) – The U.S. Beach Soccer National Team clinched a berth at the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup with a dramatic, penalty kick win over El Salvador after the teams drew 3-3 through three periods and added extra time. The win also advanced the USA to the 2019 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship title match on Sunday, May 19 against Mexico, which defeated Panama 3-0 in the other semifinal. This is the fifth time the USA has qualified for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and first since 2013.
For the second consecutive game, the USA conceded the opening goal when El Salvador’s Exon Perdomo put away a hard shot after picking up a loose ball some 15 yards from goal. El Salvador nearly doubled the lead 10 minutes in when a shot hit the crossbar but landed and stuck on the goal line. With the opening period clock running out, Nick Perera drew a foul some twelve yards out and put away the shot in the upper 90 to draw even.
USA goalkeeper Chris Toth was put under heavy pressure in the second but time again he came through, including diving saves on two bikes and a point-blank scissors attempt. El Salvador finally broke through in the last minute of the second period when Perdomo ripped a shot past Toth.
WATCH: Highlights of the USA's World Cup Clinching Win vs. El Salvador
And there was little Toth could do when Perdomo hit a fantastic bike off a long pass to put El Salvador up by two goals midway through the third period. However, the USA reacted quickly, with Toth ripping a 25-yard shot at goal that Alessandro Canale redirected in front of the ‘keeper to cut the deficit back to one.
With one minute and twenty seconds remaining, David Mondragon caught El Salvador napping with a quick throw-in from the far sideline, finding Adriano dos Santos inside the box. Dos Santos deftly headed the ball over the on-rushing ‘keeper and the stadium watched as the ball seemed to slowly trickle in to tie the match.
After a scoreless overtime the USA scored on all five penalty kick attempts before El Salvador’s Elmer Robles hit his kick over, setting the stage for the USA to celebrate the return to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Up Next: The USA will play Mexico for the 2019 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship on Sunday, May 19 at 4:45 p.m. ET. Fans can watch the game live on UDN, Concacaf’s Facebook page and the ConcacafGo app, and follow on Twitter at @ussoccer or Instagram at @ussoccer_beach.
- The USA has now qualified for five of the soon to be 10 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cups: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2019, trailing only Mexico which has qualified for six including 2019.
- The last time both the USA and Mexico qualified from Concacaf was in 2007.
- Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay (host), Nigeria, Senegal, Japan, Oman, and United Arab Emirates have also qualified for the 16-nation World Cup field. Oceania’s lone berth will be known in June and Europe will round out the field by determining the final five entries from a tournament in July in Russia.
- Nick Perera, Jason Leopoldo, Ryan Futagaki and Chris Toth were also on the 2013 Concacaf Championship team that last qualified.
- This was the fifth meeting between the USA and El Salvador in this competition, and the first in the elimination round since the USA defeated El Salvador 5-4 in added extra time on a goal by Nick Perera to claim its last Concacaf Beach Soccer title. The teams also split group round matches and El Salvador won the third-place game in 2017.
- Nick Parera scored his 11th goal of the tournament, tying his personal and USA single-cycle World Cup Qualifying record set in 2013. He is tied with teammate Tanner Akol for most goals in this tournament.
- With 34 goals the USA is the top scoring team at this tournament, and the nine goals conceded in five games is the fewest.
- Alessandro Canale scored his third goal and Adriano dos Santos his second in this tournament.
- The USA and Mexico meet for the first time in this tournament since the 2015 semifinals, when Mexico edged the USA 4-3 in San Salvador, El Salvador.
- The USA defeated Mexico in the group stage of the first three World Cup Qualifying tournaments – 2005 (7-2), 2006 (7-6) and 2007 (5-4) – before losing in 2008 (1-2). Mexico also defeated the USA in the 2009 third-place match and 2010 semifinals.