U.S. Beach Men’s National Team Defeats Panama in Concacaf Championship Quarterfinals
Gabriel Silveira, Nicolas Perea and Chris Albiston Goals Send USA to Semifinals vs Mexico for World Cup Berth
ALAJUELA, Costa Rica (May 21, 2021) – The U.S. Beach Men’s National Team defeated Panama 4-3 in the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship in a back-and-forth game on Friday in Costa Rica. The USA will face Mexico in a rematch of the 2019 tournament final on Saturday, May 22 at 4 p.m. ET. The winner earns one of the two regional berths to the 2021 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Russia this August.
USA head coach Francis Farberoff made two changes to the first shift on Friday after using the same for each of the first three matches. Chris Toth remained in goal and Nick Perera and Jason Santos also kicked off, while Nicolas Perea and Alessandro Canale replaced Gabriel Silveira and David Mondragon on the first line.
After a scoreless opening period, it was Chris Albiston who put the USA ahead when he converted a penalty five minutes into the second.
Panama leveled minutes later when Rafael Garcia put away a left-footed shot from 10 yards out low past Toth’s left.
Nick Perera nearly scored but a hard shot was deflected off the crossbar. Minutes later Perera found Perea on a throw-in at the back post. Perea headed in the pass for this third of the week to put the USA up heading into the third. Panama came right back as Luis Quintero squeezed a free kick past Toth.
The back-and-forth match took three more turns.
Gabriel Silveira bounced a bike inside the right post from 15 yards, Panama again drew level on a free kick from 10 out and Silveira answered with another bike on a throw from Mondragon for his team-leading sixth goal in four games.
The USA was able to kill off the final two minutes with a man advantage after Eliecer Garcia was shown red on a hard challenge on Santos.
The USA now meets Mexico in Saturday’s semifinal after El Tri defeated Bahamas 5-4 in overtime in the other quarterfinal played earlier Friday.
The USA and Mexico have a long history in beach soccer. The USA won the first three World Cup Qualifying encounters against its southern rivals in 2005 (7-2), 2006 (7-4) and 2007 (5-4), while Mexico has won the last five including the 2019 final (2-6), semifinals in 2015 (3-4) and 2010 (1-1, 0-1 penalty kicks), 2009 third place game (4-5) and 2008 group stage match (1-2).