U.S. Futsal National Defeats Nicaragua 4-2 in Concacaf Futsal Championship
Two Goals from Jeremy Klepal and One Each from Eduardo Buenfil and Tomas Pondeca Lift USA to First Win in Concacaf Futsal Championship Since 2012
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (May 4, 2021) – The U.S. Futsal National Team jumped out to a three-goal lead and walked away with a 4-2 victory over Nicaragua on the second matchday of the Concacaf Futsal Championship. The result, combined with El Salvador’s 2-1 over Cuba earlier, puts the USA atop Group D heading into Wednesday group finale match versus Cuba.
With games on consecutive days, head coach Dusan Jakica started the match with a different foursome on the court in front of Diego Moretti in goal.
The USA was bright from the jump and took the lead less than four minutes into the match. Luciano Gonzalez brought the ball into the offensive side and slipped the ball beyond an approaching defender to Jeremy Klepal, who first-timed a low shot through the legs of Nicaragua goalkeeper Alejandro Sequeira for the opening goal.
Gonzalez then set up Eduardo Buenfil on the top right of the arc. Buenfil took one touch to his right and shot far post over Sequiera’s right shoulder to double the lead heading into the break.
The USA was on the front foot throughout and the third goal came halfway through the second half. Zach Reget kept a ball in play right before the corner flag and cut back towards goal. His shot was partially deflected and fell to Klepal, who put it away from five yards out for his second of the day. Klepal is the first U.S. player with multiple goals in a World Cup qualifier since Pat Morris (two) and Matthew Stewart (three) did so in the third-place match of the 2008 Concacaf Futsal Championship.
Nicaragua would not give up easily. Los Pinoleros’ Bryan Corea gathered a cleared ball some twelve yards out, brought the ball over to his right foot and shot to the far post past Moretti.
USA fixo Eduardo Buenfil was shown a red card immediately after a yellow and Nicaragua took advantage of the opportunity to play a man up for two minutes. Moretti made three saves in the first minute, but on one block off his chest, the ball rebounded up top and Patrick Luna put it away from ten yards out.
Moretti would come up with numerous saves to keep the one-goal advantage and then helped put the game away with a 35-yard bomb downfield that Tomas Pondeca flicked in with his back to goal from five yards out.
The win was the USA’s first in the Concacaf Futsal Championship since 2012 when the team defeated Canada 3-2 in the second match of group play.
The USA will look to secure a place in the tournament quarterfinals when they meet Cuba in the Group D finale on Wednesday, May 5 at 4 p.m. ET, live on TUDN. A number of scenarios are at play for the USA to advance, some pending the result of the earlier match between El Salvador and Nicaragua.
- U.S. Futsal Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Futsal Men’s National Team vs. Nicaragua
Date: May 4, 2021
Competition: 2021 Concacaf Futsal Championship
Venue: Domo Polideportivo; Guatemala City, Guatemala
Attendance: No fans permitted
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. local
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA – Jeremy Klepal (Luciano Gonzalez) 12’ 16” (First Half)
USA - Eduardo Buenfil (Luciano Gonzalez) 2’58” (First Half
USA - Jeremy Klepal (Zach Reget) 10’41” (Second Half)
NCA - Bryan Corea 8’35” (Second Half)
NCA - Patrick Luna 6’38” (Second Half)
USA - Tomas Pondeca (Diego Moretti) 1’34” (Second Half)