U.S. Futsal National Team Advances to Concacaf Futsal Championship Final After Dramatic Penalty Kick Win Vs. Guatemala
USA to Face Two-Time Defending Champion Costa Rica in Final on Sunday Night
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (May 8, 2021) – The U.S. Futsal National Team edged host Guatemala 5-4 on penalty kicks after the teams finished 2-2 in a dramatic, tension-filled semifinal match at the 2021 Concacaf Futsal Championship on Saturday night at the Domo Polideportivo.
Lucho Gonzalez notched his second goal of the tournament and Jeremy Klepal netted the equalizer in the second overtime period for the USA. Captain and goalkeeper Diego Moretti then stopped two Guatemala penalty kicks before Eduardo Buenfil converted to send the USA to Sunday’s final against Costa Rica.
After Friday night’s emotional quarterfinal win over the Dominica Republic that sent the USA to the FIFA Futsal World Cup, the team entered Saturday’s semifinal against the host without the services of injured players Raphael Araujo and Guilherme Veiga.
Guatemala began the match on the front foot - and kept it there for much of the match. But it was the USA who scored first after eight minutes of withstanding heavy pressure.
Zach Reget controlled a ball on the left side of the arc and played Daniel Mattos up top. Mattos continued the ball to the right corner, where Luciano Gonzalez stepped into a first-time shot and placed it into the far side net for a1-0 lead.
Similar to the quarterfinal, Moretti and the defensive effort were vital, playing a third consecutive half without conceding a goal. However Guatemala came out of the break with a renewed energy and wasted no time leveling. Just 25 seconds in, Wanderlay Ruiz found Jose Mansiila at the back post on a set piece from the left and Mansiila was able to slide the ball across the line.
Moretti finished regulation with 17 saves, but Guatemala put a second one in less than a minute into the first overtime period. Wanderlay sent a corner kick to the top of arc where Edgar Santizo shot to the far upper 90 to give Los Chapines the lead.
The USA answered in the second overtime period through Klepal, who bodied his mark and shot from 12 yards out. The ball took a slight deflection before settling into the goal for his third of the tournament.
Things got nervy in the final 1:35 after USA ala Tomas Pondeca was shown a red card. But Moretti again was huge in helping USA withstand the man disadvantage.
Penalty kicks went seven rounds, with the USA twice hitting woodwork. Guatemala hit the post once and was stymied twice by Moretti, the latter one setting up Eduardo Buenfil to be the hero. The youngster - who is set to graduate from San Jose State later this month - stepped up and converted the winning kick to the send the USA to the title game.
The USA will look to capture its third Concacaf futsal trophy when they meet two-time defending champion Costa Rica on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. Costa Rica defeated Panama 3-1 in the other semifinal. The two have combined to win five of the six editions of the Concacaf Futsal Championship, with the USA winning in 1996 and 2004 and Costa Rica taking the title in 2000, 2012 and 2016. Guatemala won the 2008 championship.
- U.S. Futsal Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Futsal Men’s National Team vs. Guatemala
Date: May 8, 2021
Competition: 2021 Concacaf Futsal Championship
Venue: Domo Polideportivo; Guatemala City, Guatemala
Attendance: No fans permitted
Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. local
Scoring Summary: 1 2 1OT 2OT F
USA 100 1 2
GUA011 0 2
USA - Luciano Gonzalez (Daniel Mattos) 12’ 11” (First Half)
GUA - Jose Mansilla (Wanderlay Ruiz) 19’ 35” (Second Half)
GUA - Edgar Santizo (Wanderlay Ruiz) 1’03” (First ET)
USA - Jeremy Klepal (unassisted) 4’09” (Second ET)