U.S. Men’s Beach Soccer National Team Defeat #2 World Ranked Portugal 6-5 At Mundialito 2022
Goals from Chavez, Silveira, Albiston, Perea and Toth Lift USA Over Two-Time FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Champs; USA to Face Japan Friday for a Shot at Mundialito Title
GRAN CANARIA, Spain (July 22, 2022) – The U.S. Men’s Beach Soccer National Team defeated 2015 and 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup champions Portugal 6-5 Friday afternoon in the second match at Mundialito 2022 in Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain. Gabriel Silveira scored in each of the first two periods, and Antonio Chavez, Chris Albiston, Nico Perea and goalkeeper Chris Toth also tallied as the USA defeated the second-ranked team in the world for the first time since 1997, ending a nine-game losing streak to the European powerhouse.
In the late game, Japan defeated Spain 7-2, leaving all four teams tied on 3 points heading into Saturday’s final matches. The USA can win Mundialito with a win over Japan combined with a Portugal win over Spain by the same or less points. In Beach Soccer, a regulation win equals three points, a win in extra time equals two points, and win on penalty kicks is one point.
Portugal took the early lead when Duarte Algarvio finished first-time from close range on a quick pass from the left. However, the USA answered off the restart when Conner Rezende lifted to Antonio Chavez, who crushed a shot from 20 yards out past Andrade, the 2019 World Cup Golden Glove winner.
Gabe Silveira put the USA ahead when he took a pass from Nick Perera, dribbled past one defender, and tucked a shot from the right side by Andrade.
Portugal roared back with three quick goals to start the second period, but the USA again came back. Chris Albiston put away a shot after he stole a ball on the offensive end, and with six seconds left, goalkeeper Chris Toth threw a perfect long pass to Perera on the right, and he quickly passed to the on-rushing Silveira who hit the upper 90 with less than two seconds left to close the second period tied 4-4.
Having kept the team in the match with numerous saves, Toth continued contributing to the attack, this time slinging a 25-yard pass to Nico Perea on the left, who drew and converted the penalty kick. Portugal tied the match on a curling free kick which barely eluded Toth’s out-stretched dive. Toth would get the last word when he juggled past his area and volleyed a shot from 28 yards for the winner.
The USA and Japan square off at 4:15 pm. local (11:15 am ET), and Portugal and Spain play at 7pm. Japan has edged the USA by 4-3 scores in the group stage of the last two World Cups. The U.S. last defeated the 2021 World Cup runners-up in 2018 on their way to winning the Balafon Cup in Hungary.
-U.S. BEACH MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: United States Men’s Beach Soccer National Team vs. Portugal
Date: July 22, 2022 Competition:Mundialito Gran Canaria 2022
Venue: Maspalomas Gran Canaria Stadium; San Bartolome de Tirajana, Gran Canaria, Spain