BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Nov. 7, 2023) – The U.S. Men’s Beach Soccer National Team twice fought back to equalize, but a free kick goal from Lautaro Benaducci with 12 seconds remaining led Argentina to a 3-2 victory in the first of two friendly matches this week at Predio Deportivo Lionel Andrés Messi.
U.S. forward Chris Albiston’s goal in the second period was the 19th of his international career and moved him into seventh on the USBMNT’s all-time scoring list, while Cody Valcarcel’s equalizer in the third period was the fifth of his international career.
Argentina ran out to an early lead, finding the opening goal just 30 seconds into the match. Goalkeeper Sebastian Polatti collected a loose ball and threw it to Lucas Ponzetti on the left. With his back to goal, the Argentina captain flipped the ball into the air before unleashing a powerful bicycle kick forcing a diving save out of U.S. ‘keeper Chris Toth, only to have Manuel Pomar slam home the rebound at 11:30.
WATCH: Argentina 3, USA 2 | Nov. 7, 2023
The USA nearly struck back just over a minute later as Toth’s quick throw found Connor Rezende in space on the right. With an open look, the attacker hit a low effort that was well saved at the right post by Polatti. With 10 seconds remaining in the first period, nice interplay between Nick Perera and Valcarcel led to a strong left-footed blast that Polatti got a hand to, helping send Argentina into the break with a 1-0 lead.
The USA remained composed and pulled things level just over two minutes into the second period. Polatti claimed the ball and quickly threw it out to Benaducci on the right, but Chris Albiston pounced and won it back before sending a right-footed effort past Polatti and inside the right post at 9:55.
About six minutes into the second period the USA nearly took the lead off back-to-back chances. Anchored on the right, Perera volleyed the ball up to himself before his overhead kick was pushed out by Polatti. On the ensuing restart, Perera found defender Antonio Chavez whose first-time effort clanged off the crossbar before going over the endline.
After surviving that pressure, Argentina reclaimed the lead at 5:23 of the second period. With the USA whistled for a foul at midfield, Nahuel Gigena blasted his free kick past Toth and into the lower left corner to send the hosts into the second intermission with a 2-1 lead.
Some enterprising play from Alessandro Canale helped the USA find another equalizer in the third period. With about six minutes left, Canale dug the ball out on the left, turned and fired a low blast that Polatti pushed out for a corner kick at the near post. A minute later, Canale was active again, this time on the right, volleying the ball to Valcarcel who headed it up before firing his bicycle kick into the lower left corner to make it 2-2 with just over five minutes left.
Canale’s aggressive play saw him whistled for a close-range foul on Ponzettil with 3:30 left, but on the ensuing take the Argentina captain’s effort was well saved by Toth at the left post.
The intensity of the match stayed high through the final few minutes, but the USA would be undone by another foul close to goal. With just 12 seconds remaining, Perera jumped straight up in an attempt to block a bicycle kick by Argentina’s Benaducci, but the U.S. captain was whistled for a foul and shown a yellow card for his slight touch on the play. With a golden opportunity for the game-winner, Benaducci blasted a low effort into the left corner to claim the 3-2 win for Argentina.
The USBMNT will play its final match of 2023 when it again faces Argentina on Thursday, Nov. 9 at the Predio Deportivo Lionel Andrés Messi in Buenos Aires. Kickoff is set for 8 a.m. ET, with the match expected to be live streamed via the Argentina Football Association YouTube Channel.
- With the result, the USBMNT moves to 10-3-0 in 2023 and 2-5-3 all-time vs. Argentina.
- Chris Albiston recorded his 19th international goal in his 44th career appearance for the USBMNT, moving him past current head coach Francis Farberoff for seventh on the team’s all-time scoring list since U.S. Soccer began overseeing Beach Soccer in 2005.
- Cody Valcarcel tallied his fifth international goal in his 17th career appearance.
- Goalkeeper Chris Toth made four saves in his program-leading 96th international appearance.
- Tanner Akol made his first appearance since last September’s 2-1 loss to Argentina at the Asuncion Cup, while Fredo Dilbert earned his first cap since the 4-0 defeat to Japan at the Intercontinental Cup last November.
-U.S. MEN’S BEACH SOCCER NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: United States Beach Soccer Men’s National Team vs. Argentina
Date: November 7, 2023
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Predio Deportivo Lionel Andrés Messi; Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kickoff: 8 a.m. ET (10 a.m. local)
Weather: 73 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 3 F
ARG 1 1 1 3
USA 0 1 1 2
ARG – Manuel Pomar 11:30 (1st Period)
USA – Chris Albiston 9:55 (2nd)
ARG – Nahuel Giguena 5:23 (2nd)
USA – Cody Valcarcel (Alessandro Canale) 5:04 (3rd)
ARG – Lautaro Benaducci :12 (3rd)
USA: 1-Chris Toth, 5-Nico Perea, 7-Nick Perera (Capt.), 10-Conner Rezende, 11-Chris Albiston
Substitutes: 2-Tanner Akol, 3-Antonio Chavez, 6-Cody Valcarcel, 8-Andres Navas, 9-Alessandro Canale, 13-Fredo Dilbert
Did not Play: 12-Austin Collier
Head coach: Francis Farberoff
ARG: 1-Sebastián Gómez Polatti; 6-Manuel Pomar, 7-Emiliano Holmedilla, 8-Lautaro Benaducci,10-Lucas Ponzetti (Capt.)
Substitutes: 12-Geronimao Zarpellon, 2-Matias Rivadeneira, 3-Emanuel De Sosa, 4-Gustavo Moreira, 5-Nahuel Cipolletta, 9-Nahuel Gigena, 11-Luca Becares
Head coach: Hernán Magrini
USA – Andres Navas (Caution) 8:35 (2nd Period)
USA – Nick Perera (Caution) :12 (3rd)
Stats: ARG / USA
Shots: 26 / 24
Shots on Goal: 7 / 9
Saves: 5 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Fouls: 11 / 15
1st Referee: Gabriel Maidana (ARG)
2nd Referee: Pablo DeFellipi (ARG)
3rd Referee: Alan Colman (ARG)
Timekeeper: Lucas Isla (ARG)