Beach MNT Falls 5-4 to Morocco in El Salvador Cup Finale

Tanner Akol Records Fifth Multi-Goal Game of International Career; Perea Tallies Third of Tournament; Franco Gets Second Goal of Tournament in Return from ACL Injury

COSTA DEL SOL, El Salvador (March 30, 2024) – The U.S. Men’s Beach Soccer National Team mustered a late comeback, but ultimately fell 5-4 to Morocco in the finale of the 2024 El Salvador Beach Soccer Cup. Tanner Akol tallied two to record his fifth career multi-goal game for the USA, while Nico Perea and Alvaro Franco also got their names on the scoresheet. With the result, the USA (1-2; 3 pts.) finished third at the tournament.

Morocco grabbed the lead from the kickoff, as Ibrahim Abagli flicked the ball up for Amine El Bidouri who powered an effort past Austin Collier just two seconds in. The USA stabilized and nearly equalized with five minutes remaining as Akol’s bicycle kick whistled just past the right post, but went into the first intermission trailing 1-0.

Morocco increased its lead four minutes into the second, as Reda Zahrahoui intercepted a ball at midfield and found Zouhair penetrating in on the left before slotting a low shot past the onrushing Collier to make it 2-0 at 8:26. The USA pulled one back in spectacular fashion with 2:45 remaining. Playing the ball out of the back, Nico Perea slid for Collier, who dinked a pass for Akol before he unleashed a 35-yard blast inside the right post for his second in as many matches.

The goal only galvanized Morocco who tallied three in quick succession before the second intermission. At 1:58, Badr El Kraichly dribbled through the midfield and blasted his open look past Collier and inside the top left corner. Just 24 seconds later, a misplayed clearance by Andres Navas fell to the feet of Reda Zahraoui, who alertly buried a left-footed effort into the U.S. goal. Then, after Alvaro Franco was whistled for a penalty kick on Zahraoui at 1:20, the Morocco attacker slotted his take into the top left corner to give the side a 5-1 lead going into the third period. 

The U.S. fought back strongly in the third period, and began to pull things back with about five minutes remaining with Perea was fouled just outside the goal box and slotted his free kick inside the lower right post for his third goal of the tournament at 7:14. With just under two minutes remaining, Franco fought hard to earn another free kick, and blasted his left-footed take in the top left corner to make it 5-3 with 1:40 left. After a couple close Morocco chances, the USA pulled within one goal when Collier’s shot out of the back was back-heeled toward goal by Antonio Chavez before Akol poked home his second of the game at the left post with 32 seconds remaining.

The USA had a final chance with Akol hit a bicycle kick with 15 seconds left, but Morocco goalkeeper Yassir Abada handled it easily and threw the ball high into the air as the clock wound down.

With the result, the USBMNT finished third at the 2024 El Salvador Beach Soccer Cup, while Morocco was able to claim the tournament championship after hosts El Salvador upset Switzerland 4-3 in the final match later Saturday night.


  • Tanner Akol recorded his second and third goals of the tournament, as well as his fifth multi-goal game for the USA and first since May 17, 2019 vs. Guadeloupe. Akol now leads the Beach MNT with four goals in 2024 and takes his international total to 15 in 30 career appearances.
  • Nico Perea tallied his third goal of the tournament and 22nd of his international career, pulling him into a tie with Chris Albiston for seventh on the USBMNT’s all-time scoring list.
  • Alvaro Franco continued his strong comeback from an ACL injury, tallying his second of the tournament and sixth overall career goal.
  • Antonio Chavez collected his seventh career assist, while goalkeeper Austin Collier was credited with his first.
  • The USA moves to 0-3 all-time against Morocco.


Match: United States Beach Men’s National Team vs. Morocco
Date: March 30, 2024
Competition: 2024 El Salvador Beach Soccer Cup
Venue: Costa del Sol Stadium; Costa del Sol, El Salvador
Kickoff: 7:45 p.m. ET (5:45 p.m. local)
Weather: 82 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary:             1          2          3          FT      
USA                                        0          1          3          4
MAR                                       1          4          0          5

MAR – Amine El Bidouri (Ibrahim Abagli)           11:58 (1st Period)
MAR – Zouhair (Reda Zahrahoui)                         8:26 (2nd Period)
USA – Tanner Akol (Austin Collier)                      2:45 (2nd Period)
MAR – Badr El Kraichly                                          1:58 (2nd Period)
MAR – Reda Zahraoui                                             1:34 (2nd Period)
MAR – Reda Zahraoui (Penalty Kick)                  1:20 (2nd Period)
USA – Nico Perea (Free Kick)                               7:14 (3rd Period)
USA – Alvaro Franco (Free Kick)                          1:39 (3rd Period)
USA – Tanner Akol (Antonio Chavez)                  0:32 (3rd Period)

USA: 1-Austin Collier; 3-Antonio Chavez, 5-Nico Perea (capt.), 7-Alvaro Franco, 10-Andres Navas
Substitutes: 2-Tanner Akol, 4-Cody Valcarcel, 6-Jason Santos, 8-Sasha Karlov, 9-Mikel Palmerin
Did not play: 11-David Mondragon,12-Andres Diaz
Head coach: Ian Carry

MAR: 1-Yassir Abada, 2-Amine El Bidouri, 4-Zouhair, 8-Reda Zahrahoui, 10-Ibrahim Abagli (capt.)
Substitutes: 12-Mohamed Manar, 3-Driss, 6-Badr El Kraichly, 7-Mohamed Essahli, 11-Anouar El Abassi
Head coach: Oumar Sylla

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Tanner Akol (Caution)                    0:25 (3rd Period)

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