Nico Perea’s Last Second Goal Helps Beach MNT to 5-4 Victory against El Salvador

Perea Brace Along With Goals from Franco, Akol and Chavez Give USA Crucial Win on Matchday Two of 2024 El Salvador Beach Soccer Cup; Beach MNT Closes Out Tournament on Saturday vs. Morocco (7:15 p.m. ET; ESPN3)

COSTA DEL SOL, El Salvador (March 29, 2024) – The U.S. Men’s Beach Soccer National Team used Nico Perea’s game-winner with 15 seconds remaining to earn a 5-4 comeback victory against El Salvador on Matchday Two of the 2024 El Salvador Beach Soccer Cup. The goal was Perea’s second of the match, and was accompanied by strikes from Alvaro Franco, Tanner Akol and Antonio Chavez to help the USA move to 1-1, heading into Saturday’s tournament finale against Morocco.

The USA found one of the first quality chances two minutes in when Franco’s looping ball out of the back found Perea on the left, where the captain snapped a header to forcea stop out of El Salvador ‘keeper Jose Portillo.

Despite the early chance, the hosts took the lead just 30 seconds later. Franco was whistled for a foul on Emerson Orlando about 15 yards from goal, before the El Salvador attacker slammed his free kick past U.S. goalkeeper Austin Collier at 8:50.

The USA continued to attack and was rewarded late in the first. Following a Perea corner kick from the left, Chavez collected the ball on the right and dribbled past Melvin Quinteros before hitting a pinpoint cross for Franco who nodded home inside the back post with nine seconds left in the first. The goal was the fifth of Franco’s international career and came in his first match since returning from an ACL injury.

The USA started on the defensive in the second period, as El Salvador Portillo juggled before hitting a rocketing volley that forced Austin Collier into a diving stop at this left post just over two minutes in.

The goals began coming for the USBMNT at 9:25. Collier collected the ball and quickly threw forward for Franco on the right. He nodded the ball across goal to find Akol who timed his run well before diving through to finish at the back post.

The USA took a two-goal lead just over a minute later as a bouncing ball through midfield found Cody Valcarcel, who alertly nodded it for Perea at the left post. There, the captain opened up and hit a perfect bicycle kick past Portillo at 8:10 of the second period. After a foul on Chavez at the left side of midfield, the USA increased its lead to three goals as the defender’s low free kick hit sand just before arriving at the goal, bouncing over Portillo to make it 4-1 USA at 6:24.

The three-goal lead went away quickly though, as Francisco Velasquez got an open look and slammed home his effort from the left at 6:21. Just 12 seconds later, Velasquez found Quinteros in front of goal, where the El Salvador attacker nodded home from close range.

The USA was able to slow things down some, but the hosts still found the equalizer with 1:49 remaining in the second period. After David Mondragon was whistled for a foul on Jose Agustin Ruiz, the El Salvador attacker slotted his free kick just inside the right post to make it 4-4.

El Salvador nearly pulled ahead four minutes into the third period. After Valcarcel was whistled for a handball at midfield, Collier came up with a big stop on Ruben Batres’ free kick, diving to his left to push it off the post and keep things level.

Collier helped provide a dangerous U.S. chance at 6:24, juggling forward out of the back before hitting a blistering effort that forced a diving stop out of Portillo.

With extra time looming, the USA found the winner with just 15 seconds left. Franco dug out the ball, turned and found Perea alone before the captain slotted his effort past Portillo to give the USA a dramatic 5-4 win over the hosts.

In the day’s other match, Switzerland played Morocco to a 3-3 draw before earning a 5-4 win on penalty kicks to move to the top of the group with four points. Morocco sits second with three points, leading the USA on goal difference.

NEXT UP: The USA faces Morocco in the finale of the 2024 El Salvador Beach Soccer Cup on Saturday, March 30 at 7:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.


  • Having recovered from an ACL injury that kept him out of the 2024 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, Alvaro Franco tallied his fifth international goal in his first appearance since the 5-0 win against Mexico in the Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship on May 14, 2023. Franco also collected two assists, taking his career total to five.
  • Captaining the USA for the fifth time tonight, Nico Perea’s recorded his 20th and 21st career goals, pushing him into eighth on the USBMNT’s all-time scoring list. Perea sits just one goal back of Chris Albiston for seventh.
  • Antonio Chavez scored his eighth career goal on his second period free kick, and collected his fifth assist on Franco’s first period goal.
  • Tanner Akol scored his 13th career goal in the second period.
  • Cody Valcarcel recorded his sixth assist on Perea’s goal.


Match: United States Beach Men’s National Team vs. El Salvador
Date: March 29, 2024
Competition: 2024 El Salvador Beach Soccer Cup
Venue: Costa del Sol Stadium; Costa del Sol, El Salvador
Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET (8 p.m. local)
Weather: 82 degrees, clear

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

SLV – Emerson Orlando                              8:50 (1st Period)
USA – Alvaro Franco (Antonio Chavez)   0:09 (1st Period)
USA – Tanner Akol (Alvaro Franco)         9:25 (2nd Period)
USA – Nico Perea (Cody Valcarcel)          8:10 (2nd Period)
USA – Antonio Chavez (Free Kick)           6:24 (2nd Period)
SLV – Francisco Velasquez                        6:21 (2nd Period)
SLV – Melvin Quinteros                              6:09 (2nd Period)
SLV – Jose Agustin Ruiz (Free Kick)        1:49 (2nd Period)
USA – Nico Perea (Alvaro Franco)            0:15 (3rd Period)

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

SLV: 12-Jose Portillo, 3-Heber Ramos, 6-Emerson Orlando, 7-Elmer Robles, 10-Jose Agustin
Substitutes: 1-Erick Najera, 2-Oscar Cruz, 4-Melvin Quinteros, 5-Andersson Castro, 8-Darwin Ramirez, 9-Ruben Batres, 11-Francisco Velasquez
Head coach: Rudis Mauricio Gonzalez

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Alvaro Franco (Caution)      5:15 (2nd Period)
SLV – Elmer Robles (Caution)        5:05 (2nd Period)
USA – Cody Valcarcel (Caution)    8:26 (3rd Period)

Referee: Gumercindo Batista Vergara (PAN)
Second Referee: Omar Salazar Euan (MEX)
3rd Referee: Jorge Tunon Moran (PAN)
Timekeeper: Gonzalo Yurandir Carballo Perez (SLV)

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