The U.S. Futsal National Team bowed out of the 2012 CONCACAF Futsal Championship with a 2-1 loss to defending champion and host Guatemala on Wednesday night at the Domo Polideportivo in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
The loss left the U.S. in third place in Group A, behind Guatemala with nine points from three victories, and Panama with six points. The match was the 100th CONCACAF Futsal qualifying game.
“I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys who are non-futsal players to get together in only months and to play the way they played tonight,” said U.S. Futsal National Team head coach Keith Tozer. “In a short three-game group play, every game is so important and you only get better as these things go but, unfortunately, you have to come out really hard. To play the defending champs – guys who play futsal on a daily basis, they travel the world, they play in a professional league – for us to play against them the way we did, I couldn’t be more proud. It still hurts not going to the World Cup. You do everything you can to get to the World Cup so I’m disappointed that the players won’t be able to go to it but today just reminds me that it’s an honor to coach the U.S. Futsal National Team.”
Guatemala’s Rafael Gonzalez scored in the fourth minute for the hosts, receiving a ball just behind the U.S. defense right in front of U.S. goalkeeper Daniel Waltman, slipping it past Waltman before he could react. The goal sent the crowd into a frenzy, and Gonzalez was booked for excessive celebration after removing his shirt.
Matthew Stewart scored the lone goal for the U.S. in the 10th minute. High pressure from Bato Radoncic forced Edgar Macal to turn the ball over and Radoncic carried it up the field with Stewart running along next to him. Guatemala goalkeeper William Ramirez came out to cut of Radoncic’s angle as he hit his shot far post. The ball hit the post and bounced out to where Stewart was following the play. Stewart didn’t miss from short-range, scoring his sixth career CONCACAF Futsal Championship goal.
The U.S. defense held Guatemala at bay throughout the rest of the half and despite close chances for either side, the teams went into the locker room at halftime deadlocked at 1-1. The tie held until well into the second half as Guatemala struggled to get behind the U.S. defense.
It wasn’t until the 34th minute that the Chapines were able to break through, as a Guatemala attacker streaked down the flank and got just enough space on his defender to shoot. Waltman made the initial save, but the rebound landed in front of the goal where Alan Aguilar came running in to slam it into the net.
Tozer’s squad pushed hard for the equalizer in the final six minutes, alternating between using a fifth attacker and having a goalkeeper throughout the rest of the game. Waltman and fifth attacker Ptah Myers combined for six of the 12 total saves in the final five minutes of the game as Waltman earned Man of the Match honors for the third consecutive match.
Despite numerous chances for both sides, the final score held as Guatemala and Panama advanced to the semifinals of the tournament and qualified for the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand. Costa Rica and Mexico were the two teams that qualified from Group B.
– U.S. Futsal National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Futsal National Team vs. Guatemala
Date: July 4, 2012
Competition: 2012 CONCACAF Futsal Championship; Group A
Venue: Domo Polideportivo; Guatemala City, Guatemala
Kickoff: 8 p.m. (10 p.m. ET)
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
GUA 1 1 2
GUA – Rafael Gonzalez 4th minute
USA – Matthew Stewart (Bato Radoncic) 10
GUA – Alan Aguilar 34
USA: 12-Daniel Waltman; 7-Ptah Myers; 11-Matthew Stewart (capt.); 2-Kraig Chiles, 8-Bato Radoncic
Subs: 4-Bryan Perez, 5-Sandre Naumoski, 9-Patrick Healey, 10-Angel Rivillo, 13-Machel Millwood, 14-Lucas Stauffer
Subs not used: 1-Boris Pardo
Head Coach: Keith Tozer
GUA: 12-William Ramírez; 8-Humberto Escobar, 10-Erick Acevedo, 13-Estuardo De León (capt.), 14-Edgar Macal
Subs: 3-Miguel Santizo, 4-Rafael González, 5-Edgar Santizo, 7-Pablo Estrada, 9-Walter Enríquez, 11-Alan Aguilar
Subs not used: 1-Carlos Mérida
Head Coach: Eduardo Estrada
Stats Summary: USA / GUA
Shots: 22 / 31
Shots on Goal: 9 / 16
Saves: 12 / 8
Corner Kicks: 7 / 11
Fouls: 8 / 4
GUA – Rafael Gonzalez (caution) 4th minute
USA – Lucas Stauffer (caution) 5
USA – Bryan Perez (caution) 29
GUA – Estuardo De Leon (caution) 29
USA – Kraig Chiles (caution) 39
Referee: Hector Mesen (CRC)
Second Referee: Eduardo Hernandez (MEX)
Third Referee: Rigoberto Flores (SLV)
Time Keeper: Geovani Lopez (CRC)
Man of the Match:
U.S. Futsal National Team Schedule/Results
|July 2||Panama||2-5 L||Perez, Chiles||Domo Polideportivo; Guatemala City, Guatemala|
|July 3||Canada||3-2 W||Healey, Myers, Chiles||Domo Polideportivo; Guatemala City, Guatemala|
|July 4||Guatemala||1-2 L||Stewart||Domo Polideportivo; Guatemala City, Guatemala|
Group A Standings