USA opens FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup with 8-6 loss to Switzerland
ASUNCION, Paraguay – The U.S. Beach Soccer Men’s National Team put in a valiant effort in an 8-6 loss to Switzerland at Los Pynandi Stadium in the teams’ opening Group A game at the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Nick Perera and Oscar Reyes each scored twice for the U.S., while Jason Leopoldo and Jason Santos both added single strikes. Perera’s goals left him with 99 in his international career, and he will aim to break the century mark against the USA’s next two group stage opponents, Japan (Nov. 23; 3:50 p.m. ET; FS2, Universo) and tournament hosts Paraguay (Nov. 25; 7 p.m. ET; FS2, Universo).
Switzerland took an early lead just 52 seconds into the game on a long ball over the U.S. defense that was volleyed in by Dejan Stankovic as U.S. goalkeeper Chris Toth tried to cut down the angle.
Only seconds later, the USA won a free kick that was smashed off the base of the right post before Leopoldo earned and converted a freekick into the right side of the goal to draw the U.S. level 1-1 before two minutes had elapsed.
The Swiss regained the lead, 2-1, from a corner kick in the fifth minute. Sandro Spaccarotella lifted the ball to Hodel, who used a controlling juggle to set up a bicycle kick from the right side of court that flew into the far side of the goal.
With 2:30 left in the half, the USA gave up a free kick that Noel Ott converted with a dipping shot that caught the sand just before reaching Toth, who was well positioned to block the shot, and bounced over the netminder into the open goal for a 3-1 advantage Switzerland would carry into the first break.
Having missed a penalty kick at the tail end of the opening period, the USA went further behind at the beginning of the second when Switzerland went ahead 4-1. Stankovic collected the ball in the U.S. third and was allowed time to juggle 15 yards from goal before spotting Toth inching out of his net, whereupon Stankovic lofted a volley over Toth into the vacated net.
The USA didn’t give in despite the deficit. Toth picked out Perara, who advanced the ball to mid court before shielding it from a defender and then ripping a long-range overhead kick into the top left corner to bring the U.S. beach boys to within a pair of goals at 4-2.
Toth then made a big save to the right of goal while one-v-one with a Swiss attacker, and Reyes also came up with a stop on a long-range shot.
However, Switzerland broke through again four minutes from the second break when goalkeeper Eliott Mounoud scored with a juggling run to half court. Without any pressure, he unleashes a drive through traffic into the upper right corner to put his side up 5-2. It could have been worse but for a great save by Toth on Jan Ostgen in the final 20 seconds of the period.
The third period started well for the USA as Reyes drew and converted a free kick 10 yards from goal only two minutes into the final frame to bring the U.S. back within two goals at 5-3.
However, the U.S. was again set back on the ensuing kickoff as Mo Jaeggy lift a perfect ball to the right side of center court that Philipp Borer fiercely volleyed into the top shelf to keep the Swiss ahead 6-3.
After drawing and converting the freekick to begin the period, Reyes, crafty with his dribbling, drew an outright PK that he then converted into the lower right corner in the 26th minute to give the USA hope.
Switzerland tried the same chip-and-volley maneuver off the restart, but U.S. substitute ‘keeper Juan Cervantes was wise to it and got down well to block the long drive.
A minute later, Perera spurned a golden opportunity to draw the U.S. within a goal with a wide open attempt at the back post that put wide of the mark.
With the clock working against the U.S., Cervantes saw his time to shine. First he made a strong, left hand save on a point blank shot in the 29th minute before flinging a full-court outlet pass to Lucas Roque, who laid it off in front of goal. Santos beat two defenders and the keeper to get a shot off that ricocheted off the keeper and then Santos before rolling into the net to make it 6-5.
A minute later, Ott made it 7-5 for Switzerland before Perara blocked Mounoud from juggling forward and then sent a low shot past the Swiss GK into the bottom left corner as the USA battled away to again climb with a goal at 7-6.
Cervantes again did his part with five minutes to play, making a massive save to keep the USA within one, but was helpless when Ostgen hit a neat through-ball between the U.S. defenders for Ott to strike into the upper left corner in the 32nd minute to deliver what would ultimately be the final 8-6 scoreline.
The final four minutes were yet a flurry of action as the U.S. beach boys pressed for another goal and would have been hunting for an equalizer had it not been for an unbelievable kick save by Swiss netminder Valentin Jaeggy on a David Mondragon breakaway with two minutes left.
-U.S. BEACH SOCCER MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: U.S. Beach Soccer Men’s National Team vs. Switzerland
Date: Nov. 21, 2019
Competition: 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
Venue: Los Pynandi World Cup Stadium
Kickoff: 3:50 p.m. ET
Weather: 96 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 3 OT F
USA 1 1 4 – 6
SUI 3 2 3 – 8
SUI – Dejan Stankovic 1th minute
USA – Jason Leopoldo 2
SUI – Glenn Hodel 6
SUI – Noel Ott 10
SUI – Dean Stankovic 14
USA – Nick Perera 15
SUI – Eliott Mounod 21
USA – Oscar Reyes 27
SUI – Philipp Borer 27
USA – Oscar Reyes 27
USA – Jason Santos 30
SUI – Noel Ott 32
USA – Nick Perera 32
SUI – Noel Ott 33
USA: 1-Chris Toth, 5-Adrian dos Santos, 2-Jason Leopoldo, 7-Nick Perera (capt.), 8-Lucas Roque
Substitutes: 12-Juan Cervantes, 3-Ryan Futagaki, 4-Gabe Silveira, 6-Jason Santos, 9-Alessandro Canale, 10-Oscar Reyes, 11-David Mondragon
Head coach: Eddie Soto
SUI: 1-Eliott Mounod, 4-Philipp Borer, 6-Tobias Steinmann, 9-Dejan Stankovic, 10-Noel Ott
Substitutes: 12-Valentin Jaeggy, 2-Daniele Pichierri, 3-Angelo Wueest, 5-Jan Ostgen, 7-Sandro Spaccarotella, 8-Mo Jaeggy (capt.), 11-Glenn Hodel
Head coach: Angelo Schirinzi
SUI – Noel Ott (caution) 11th minute
USA – Lucas Roque (caution) 34
Stat Summary USA / SUI
Shots: 49 / 55
SOG: 15 / 28
Corners: 4 / 7
Fouls: 4 / 7
Referee: Andres Fernandez (URU)
Second Referee: Shao Liang (CHN)
Third Referee: Hany Farouk (EGY)
Coordinator General: Josep Ponset (ESP)