Posted on July 4, 2012
GUATEMALA CITY – Kraig Chiles snapped a 2-2 tie in the 33rd minute and boosted the United States to a 3-2 Group A triumph over Canada in the 2012 CONCACAF Futsal Championship on Tuesday night.
It was a must-win match for the U.S., which earned its first three points of the tournament and faces defending champion Guatemala in the third and final group match on Wednesday. The encounter will be the 100th CONCACAF Futsal qualifying match, and will take place at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, live on CONCACAF.com.
“I give the team so much credit because after a disappointing loss last night they rebounded against a very good Canadian team,” U.S. fustsal coach Keith Tozer. “I thought Sipho Sabiya and their team played quite well and it was the battle I thought it was going to be. It was two proud countries and two new futsal programs and that’s what we got tonight. It was a great victory. We live for another day.”
Guatemala defeated Panama, 5-2, in the second match of the doubleheader, putting Los Chapines at the top of Group A with six points. A victory against Guatemala combined with a Panama victory against Canada would leave Group A with three teams tied at six points, in which case, the USA’s fate would be determined by a tie-breaker.
The U.S. and Canada entered the game knowing that only a win would keep the team alive, and both teams imposed high pressure defenses. In the seventh minute, U.S. goalkeeper Daniel Waltman was called for a four-second violation as the referee deemed that he held the ball for too long in his arc. Canada took advantage of the free kick from the penalty spot. Canadian cptain Bruno Xavier lined up to take the shot, hitting it hard enough for the ball to ricochet behind the defense and Waltman and into the goal.
The U.S. defense held fast after the goal and the team continued to attack with pace. The high pressure paid off in the 17th minute as Healey won a ball in the middle of the field and connected a wall pass with Machel Millwood. Patrick Healey received the pass and sent it left for Chiles, who took a shot that hit the post. Healey put home the rebound.
The deadlock was broken in the 30th minute as Healey once again forced a turnover in the middle of the field and carried the ball up, passing it left on the ground to Bryan Perez as Roy Blance came out to cut him off. Perez slotted the ball into the middle of the open goal for his second career goal and second goal of the competition.
Canada pulled one back less than 30 seconds later as Matthew Rios headed down a long pass right onto the path of Ian Bennett. Bennett, who plays for Tozer at the Milwaukee Wave, brought down the ball in stride and fired a blast past Waltman, who could do nothing to save the point-blank shot.
Chiles came through with his sixth career goal and second goal of the tournament in the 33rd minute. The U.S. earned a corner kick that Angel Rivillo passed back for Ptah Myers. Myers laid it off for Chiles who hit it into the net as Blance was screened by his defenders.
Blance was replaced in the Canada goal by goalkeeper Josh Lemus, who also served as a fifth attacker as Canada looked for the equalizer. The pressure was felt by the U.S. defense, especially Waltman, who made four point-blank saves in the final two minutes of the game.
Categories: Canada, CONCACAF, Guatemala, North America, Panama, U.S.A.
Tags: 2012 CONCACAF Futsal Championship, Bryan Perez, Danny Waltman, Ian Bennett, Keith Tozer, Kraig Chiles, Pattrick Healy