Posted on July 7, 2012
GUATEMALA CITY – Costa Rica registered a 4-1 victory over Panama to reach the 2012 CONCACAF Futsal Championship on Friday night.
Aaron Jerez converted a seventh-minute penalty kick and Christopher Molina and Luis Paniagua added second-half goals to help Costa Rica to a 3-0 advantage before Edwin Cubillo added a fourth goal, sending it to a Sunday confrontation vs. defending champion Guatemala.
The victory was the Ticos’ third in four matches with one draw at the competition, having outscored its foes, 17-7.
It was the second consecutive time that Panama fell in the semifinals as it lost to Cuba in the 2008 semifinals, 4-1.
The Panamamians had much of the play and shots until midway through the second half as they were denied by Costa Rica goalkeeper Jairo Toruno until Fernando Mena scored his first goal in the 31st minute..
Mena had the first dangerous chance of the match after just over half a minute gone, sending a low volley just wide of the left post.
The teams traded chances until Panama’s Carlos Perez pulled Jorge Arias down by the shirt as the Costa Rican tried to get to a loose ball in the penalty area, resulting in Cuban referee Sergio Cabrera awarding the penalty kick. Jerez converted, firing his attempt into the roof of the net as goalkeeper Jose Victoria when low to his left.
Panama had much of the play until the second half, including Michael De Leon’s shot off the post in the 28th minute.
Less than 10 seconds later, the Ticos doubled their lead as Arias steered Nestor Cabrera’s free kick into the middle of the penalty area, where Molina simply volleyed home in the 28th minute.
A minute and a half later, Paniagua scored after Cubillo worked his way around Miguel Lasso in the right corner and got off a rolling ball while being knocked to the floor.
Mena looked to rally Panama with a goal in the 31st minute, dribbling down the left side switching the ball to his right foot and beating Toruna from a yard outside the penalty area by driving a shot just inside the right post.
But Cubillo tallied for the Ticos, rolling in a loose ball after Victoria twice blocked Diego Zuniga in quick succession.
Categories: Central America, CONCACAF, Costa Rica, Panama
Tags: 2012 CONCACAF Futsal Championship, Aaron Jerez, Christopher Molina, Edwin Cubillo, Luis Paniagua