Posted on July 9, 2012
GUATEMALA CITY – Costa Rica captured its second CONCACAF Futsal Championship and first since 2000, registering a 3-2 win over defending champion Guatemala on Sunday.
Jorge Arias scored a goal in each half for the Ticos at the Domo Polideportivo, marking the end of Guatemala’s nine-game winning streak at the Guatemala City arena. The hosts last lost there in 2007 to Costa Rica in qualifying for the Pan American Games.
Both teams already had qualified for the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand in November.
Arias finished the competition with five goals, tied for second-most in the tournament with Guatemala’s Humberto Escobar.
Costa Rica goalkeeper Jairo Toruna made several key saves in the final six minutes – with Guatemala keeper William Ramirez pushed forward to support the Chapines’ late push.
In an evenly played first half, Costa Rica capitalized twice on Guatemala giveaways at the top of the defensive third to grab a 2-0 lead.
Estuardo De Leon’s pass to the right side was intercepted by Luis Paniaga, who sent it into the path of Arias. Arias finished with a right-footed drive in the eighth minute.
Forty-one seconds later, the Ticos doubled the lead when Walter Enriquez was unable to settle Erick Acevedo’s cross-court pass. Diego Zuniga drove on goal and beat Ramirez from the top of the area.
Guatemala pulled within a goal with about 3 1/2 minutes remaining before halftime when Alan Aguilar received a ball from Escobar on the right side, took two touches to the middle of the floor near the penalty area and beat Toruno with a left-footed drive.
Guatemala was the more aggressive team in the second half, but Costa Rica restored its two-goal advantage in the 24th minute, capitalizing on another giveaway at the back.
Edgar Santizo’s pass toward his goal without another defender behind him was run onto by Arias, who rounded Ramirez on the left and rolled the ball inside the right post.
the Ticos returned the favor three minutes later when Paniaga mis-hit a volleyed pass attempt to try to clear the ball from his own defensive third and the ball fell to Santizo. Santizo took a touch, moved around a Paniaga and beat Toruno with a left-footed shot from the edge of the area.
Categories: Central America, CONCACAF, Costa Rica, Guatemala
Tags: 2012 CONCACAF Futsal Championship, Domo Polideportivo, FIFA Futsal World Cup, Humberto Escobar, Jorge Arias, Walter Enriquez