FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
24 May 2021
- Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship ran from 17-23 May
- Two tickets for this year’s Beach Soccer World Cup were up for grabs
- Tournament winners El Salvador and runners-up USA heading to Russia
The 2021 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship came to a conclusion yesterday in Costa Rica with El Salvador and USA taking the top two spots and duly qualifying for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Russia 2021™.
The former will be participating in the global showpiece for the fifth time, while the Stars and Stripes will be making their second consecutive and sixth overall appearance there.
The qualified sides
In Sunday’s final, El Salvador triumphed 6-4 over their North American opponents, in the process taking a second regional title following their maiden success in 2009.
The Salvadorans, who made the World Cup semi-finals in 2011, will be back on the world stage for the first time since Tahiti 2013.
The hero of the final was La Selecta’s Exon Perdomo, author of four goals.
El Salvador also picked up several of the individual awards. As well as being the top scorers with 48 goals in their six games, they had the leading individual marksmen in Francisco Velasquez (11) and Ruben Batres (10), with the latter designated the tournament’s best player. For his part, Salvadoran shot-stopper Eliodoro Portillo was voted best goalkeeper.
Joining them in Russia this August will be a USA side who fought valiantly in the decider – reducing the deficit to 3-2 after going 3-0 down – but were ultimately unable to contain Perdomo.
For the Stars and Stripes, this was a second consecutive defeat in the regional decider after falling at the final hurdle in 2019 to then hosts Mexico.
Francis Farberoff’s charges ended the tournament with 33 goals. Gabriel Silveira (7) and Tomas Canale (6) were their top scorers. Most notably, their talisman and seasoned beach soccer star Nick Perera reached (and surpassed) the 100-goal milestone for his country during the tournament.
USA captain Nick Perera reached a historic personal milestone of 100 international goals in their opening match against Turks and Caicos Islands. Perera has now scored 103 goals in nine years of competition in 80 career international matches.
With his 11 goals in Costa Rica, Francisco Velasquez has now struck 99 times in 80 games for El Salvador and is his country’s all-time leading scorer.
With their World Cup qualification, USA are now tied with Mexico as the Concacaf side with most appearances at the global event.
Now we’ve made it to the World Cup in Russia, we’ll go there to compete and try for the kind of finish we achieved here in Costa Rica. The aim is not just to take part, but to compete and represent Concacaf well, while progressing through the rounds and getting as far as possible.
It was collective effort and teamwork that got us to the World Cup. Everybody did an amazing job.
It was Mexico’s first tournament since the departure of Ramon Raya, the coach who led them to six World Cups in total, including the final of the 2007 edition. His side were unable to defend their regional crown and finished fourth after losing their semi-final to USA (5-2) and match for third place (also 5-2) to Guatemala, who enjoyed their best-ever finish at this event.
Also notable was the failure of Panama, Concacaf champions in 2017 and fourth two years later, to make it past the quarter-finals, where they succumbed 4-3 to USA.