Canada kicks off CONCACAF Futsal Championship

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Canadian National Futsal Team

Canadian National Futsal Team faced host nation and defending CONCACAF champions Costa Rica

 

Canada kicked off their three-match, round-robin series at the 2016 CONCACAF Futsal Championship with two goals scored, but three goals conceded against the hosts and defending champions Costa Rica. Canada’s Frederico Moojen scored twice, but Erick Brenes scored a pair of penalties and captain Luis Paniagua scored after a corner kick in the Costa Rica 3:2 win on Sunday 8 May.

Costa Rica leads the group with three points (and +1 goal difference), while Cuba and Curaçao are tied for second place with one point each (after a 1:1 draw). Canada will face Curaçao on 10 May (17.30 local / 19.30 ET / 16.30 PT) and Cuba on 11 May (17.30 local / 19.30 ET / 16.30 PT). In the opposite group, Mexico (three points, +6 goals) and Panama (three points, +3 goals) lead the group ahead of Guatemala (0 points, -3 goals) and Honduras (0 points, -6 goals).

From the eight-nation CONCACAF Futsal Championship in Costa Rica, four nations (two from each group) will qualify for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016. At the end of the group phase, the ranking is based on points, with the first tie breaker goals difference in all group matches and the next tie breaker goals scored.

Futsal is a unique, fast-paced indoor sport played across Canada and around the world. Canada Soccer is committed to the growth and promotion of the game. At the elite club level, Canada Soccer supports domestic competition through the annual Futsal Canadian Championship. Canada Soccer also supports playing opportunities provided by the National Futsal Team in international competitions including the FIFA Futsal World Cup

After qualifying for the CONCACAF Futsal Championships by way of eliminating USA in a highly entertaining two-game qualifying series, the Canadian National Futsal Team faced host nation and defending CONCACAF champions Costa Rica in front of a raucous 3000 at the BN Arena in San Jose on Sunday evening.

Despite facing early pressure from the hosts, Canada opened the scoring in the 5th minute when Freddy Moojen scored off a deflection via a pass from Eduardo Jaragui that was set up from a corner by Daniel Chamale.

Goalkeeper Joshua Lemos was absolutely magnificent in the opening half making a series of crucial saves that kept Canada in it.

26 year-old Toronto native Matias Dimarco was issued a yellow card in the 8th minute after a tough challenge that brought the Costa Rican forward hard to the ground.

Costa Rica tied it up with less than 30 seconds remaining when they were awarded a penalty after Lemos was judged to have tripped up a forward. Erick Brenes would make no mistake on his hard blast directly in the centre of the net and that would take the game into half time.

The pace of the game picked up immediately after the break and Canada were almost caught off the counter in the first few seconds of the seocnd half but Costa Rica would misfire high over the net.

Not long after in the 22nd Stiven Solis of Costa Rica delivered a perfect pass off a corner to Captain Alejandro Paniagua who nailed a perfect strike up high that beat Lemos to take a 2-1 lead.

The hat trick hero in game 2 against the Americans, Robert Renaud, almost brought Canada even in the 25th but his strike just sailed wide of the target.

Lemos continued to shine in goal for Canada and made a diving point blank save 30 minutes in that surely saved Canada from going down by two.

Things became real heated in the 33rd minute when Eduardo Jaragui was cautioned after coming out to stop a dangerous 3v 1 press from the Tico’s with a vicious diving challenge that flipped the Costa Rican attacker hard onto the court.

Lemos again made a brilliant save off an Edwin Cubillo one timer in the 34th that led to a quick counter in which Ian Bennett had an opportunity to even things up but couldn’t quite time his shot.

Jacob Orellana received Canada’s third yellow of the half for tripping up Cubillo in the 34th notching Canada’s 3rd foul of the half.

Canada received a questionable yellow that cost them a penalty when Lemos tapped the ankle of an attacking Costa Rican player who appeared to have embellished a little. Brenes would slot home his second goal of the night from the 6m spot.

Moojen ignited Canada back into the game in the 36th with a tap in that trickled to him off a Dimarco shot that Tico’s goalkeeper Alvaro Santamaria mishandled to bring them within one.

Costa Rica almost doubled up again with less than three minutes remaining when a wide open Adonay Vindas missed a glorious opportunity when he slid across the crease but put the ball across the net and out for a goal kick.

Renaud missed a clear cut chance to even things up in the final minute but put his shot into the side netting.

Canada pressed further by bringing out Lemos as the fifth attacker in the very last moments but was called on a double touch in his own zone and that would be it.

CONCACAF Futsal Championship
Group B
8 May (20.00 local / 22.00 ET / 19.00 PT) Costa Rica v Canada
9 May (19.30 local / 21.30 ET / 18.30 PT) Canada v Curaçao
10 May (19.30 local / 21.30 ET / 18.30 PT) Cuba v Canada

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