Courtesy: CONCACAF.comTicos beat Panama to reach futsal final06/07/2012
GUATEMALA CITY - Costa Rica climbed within one victory of its second CONCACAF Futsal Championship title and first since 2000, beating Panama 4-1 on Friday to extend its unbeaten streak against its Central American rival to five.
Aaron Jerez converted a seventh-minute penalty and Christopher Molina and Luis Paniagua added second-half goals to stake Costa Rica to a 3-0 lead before Edwin Cubillo tacked on a finale, sending it to a Sunday meeting against defending champion Guatemala.
The win was Costa Rica's third in four matches with one draw at the championship, having outscored its opponents 17-7.
Panama had much of the play and shots until midway through the second half, denied by Costa Rica keeper Jairo Toruno until Fernando Mena scored his first goal with just over nine minutes to play.
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.
Both sides traded chances until Panama's Carlos Perez pulled Jorge Arias down by the shirt as the Costa Rican stretched to get to a loose ball in the area, resulting in Cuban referee Sergio Cabrera awarding the penalty. Jerez converted with a blast into the roof of the net as keeper 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, Costa Rica doubled its lead. Arias steered Nestor Cabrera's free kick into the middle of the area where Molina simply volleyed from in front in the 28th minute.
A minute and a half later, Paniagua similarly converted 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, dribbling down the left side switching the ball to his right foot and beating Toruna from a meter outside the area by driving a shot just inside the right post.
But Cubillo effectively squelched Panama's rally attempt, rolling in a loose ball after Victoria twice blocked Diego Zuniga in quick succession.
Panama's night was typified in the 38th minute when Victoria sprinted down the left side only to see his right-footed drive crash off the post.
The result marked the second straight time Panama was beaten in the semifinals, having lost to Cuba 4-1 in 2008.
Courtesy: CONCACAF.comGuatemala returns to futsal final06/07/2012
GUATEMALA CITY - Humberto Escobar scored his fifth goal of the tournament to send defending champion Guatemala back to the title game at the CONCACAF Futsal Championship, leading "Los Chapines" to a 3-0 victory over Mexico Friday night.
Escobar's strike in the 24th minute came after Guatemala outshot the Mexicans 9-1 in the first half and largely kept the visitors pinned in their own end.
Guatemala will face Central American rival Costa Rica in Sunday's championship match, while Mexico will play Panama for third place. Costa Rica won Friday's first semifinal 4-1 over Panama.
Escobar scored with a right-footed volley, driving Edgar Macal's lifted ball that bounced once on the right side just outside the penalty area between Mexican keeper Alonso Saavedra and the near post.
Guatemala had a chance to double the lead less than a minute and a half later, but Alan Aguilar sent his penalty attempt from the second spot well over the bar.
Rafael Gonzalez, however, added the insurance, converting penalties from the second spot with 4:43 and 3:58 remaining to the delight of the capacity crowd. He missed a chance for a third, sending that attempt off the left post in the 38th minute.
Mexico was limited to a handful of dangerous threats, with Guatemala keeper Carlos Merida thwarting all of them - including Morgan Plata's sharp left-footed drive from the edge of the penalty area at the left post in the 33rd minute.
The result ended Mexico's three-match unbeaten streak against Guatemala at the CONCACAF championship.
Guatemala won its fourth straight at this championship, having outscored its opponents 15-6.
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari