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U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

July 5, 2012
FUTSAL FINISHED
U.S. eliminated after second loss


GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala - The U.S. Futsal National Team bowed out of the 2012 CONCACAF Futsal Championship with a 2-1 loss to defending champion and host Guatemala on Wednesday night at the Domo Polideportivo.

The loss left the U.S. in third place in Group A, behind Guatemala with nine points from three victories, and Panama with six points.

Guatemala's Rafael Gonzalez scored in the fourth minute for the hosts, receiving a ball just behind the U.S. defense right in front of U.S. goalkeeper Daniel Waltman, slipping it past Waltman before he could react. The goal sent the crowd into a frenzy, and Gonzalez was booked for excessive celebration after removing his shirt.

Matthew Stewart scored the lone goal for the U.S. in the 10th minute. High pressure from Bato Radoncic forced Edgar Macal to turn the ball over and Radoncic carried it up the field with Stewart running along next to him. Guatemala goalkeeper William Ramirez came out to cut of Radoncic's angle as he hit his shot far post. The ball hit the post and bounced out to where Stewart was following the play. Stewart didn't miss from short-range, scoring his sixth career CONCACAF Futsal Championship goal.

It wasn't until the 34th minute that the Chapines were able to break through, as a Guatemala attacker streaked down the flank and got just enough space on his defender to shoot. Waltman made the initial save, but the rebound landed in front of the goal where Alan Aguilar came running in to slam it into the net.

The U.S. pushed hard for the equalizer in the final six minutes, alternating between using a fifth attacker and having a goalkeeper throughout the rest of the game. Waltman and fifth attacker Ptah Myers combined for six of the 12 total saves in the final five minutes of the game as Waltman earned Man of the Match honors for the third consecutive match.

Guatemala and Panama advanced to the semifinals of the tournament and qualified for the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand. Costa Rica and Mexico were the two teams that qualified from Group B.



   
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