Trinidad and Tobago Beach Soccer Head Coach Benny Astorga says the players can hold their heads high despite failing to qualify for the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
T&T clinched seventh spot with a convincing 9-3 win over Jamaica in Nassau on the weekend after losing their quarter-final clash with Mexico followed by another defeat to hosts Bahamas in the 5th place playoff. T&T earlier recorded group phase wins over US Virgin Islands and Antigua/Barbuda.
“In the end I think there are positives to take from the campaign. We did not achieve our goal which was to qualify but we showed a lot of passion, fight and willingness to work hard and develop our beach soccer game,” Astorga said.
“There is a lot to take from it and a lot to look forward to for Beach soccer in the country and the region. The TTFA helped us tremendously with the camps and offered us opportunities to get decent preparation and we were grateful for that,” he added.
Meantime, the Official Draw for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017, which will be played in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, between 27 April and 7 May 2017, took place on Tuesday at the Hotel Atlantis in Nassau.
The draw revealed hosts Bahamas will meet Switzerland, Ecuador and Senegal in Group A.
Arguably the most intriguing quartet of teams is in Group D, where four-time champions Brazil were drawn alongside 2015 runners-up Tahiti, European champions Poland and a yet-to-be-determined AFC opponent.
The draw ceremony was held in the special presence of the Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie, Prime Minister Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Assisting in the draw ceremony were FIFA Legend Emerson, former midfielder for Brazil’s national football team and the Miss Bahamas Universe 2016 Cherell Williamson.
Panama became the new CONCACAF Beach Soccer champions are beating former holders Mexico 4-2 in Nassau on Sunday.
Both sides will represent the federation at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in the Bahamas in April and May but it was Panama, rather than favourites Mexico, who won out as Justo Arrocha’s brace and further goals from Alfonso Maquensi and Rafael Garcia tied up victory.
Mexico – who had boasted a 100 per cent record in CONCACAF finals – saw the competition’s joint-top scorer Jose Ramon Maldonado Alonso bag a brace but they came up short against a spirited Panama featuring in only their second such tournament.
El Salvador salvaged a third-place finish from their campaign as they saw off Guadeloupe 7-2.
The former champions – who have still not finished below third since 2007 – would have been tipped by many to contest Sunday’s final but, following defeat to Panama, Rudis Gallo’s men bounced back with the help of a Jose Ruben Batres brace.
Hosts Bahamas succumbed to defeat in Sunday’s fifth-place play-off as they were beaten 4-2 by USA.
Played in front of a consistently fervent home crowd, the USA did enough to dampen cheers in Nassau as the influential Nick Perera – returning from suspension – notched along with Oscar Reyes, Alessandro Canale and Christopher Toth.
Despite a rare off-night, Bahamas have done more than enough to build enthusiasm for the sport ahead of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which begins on April 27th.
Captain Greivin Pacheco Quesada’s hat-trick helped Costa Rica edge Canada 5-4 in extra time and secure ninth place on the final day of action in the Bahamas capital.
Costa Rica led 4-1 midway through the second period after skipper Pacheco’s first two but Canada battled back with a quickfire double from Jacob Orellana and Danilo Pessoa early in the third.
Johnson got Costa Rica’s fifth although that was swiftly cancelled out by Milos Scepanovic, and it ultimately fell to Pacheco to clinch the tie with his hat-trick goal.
Antigua finish ninth after an 8-6 win against Guyana, with the former having initially moved into a 4-1 lead thanks to goals from Kevin Richards, Elvis Thomas, Omarie Daniel and Sherwin Warner Jr before a Jamal Haynes hat-trick helped restore parity.
However, Daniel O’Dell Murray and Stephen Hughes wrestled the victory back from Guyana, as Antigua ended on a high.
Belize hit the goal trail in their 13th-place play-off success against Turks & Caicos Islands, easing to a 9-4 win.
Marlon Meza scored four times in a dominant victory while Jeremy James and Alexander Jones added a brace apiece to tie up 13th spot.
In the first game of the final day, Barbados fought from a goal down to beat US Virgin islands 3-1 and condemn their opponents to last place.
Vincent Schulz got the Islands off to a strong start with the opening goal only for Barbados to claim the victory with goals from Andre Pinder, Elvin Griffith and Ramon Manning.
Video - Astorga comments on T&T's Beach Soccer Victory over Jamaica