February 27, 2017
CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship hosts Bahamas succumbed to defeat in Sunday’s fifth-place play-off as they were beaten 4-2.
Played in front of a consistently fervent home crowd, the USA did enough to dampen cheers in Nassau as the influentail 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.
Reyes gave USA a deserved lead a third of the way through the opening period as the hosts struggled to get going in the early stages.
Canale then skewed a shot wide at point-blank range, although the forward made no mistake when he seized on a defensive lapse to prod in his side’s second.
Bahamas were a much-improved outfit come the restart and were denied an opener when Andrew Feld cleared off the line before Lesly St. Fleur inexplicably fired over with the goal at his mercy.
St. Fleur eventually halved the deficit from the penalty spot seconds before the interval to set up an enthralling final frame although Perera took the wind out of Bahamian sails somewhat when he skilfully lobbed Torin Ferguson.
Skipper Gavin Christie provided the Bahamas' response swiftly after but Bahamas failed to take advantage of their numerical advantage when Lewie Valentine was shown a second yellow card and the USA continued to show their clinical side.
Toth beat opposite number Ferguson and followed that up with a wonderful save to deny Christie as the USA ended their worst CONCACAF campaign on a positive note.
Goals: 1-0: Reyes, min. 8 (1); 2-0: Canale, min. 3 (1); 2-1: St. Fleur, min. 0 (2) 3-1: Perera, min. 10 (3); 3-2: Christie, min. 10 (3); 4-2: Toth, min. 4 (3)
Sunday, February 26th
11.15 - Barbados 3-1 US Virgin Islands (Fifteenth-place play-off)
12.30 - Belize 9-4 Turks & Caicos Islands (Thirteenth-place play-off)
13.45 - Antigua & Barbuda 8-6 Guyana (Eleventh-place play-off)
15.00 - Canada 5-6 Costa Rica (AET) (Ninth-place play-off)
16.15 - Jamaica 3-9 Trinidad & Tobago (Seventh-place play-off)
17.30 - El Salvador 7-2 Guadeloupe (Third-place play-off)
18.45 - Bahamas 2-4 USA (Fifth-place play-off)
20.00 - Panama v Mexico (Final)
Photo credit: Lea Weil/Manuel Queimadelos - beachsoccer.com