Cuba, Panama to meet in 2024 Futsal Championship Final

Cuba, Panama to meet in 2024 Futsal Championship Final
Fecha de publicación: 
19 April 2024
Imagen principal: 

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Cuba and Panama will play in the final of the 2024 Concacaf Futsal Championship as the winners of Thursday’s semifinals at the Polideportivo Alexis Arguello in Managua, Nicaragua.

Extra time was needed for both encounters, and a penalty shootout in the case of Cuba and Costa Rica, to decide a winner.

Cuba and Panama both return to a final but one will walk away with its first crown on Saturday. Costa Rica and Guatemala will meet prior to the championship match with third place on the line.

Cuba ends Costa Rica’s reign in PKs

Cuba eliminated Costa Rica, 7-6 on penalties. Pablo Rodriguez opened the scoring in the 15’ to place the defending champions in the lead. Cuba equalized five minutes into the second half, on a strike from Jose Morales.

Dayan Cotilla scored off an intercepted ball in the 32’ to put the Caribbean nation in front. Victor Fonseca tied it in the 34’, tapping in a long strike from Jean Salas. Milinton Tijerino scored in the 36’ for Costa Rica but Harold Aguilera leveled the score in the 39’ to force extra time.

The two nations remained inseparable after two additional five-minute periods and a penalty shootout was needed to determine the finalist.

Cesar Vargas blocked the first Cuba penalty from Iduan Martinez. Pablo Rodriguez scored for Costa Rica. Jonathan Hernandez responded for Cuba. Yosel Leon scored for Costa Rica. Cristian Valiente scored for Cuba. Gilberth Vindas scored for Costa Rica. Dayan Cotilla scored for Cuba. Jean Salas was blocked by Kevin Rueda, who was the Cuban goalkeeper for the shootout. Diego Ramirez scored for Cuba and Milinton Tijerino scored for Costa Rica to force additional penalties.

In sudden death, Pablo Castro stepped in as the Costa Rica goalkeeper for the first attempt, but Jorge Gonzalez scored for Cuba. Victor Fonseca scored for Costa Rica. Harold Aguilera did the same for Cuba. Pablo Ortega scored for Costa Rica despite Rueda getting a foot on the ball. Jose Morales scored for Cuba as Rueda won it by blocking Costa Rica’s Daniel Gomez on the following attempt.

Cuba returns to the final after finishing runners-up on four consecutive occasions from 1996 to 2008. The elimination ends a run of three consecutive reigns by Costa Rica.

Panama outlasts Guatemala in ET

Panama won 6-3 over Guatemala after extra time. Aquiles Campos scored in the 2’ to place Panama in the lead. Patrick Ruiz struck for Guatemala in the 4’ to tie. Alfonso Maquensi retook the lead for Panama in the 5’ but Jhonny Diaz equalized in the 11’ for the ChapinesFernando Campaignac put Guatemala in the lead in the 19’.

Ruman Milord scored in the 23’ to level it for Panama near the start of the second half. The teams would remain deadlocked through full time.

Abdiel Castrellon scored his first goal of the tournament with a long-range rocket in the 45’, leaving 1.6 seconds remaining in the first period of extra time. Milord extended the lead in the 48’ to put Panama closer to the final. Abdiel Ortiz sealed the victory in the 50’ with 12.5 seconds remaining in the final minute of the second extra time.

Panama will play in its second Concacaf Futsal Championship final on Saturday. Its only other appearance was in the 2016 edition when it lost to then hosts Costa Rica.

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