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King leads T&T Beach Warriors to quarters
Hakeem King netted a hat-trick as T&T spanked US Virgin Islands 5-1 to become the third team to reach the quarterfinals of the 2017 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship at the Malcolm Park Beach Soccer Facility, Nassau, Bahamas, yesterday.
Coming off an 8-1 mauling of Antigua & Barbuda on Monday night, the Benny Astorga-coached T&T men were confident of another win, against USVI, which were beaten 8-1 by USA in their opener.
It took five minutes for T&T to get on the scoreboard as King was first to react to a free-kick by Makan Hislop which was parried down by goalkeeper Carlos Quezada.
However, five minutes later, Quezada redeemed himself when his long throw-out from his area was smartly glanced into the T&T goal past goalkeeper, Zane Coker for both teams to end the quarter.
Six minutes before the end of the second third, T&T regained the lead with King’s second directly from a free-kick which took a wicked bounce on the sand to beat Quezada and four minutes later he completed his treble, from another free-kick from almost the same spot, with the ball slipping under the USVI goalkeeper this time around.
T&T then added two more goals in the third and final period, courtesy a bicycle-kick from Chad Appoo in the 31st minute before Kevon Woodley netted his fourth goal in two matches, with the team’s fifth on the day in the 34th.
With the win, T&T improved to maximum six points from two matches in Group C, and with a goal-difference of plus-11, level on points with USA, which has a goal-difference of plus-12 after crushing Antigua & Barbuda, 7-2 yesterday as well.
Today, T&T and United States will clash for top spot from 8pm, ahead of the quarter-final tomorrow.
In other matches last night, Panama faced El Salvador; Belize came up against Guyana; Turks and Caicos Islands tangled with Costa Rica, and host Bahamas entertained Jamaica.
On Tuesday nighty, title-holders Mexico and Bahamas secured the first two of eight quarter-final spots with their second wins in as many matches respectively.
Bahamas is safely into the quarters thanks to a 3-0 victory over Belize inspires by two-goal Lesley St Fleur, which ensures them a top-two spot in Group A while Belize have work to do ahead of their clash with Guyana.
Defending champions Mexico were the first side to progress, doing so with an 8-3 win over Canada in Group B while Guadeloupe pipped Barbados 5-4 in the other pool encounter thanks to a five-goal performance from Sebastien Hell.
Both sides picked up wins on the opening day but it was Mexico who seized the chance to secure a top-two spot in the group with a dominant second-period display and a Benjamin Jesus Mosco Mendez hat-trick helped secure the points.
Back in Group A, Jamaica kept alive their quarter-final hopes with a deserved 6-3 against Guyana with Rohan Reid’s treble helping condemn Guyana to a second defeat of their maiden campaign.
At the end-of-the tournament, the top two two Concacaf teams will join host Bahamas as the three Concacaf representatives in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017. The finalists will earn the tickets, unless host Bahamas—already qualified for the World Cup—or non-FIFA member Guadeloupe advances to the final, in which case the next-highest finisher would earn the spot.
• Guadeloupe 5 vs Barbados 4
• Costa Rica 1 vs Panama 1 -
(Panama won 2-1 n pen.kicks)
• El Salvador 9 vs Turks & Caicos 2
• Mexico 8 vs Canada 3
• Jamaiac 6 vs
• Bahamas 3 vs
Canada vs Guadeloupe, 1.45pm
Antigua & Barbuda vs US Virgin Islands, 3pm
Mexico vs Barbados, 4.15pm
El Salvador vs Costa Rica, 5.30pm
Panama vs Turks & Caicos, 6.45pm
USA vs T&T, 8.pm