ASUNCION, Paraguay – The U.S. Beach Soccer men’s national team dropped an 8-6 decision to Switzerland at Los Pynandi Stadium in the teams’ opening Group A game at the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Thursday.
Nick Perera and Oscar Reyes each scored twice for the U.S., while Jason Leopoldo and Jason Santos added single tallies. Perera’s goals left him with 99 in his international career. He e will aim to break the century mark against the USA’s next two group stage opponents, Japan (Saturday 3:50 p.m. ET; FS2, Universo) and tournament hosts Paraguay (Monday; 7 p.m. ET; FS2, Universo).
Switzerland took the lead just 52 seconds into the game on a long ball over the defense that was volleyed in by Dejan Stankovic as U.S. goalkeeper Chris Toth tried to cut down the angle.
Seconds later, the USA won a free kick that was smashed off the base of the right post before Leopoldo earned and converted a free kick into the right side of the goal to draw the Americans level 1-1 in the second minute.
The Swiss regained the lead, 2-1, from a corner kick in the fifth minute. Sandro Spaccarotella lifted the ball to Hodel, who used a controlling juggle to set up a bicycle kick from the right side that flew into the far side of the net.
With 2:30 left in the half, the USA gave up a free kick that Noel Ott converted with a dipping shot that caught the sand just before reaching Toth. The ball bounced over the keeper into the open goal for a 3-1 advantage.
After missing a penalty kick at the tail end of the opening period, the USA went further behind at the beginning of the second period. Stankovic collected the ball in the U.S. third and was allowed him time to juggle 15 yards from goal before spotting Toth inching out of his net. Stankovic lofted a volley over Toth into the vacated net for a 4-1 advantage.
The USA didn’t give in despite the deficit. Toth picked out Perara, who advanced the ball to mid court before shielding it from a defender and ripping a long-range overhead kick into the top left corner to bring the USA to within 4-2.
Toth made a big save to the right of the net while 1 v 1 with an attacker, and Reyes also came up with a stop on a long-range shot.
Switzerland, however, broke through again four minutes from the second break when goalkeeper Eliott Mounoud scored with a juggling run to half court. Without any pressure, he unleashed a drive through traffic into the upper right corner to put the Swiss up 5-2.
Reyes drew and converted a 10-yard free kick two minutes into the third and final frame to bring the U.S. back within two goals at 5-3.
The U.S. was again set back on the ensuing kickoff as Mo Jaeggy lifted a ball to the right side of center court that Philipp Borer volleyed into the top shelf for a 6-3 lead
Reyes, with some impressive dribbling, drew a penalty kick that he converted into the lower right corner in the 26th minute to give the Americans hope.
Switzerland tried the same chip-and-volley maneuver off the restart, but U.S. substitute keeper Juan Cervantes was wise to it and got down well to block the long drive.
A minute later, Perera spurned a golden opportunity to draw the U.S. within a goal with a wide open attempt at the back post that was put wide of the mark.
Cervantes stood out in the third period. He made a strong, left-handed save on a point-blank attempt in the 29th minute before flinging a full-court outlet pass to Lucas Roque, who laid it off in front of goal. Santos beat two defenders and the goalkeeper to get a shot off that ricocheted off the metminder and then Santos before rolling into the net to make it 6-5.
A minute later, Ott increased the score to 7-5 for Switzerland before Perara blocked Mounoud from juggling forward and then sent a low shot past the keeper into the bottom left corner as the USA climbed within 7-6.
Cervantes again did his part with five minutes remaining, but was helpless when Ostgen hit a neat through-ball between the U.S. defenders for Ott to strike into the upper left corner in the 32nd minute for the final goal.