Soccer  > General Soccer  > Mexico, El Salvador qualify for Beach World Cup
December 7, 2010, 01:53 PM
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico - Defending champion El Salvador returned to the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship final and earned a berth in the World Cup along Mexico , as both won Saturday's semifinals on penalty kicks.

El Salvador rallied from an early two-goal deficit and then had to equalize again before prevailing over Costa Rica 2-1 on penalties for a 5-4 victory. Mexico took an early lead and then had to outlast the United States 1-0 on penalties for a 2-1 win.

The results pit El Salvador against Mexico for the title on Sunday, a rematch of their Group A finale on Friday, when Los Cuscatlecos rallied for 4-3 victory on penalty kicks.

Jonathan Sancez and Jeffren Chavarria scored a 1:20 apart to put Costa Rica ahead 2-0 midway through the first, but Frank Velasquez scored his tournament-leading 10th goal and Jose Agustin Ruiz equalized for El Salvador by the end of the period.

Costa Rican goalkeeper Claudio Adanis restored Los Ticos lead with a long-range effort in the second minute of the second period, but Tomas Hernandez equalized for Costa Rica a second time by the end of the stanza.

Walter Torres and Sanchez traded penalty conversions before Ruiz's tally made the difference when Chavarria's attempt was no good.

Mexico jumped in front of the United States when Miguel Plata tapped in a rebound 39 second after the opening kickoff, but Oscar Gil equalized midway on a free kick through the second period with his fourth goal in three games.

Franz Torres gave Mexico the victory with his penalty conversion, which was enough when Yuri Morales - the hero in Friday's penalty victory over Costa Rica - had his attempt bound off the post.

The result puts El Tri in the World Cup for the third time and earned it a shot at a third title in four years.

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