Japan and Switzerland were already sure of their progress to the next stage of the ongoing FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup but the tie between host Paraguay and United States of America was a chance for either of the two to grab something home. Just to ensure they didn’t totally disgrace their home nations.
Sentiments are part of football. Nick Perera, the current USA captain didn’t want the night to go to complete hence he made the remarkable gesture of giving his armband to a veteran of his country.
Ryan Futugaki will be forever grateful for being remembered and celebrated for his achievements but that was not enough to stop the Stars and Stripes from still returning home with zero points.
In the first half, Nick Perera was prevented from doing damage after he was denied by a sliding tackle from a Paraguayan defender.
The Cervantes also manage to keep out a penalty kick after the US thought that was their final chance to do real damage.
The second half started in similar fashion but the Paraguayan outfit was able to score when they needed it the most: at the death. Two quick fire goals.
For the Chinese neighbors, success in this tournament hosted by Paraguay will add to the long list of massive improvements Japan have been silently making on world stage soccer.
They remain one of the footballing giants of Asia. Their exploits at every Women’s World Cup has not gone unnoticed either.
In last year’s world cup, if not for a magical combination of grace and talent in the Belgian side, they would have made to the semi-finals and possibly, the final.