CONCACAF quartet reach Thailand 2012
Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico and Panama will represent North, Central America and the Caribbean at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012 after all four advanced to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Futsal Championship.
The quartet's success comes at the expense of two FIFA Futsal World Cup veterans, with USA and Cuba - five and four-time participants respectively - both squeezed out.
Hosts Guatemala beat the Americans 2-1 to advance as Group A winners, ensuring a third appearances for Los Chapines, who hosted the 2000 edition and played in Brazil four years ago. Thailand 2012 will, however, bring a first appearance for Panama, who claimed second place in the section with an 8-5 victory over Canada.
In Group B, Costa Rica claimed top spot ahead of Mexico due to their superior goal difference. Los Ticos booked their third trip to the world finals, but first since 2000, by thrashing St Kitts and Nevis 7-1. The Mexicans will nonetheless be toasting their success, having stunned Cuba 5-1 to set up a debut appearance at the FIFA Futsal World CUp.
In the semi-finals, Guatemala will face Mexico, while Costa Rica will meet Panama. The final and third-place match are set to be played on 8 July at Guatemala City's Domo Polideportivo.
After that, all four can look forward to the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand from 1 to 18 November.
Group A: Guatemala 9 points; Panama 6; USA 3; Canadá 0
Group B: Costa Rica 7 points (+7); Mexico 7 (+5); Cuba 3; St. Kitts and Nevis 0.
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