HOSTS COSTA Rica defeated TT 5-3 on Monday, in their opening Group C fixture of the 2021 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championships, at the Sports Complex Fedefutbol-Plycem in Alajuela.
Christian Sanchez scored twice for Costa Rica, with Jonaiker Gamboa, Greivin Pacheco and Pablo Calvo adding one apiece. TT captain Ryan Augustine notched a pair for TT, while Dominic McDougall netting the other.
Gamboa broke the deadlock in the 11th minute of the first period (the game consists of three 12-minute periods). He collected a throw, from the right, by Roger Mora and placed his left-footed shot high beyond the reach of TT goalkeeper Zane Coker.
In the sixth minute of the second period, Costa Rica widened the lead courtesy Sanchez, who went around TT's Hakeem King and slammed a right-footed shot past Coker.
Augustine scored two goals in as many minutes, in the first three minutes of the third and final period.
The TT skipper powered a penalty beyond the outstretched right hand of goalkeeper Niels Fallas after he was fouled by Mora. Two minutes later, Augustine got the equaliser, with a freekick which got an awkward bounce and flew over the diving Fallas.
Costa Rica responded with two goals in the space of two minutes. In the eighth, Sanchez struck a right-footed drive which was parried, into his own net, by Coker.
And TT substitute goalie Jabari Gray could do little to prevent Pacheco from scoring Costa Rica's fourth, seconds later.
McDougall pulled one back for TT in the 10th minute of the third period, sidefooting his right-footed effort into an open net, from a pass by Jesse Bailey.
But Costa Rica put the game beyond TT's reach seconds later, when Calvo collected a corner from Pacheco and blasted a right-footed volley past Gray.
TT will face the United States on Tuesday, from 4.30 pm (TT time) and Turks and Caicos Islands on Wednesday.
The top two teams from each of the three groups, and the two best third-placed teams, will advance to the quarter-finals, which are set for May 21. The semi-finals are slated for May 22 and the third-place match, and final, on May 23.
The finalists will be guaranteed spots at the 2021 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Russia.