LISBON, Portugal — While Costa Rica’s grass-playing men’s soccer team pulled off a tie in its Gold Cup opener on Wednesday, the country’s beach team sustained a devastating loss — 6-1 — against Italy in its Beach Soccer World Cup opener Thursday. The tournament is taking place in Espinho, Portugal.
The Ticos are fighting for their second Beach World Cup after failing to get past the group stage in the 2009 tournament in Dubai. The beach sele is the current CONCACAF champion.
Gabriele Gori put the Italian team ahead just 30 seconds into play. Greivin Pacheco evened up the game at minute 6, giving hope to the Tico team. But that hope promptly evaporated.
Another goal by Gori a few minutes later put the Italian team ahead again, and the win was sealed by back-to-back goals by Emmanuelle Zurlo, another by Gori and a sixth by Italian player Andrés Villegas.
On Saturday, Costa Rica will try to climb back into the competition when it faces Switzerland. Meanwhile, Italy could seal its advance when it faces Oman.