Article by Djuradj Vujcic
From January 25 to January 29, 2023, Canada Beach Soccer Club took part in the Beach Soccer International Cup which was held in Puntarenas, Costa Rica with matches taking place at the Estadio Futbol Playa de Puntarenas.
There were twelve teams in total (including teams from Italy, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Mexico) and Canada Beach was in a group with UES from El Salvador and Costa Rican clubs Yunis Limon and Puntarenas. Canada Beach finished second in the group and advanced to the knockout round of six where they lost to Lazio 6–3. Canada Beach was represented by the Serbian White Eagles’ very own Marc Jankovic.
Shortly after, Canada Beach would take part in another tournament. This time it was the inaugural Americas Winners Cup held at the Main Stadium in Costa del Sol, El Salvador from February 6 to February 12, 2023.
Along with Canada Beach, participating teams were Barra de Santiago, Chirilagua, Garita Palmera and La Pirraya from El Salvador, FBS FC and Santa Cruz from the United States, Flamengo from Brazil, Pioneros from Guatemala and Turquoise Beach from the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Canada Beach finished third in Group A with six points after beating Garita Palmera 6–4 on February 6, beating Turquoise Beach 7–3 on February 8, losing to Santa Cruz 6–3 on February 9 and losing to La Pirraya 3–2 on February 10.
In the playoff 5th–8th place classification match, Canada Beach beat FBS FC 4–1 on February 11 and beat the renowned Flamengo 6–5 on penalty kicks (after a 2–2 result in regular time) in the 5th–6th place classification match on February 12 for a total of fifth place.
Barra de Santiago won gold, Chirilagua won silver and La Pirraya won the bronze medal.
The Serbian White Eagles were well represented with two current Serbian White Eagles players on the Canada Beach roster: Adrian Cann (who captained the side and scored two goals in six matches) and Marc Jankovic (who scored two goals in six matches) as well as former Serbian White Eagles player Milos Scepanovic (who scored three goals in six matches).
The remainder of the Canada Beach roster consisted of Aubrey Lowe, Lucas Gesualdi, Pangiotis Peter Xristidis, Dan Hulme, Gabriel Silveira, Alessandro Canale and Jason Santos while the head coach is Mike D’Agnillo.
Another fun fact is that Adrian Cann, Marc Jankovic, Milos Scepanovic and another former Serbian White Eagles player Daniel Chamale all represented the Canada national beach soccer team at the 2017 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship.
After the tournament, Marc Jankovic stated:
“We did well in Costa Rica. We finished second in the group and went to the knockout round of six. In El Salvador, we competed well and beat Flamengo from Brazil for fifth place. It was very high level. Some of the best players in the world were there. Proud to have taken part!”