Alessandro Canale. Photo credit: Screen shot, Watch Edify, via YouTube

The U.S. lost to Japan, 4-3, in the 2021 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Saturday in Moscow, despite a goal by former UC San Diego alum Alessandro Canale.

Canale’s goal in the 29th minute cut Japan’s lead to 3-2, but Japan increased its lead to 4-2 two minutes later on Shusei Yamauchi’s goal.

The Americans again pulled within one on Nicolas Perea’s goal in the 34th minute of the 36-minute game, but were unable to score again.

The U.S. (0-2) opened the scoring in the third minute of the Group A game on a goal by forward Gabriel Silveira at Luzhniki Beach Soccer Stadium.

The second consecutive loss by the U.S. damaged the team’s hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals in the 16-team tournament. The U.S. must defeat Paraguay in regulation, while the Football Union of Russia must lose to Japan Monday when group play concludes.

The U.S. also needs to have a better goal differential than the Russian team.

The victory assured Japan of a berth in the quarterfinals. The top two teams in each of the four four-team groups advance.

Canale, 31, is appearing in his third FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. He scored twice in both the 2013 and 2019 FIFA events.

Canale was a first-team All-Ocean League selection during the 2007-08 season as he helped Santa Monica High win the Southern Section Division IV and CIF Southern Regional championships.

Canale was Santa Monica College’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2012, then transferred to UCSD, where he played from 2013-14.

Chris Toth, who turned 32 Aug. 4, has been the U.S. goalkeeper both games in the tournament. The Fallbrook High School graduate was the Major Arena Soccer League’s goalkeeper of the year for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons with the San Diego Sockers.

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