It is only the second time that the sides have met in the final in Dubai
– Brazil edge Paraguay in 11-goal semi-final thriller
– Iran come from behind to down UAE
– Hosts to play Paraguay for third
Brazil and Iran will meet in the final of the Emirates Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup for only the second time, despite the fact that both have won three titles previously.
The last time they met was in 2016, when Brazil claimed the title. It will be the sixth final for each side.
UAE will now hope to match their best-ever finish, third, while Paraguay have already guaranteed theirs (seventh) proving that they are a beach soccer nation on the up.
Mauricinho magic sends Brazil to the final
In a replay of the 2022 Copa America final, which Paraguay won, South America’s two top sides did battle on the sands of Dubai in the semi-finals of the Emirates Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup.
For the first time in the tournament, the first goal in a Brazil match wasn’t scored by the captain Catarino, it went to the 2017 Best Player, Mauricinho with a fine finish from distance, but both the second and third did go to the captain as Marco Octavio’s men built an early lead.
Paraguay pulled one back through a wicked bicycle kick from Milciades Medina and then, as the second period began, burst into form with Valentin Benitez netting a brace and Cantero hitting a tackle/clearance straight into the top corner of Bobo’s net.
Carlos Carballo redirected a Rolón shot with his head and Paraguay suddenly led heading into the final third.
Brazil grew more desperate, favouring long-shots to their usually team attacking, and after wasting chances, Filipe Silva eventually equalised with a curled freekick.
At 5-5, Extra Time looked to be looming but Mauricinho, after a brilliant bit of skill to beat two defenders, buried the winner in the final minute.
Brazil reach their sixth Intercontinental Cup final!
Iran reach fourth consecutive final
Three-time champions Iran were many people’s favourites heading into their semi-final against the UAE hosts, and Shir opened the scoring early on during some Iran domination.
However, moments later, Rashed dribbled his way through the box to rurn into an open goal in a fantastic display of individual skill.
The second period began all square at 1-1, until Hamid blasted an attempted shot into the Emirati front line and Abbas managed to roll the ball in to take the lead, but Amir Akbari equalised before the second break with a stunner of a bicycle kick.
Akbari was there again to turn in a brilliantly-worked team goal to snatch the lead as the Iranian half of the packed stadium erupted. From that point on, Iran increased their grip on the match, as Molsem, and Ali Mirshekari extended the advantage to three goals.
At 5-2, Iran held on until the final whistle to knock out their hosts in an action-packed semi-final. Iran reach their fourth consecutive final, while UAE will compete for third – their best-ever finish to date.
Brazil 6-5 Paraguay
Iran 5-2 UAE
For full details on the Emirates Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai 2022, including fixtures, results and standings, head to beachsoccer.com.