Hosts also edge Arabian rivals on penalties and Oman down Japan in the NEOM Beach Soccer Cup Day 1
– Brazil off to flying start in NEOM
– Hosts take a point in Arabian derby
– Oman shock Japan in 11-goal thriller
The brilliant Brazilians stole the show on the opening matchday of the NEOM Beach Soccer Cup 2022, putting eight excellent goals past Bahrain.
The hosts went all the way to the penalty spot in their first match, while Paraguay edged England and previous winners Oman shocked the Samurai Blue by a single goal in the competition’s opening match.
Brazil breeze past Bahrain
Third took on 37th in the third men’s game of the day in NEOM, as Brazil went up against Bahrain. With 34 places between them in the world ranking, it was no surprise when Brazil snatched a lead early on through Mauricinho and Filipe Silva.
Bahrain, however, struck back with a wicked bicycle kick from Rashed, and there was only one goal in it at the first break.
In the second period, Benjamin Jr made it three and then Filipe polished off a brilliantly Brazilian team goal. A Hulk double either side of the second break put Brazil 6-1 up.
Marco Octavio’s men were in full rhythmic flow now, and captain Catarino volleyed in another great team goal, and finally Mauricinho poked home number eight to breeze to an easy victory for the men in yellow.
Saudi Arabia snatch point from the penalty spot in Arabian derby
Exactly a week after their last game, which took place on Day 2 of the Emirates Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup, UAE and Saudi Arabia contended a beach soccer match, but this time the Saudis were the hosts.
As they had in the previous meeting, UAE went ahead but only after a long period of stalemate, which saw the posts and bars rattled at both ends of the pitch.
The first goal came in the second period, when Waleed Beshr found space to pass the ball into the corner and Malahi soon doubled the UAE advantage.
Belal converted a dead ball but when Rashed struck number three for the Emirati, it looked as if the game was won, but two late goals from Sulaiman and Waleed equalised and the local crowd were on their feet.
Another goal at either end, courtesy of Sulaiman and Waleed Beshr who both completed braces, saw the scores tied after three periods, and then Extra Time, meaning that only one point was available as the sides went to penalties.
The coaches opted to use their reserve keepers for some of the shootout, and it paid off as only seven of the 16 penalties were scored, and it was the hosts who were the ones celebrating, as Al Waleed saved the final sudden death shot.
Khalid’s late winner downs Japan
The previous winners of the NEOM Beach Soccer Cup, Oman, went up against the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup runners-up, and the match burst into vibrant life immediately. A rapid Okayama double in the first period was cancelled out by Khalid and Sami in the opening 10 minutes.
However, a screamer form keeper Kawai nudged the Samurai Blue ahead in the final minute of the period. In the second, Oman got back on level terms after wasteful play from Tabata’s side, as Mushel rifled in the equaliser.
In the third period, a wicked volley from Sami had Oman in front for the first time. The match stayed tight as Akaguma and Shinya inched Japan ahead, but Khalid was there once more to slash the difference.
The match was tied at 5-5 with just minutes left, but the hero of the day was Oman’s number 10, Khalid, who pounced on a defensive error to nick the ball and beat the keeper one on one to take the final score to 6-5.
In a thrilling opening tie to the competition in NEOM, Oman take a major step towards their title retention, as Japan’s shaky form continues.
Paraguay net five to down England
The South American champions were England’s first test on their return to NEOM, and it was Paraguay who drew first blood as Medina leapt on a loose ball to chip the defender and then head past the keeper.
Cantero then fizzed a screamer into the top corner to extend the lead but a brilliant overhead from Mitch Day pulled the Three Lions back into the match.
Scott Lawson equalised in the second period, and England were right back in the match against a team ranked 46 places above them in the world rankings. However, the deadly pace and finishing of Martinez and Benitez would retake the lead for Paraguay.
Captain Clarke did manage to punish Paraguay with a late penalty, but the Intercontinental Cup third-place finishers bagged the 5-3 win on Day 1 in Saudi Arabia.
Japan 5-6 Oman
Paraguay 5-3 England
Brazil 8-1 Bahrain
Saudi Arabia 4(4)-(3)4 UAE
For full details on the NEOM Beach Soccer Cup Dubai 2022, including fixtures, results and standings, head to beachsoccer.com.