World champions reach final number seven as Hosseini and Abdollahi bow out of international beach soccer
The defending champions and the World Cup winners will compete in the final of the 2021 Tecnotree Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup tomorrow.
It will be the third time that the sides have faced each other in the final, and Iran have won both previous meetings.
Russia handily defeated Portugal to reach their seventh of the ten Intercontinental Cup finals, and Iran came from behind to defeat Senegal in a fiery semi-final match-up.
It was a bittersweet moment for the Iranians as two legends of beach soccer, Peyman Hosseini and captain Hassan Abdollahi, announced their retirement from international beach soccer.
Portugal will play Senegal again tomorrow for third place, while Spain and Japan contend fifth, and Paraguay and UAE will battle for seventh.
Senegal 5-7 Iran
The debutants met the defending champions in the semi-final, and it was Iran who were quicker off the mark as Mokthari smashed home midway through the first period.
Newcomers to the Intercontinental Cup they may be, but the Lions of Teranga pounced into action, Diagne leading the charge with three first period goals, stunning Iran before the whistle.
Raoul made it four in the second, but Mokthari and then Moradi – with a stunning mid-air volley – had the overwhelming Iranian crowd on their feet before long, cutting the score to 4-3.
Amir Akbari, who both won top scorer and broke his arm in the last edition of the Intercontinental Cup, struck with a minute of the second period left and straight from the restart Mokthari completed his hat-trick with an impressive acrobatic finish to give Iran the lead!
Mirshekari made it 4-6 but Madione converted for Senegal with six minutes of the match left and it looked as if the African champions might find an equaliser.
But the final blow went to the three-time kings, as captain Ahmadzadeh netted with seconds on the clock to seal a fourth final, and a third against Russia.
It was the perfect send off for Iranian talisman Peyman Hosseini and Hassan Abdollahi, who announced their retirement after the win against Senegal.
Goals: 0-1: Mokthari, min. 6 (1); 1-1: Diagne, min. 5 (1); 1-2: Diagne, min. 5 (1); 1-3: Diagne, min. 3 (1); 2-3: Mokthari, min. 1 (1); 2-4: Raoul, min. 10 (2); 3-4: Moradi, min. 6 (2); 4-4: Akbari, min. 1 (2); 4-5: Mokthari, min. 11 (3); 4-6: Mirshekari, min. 7 (3); 5-6: Madione, min. 6 (3); 5-7: Ahmadzadeh, min. 0 (3);
Russia 7-3 Portugal
In the day’s first semi-final match, the World Cup champions took on the European champions, and it didn’t take long for one team to put their stamp on the game…
Kotenev, a relatively new recruit in Likhachev’s squad, did well to put away the opener and then Zemskov pounded in a second, seeing Russia lead at the break.
Narciso’s team talk at the break seemed to boost the Portuguese, as Andre Lourenço and Leo Martins – nominate as one of the top three players of 2021 – slashed the deficit.
A reaction came from Russia immediately as Paporotnyi, Kosharnyi – one of the three Best Goalkeeper nominees – and Zemskov made it 5-2 in just four minutes of play. Bernardo Lopes, top scorer at the 2021 Euro Winners Cup, pulled one back before the second break but Russia were by far the superior team.
Not only did both keepers make fine saves in the final period for Russia, but they provided goals too, as Kosharnyi hit his second of the match and Parkhomenko assisted Zemskov for the final nail in the coffin.
Russia cruised into their seventh Intercontinental Cup final with a final score of 7-4, while Portugal will compete tomorrow for third place.
Goals: 1-0: Kotenev, min. 10 (1); 2-0: Zemskov, min. 5 (1); 2-1: Lourenço, min. 11 (2); 2-2: Leo Martins, min. 10 (2); 3-2: Paporotnyi, min. 9 (2); 4-2: Kosharnyi, min. 5 (2); 5-2: Zemskov, min. 4 (2); 5-3: Bernardo, min. 4 (2); 6-3: Kosharnyi, min. 8 (3); 7-3: Zemskov, min. 1 (3);
UAE 4-6 Japan
Two of Asia’s top sides had missed out on semi-final places at the 2021 Tecnotree Intercontinental Cup and it didn’t take long for the World Cup finalists to bag the first goal, as Okuyama powered home.
Oba doubled the lead before the first period was over and the hosts were behind as the second started.
Abbas sparked a comeback though, with an incredible freekick from distance, and when Waleed Beshr put away a second, the UAE were back on level terms.
Matsuoka and Akaguma added their names to the scoresheet early in the third period, and it seemed as if that would be enough to win the match until Ali converted a late penalty, and then Hasan bundled the ball over the line in a frantic tussle to equalise with just three minutes left.
However, a second Oba strike and then a brilliantly worked team goal saw Tanaka hit his first of the campaign to wrap up the points.
Goals: 0-1: Okuyama, min. 10 (1); 0-2: Oba, min. 0 (1); 1-2: Abbas, min. 11 (2); 2-2: Waleed B., min. 8 (2); 2-3: Matsuoka, min. 10 (3); 2-3: Matsuoka, min. 10 (3); 2-4: Akaguma, min. 6 (3); 3-4: Ali, min. 3 (3); 4-4: Hasan, min. 3 (3); 4-5: Oba, min. 1 (3); 4-6: Tanaka, min. 1 (3);
Paraguay 4-5 Spain
Spain were still without a win going into their playoff match against Paraguay on Day 4 in Dubai.
La Albirroja impressively defeated the 2021 World Cup finalists Japan in their final group game, and they were right among the goals from the kick-off against La Roja today, as Carballo and Milciades Medina netted within the very first minute.
Chiky further cemented his place at the top of the scoring charts with a brace before the first whistle to keep the match tight, but Medina’s second saw Paraguay lead at the break.
Intercontinental debutant Fran Cassano equalised in the second period, and then in the final third, Spain moved into a superior gear as Chiky completed his hat-trick and Domingo also netted to take the final score to 4-5, after the other Medina brother Nestor pulled a late goal back.
Goals: 1-0: Carballo, min. 11 (1); 2-0: M. Medina, min. 11 (1); 2-1: Chiky, min. 3 (1); 2-2: Chiky, min. 1 (1); 3-2: M. Medina, min. 0 (1); 3-3: Fran Cassano, min. 6 (2); 3-4: Domingo, min. 4 (3); 3-5: Chiky, min. 4 (3); 4-5: N. Medina, min. 1 (3);
For full details on the Tecnotree Intercontinental Cup, head to beachsoccer.com.