Iran down Brazil in the final of the 2022 Emirates Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup
– Iran lift fourth Intercontinental Cup
– Akbari and Hamid claim MVP and Best Goalkeeper
– Paraguay’s Carballo claims Top Scorer trophy
Iran are the 2022 Emirates Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup champions!
In the tightest of finals, the Iranians hung on to a 2-1 lead right until the end against Brazil, who also had three titles ahead of this edition, to lift their fourth, equaling Russia’s record.
Amir Akbari was named as the MVP, while fellow Iranian Hamid went home with the Best Goalkeeper award. After netting a double on the final day, Carlos Carballo, the Paraguay skipper, won the Top Scorer award.
La Albirroja ended the tournament in third, their best finish to date, after defeating the hosts in the playoff for third.
Iran hang on for fourth Intercontinental trophy!
Two previous champions, each with three titles, clashed on the sands of Dubai for the crown at the 11th edition of the Emirates Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup. Neither had lost so far, but in beach soccer there are no draws, and an unbeaten streak had to come to an end on Sunday.
After a tense opening ten minutes, Iranian beach soccer legend Ahmadzadeh finally broke the deadlock and the mainly Iranian stadium, including those outside who couldn’t get a seat inside, exploded.
A spectacular strike from Saeed had the crowd on their feet once more in the second period, and Brazil, as they had in the semi-finals, looked to be running out of ideas, taking pot shots in an attempt to get back into the game.
Eventually Marco Octavio’s men found a way through, as Catarino slotted home a penalty to make it 2-1.
A stubborn Iran then hung on for dear life as the men in yellow shirts threw everything they had at them, but they cleverly held the Brazilian firepower at bay to clinch the win, and a record-equalling fourth Intercontinental Cup!
Paraguay beat UAE to bronze on final day
The hosts’ best finish in Dubai was third, while Paraguay had only ever finished seventh in in their previous two appearances, but it was the South Americans who took the lead.
Carlos Carballo, the leading scorer at the time, netted the only goal of the first period. Benitez scored early in the second but Rashed pulled one back as the match neared its midway point.
A crazy Carballo bicycle kick, taking his tournament tally to eight, bounced in off the post to make it 3-1 and a final goal from Ojeda sealed the bronze for Paraguay, their best ever finish, while UAE finished in a respectable fourth.
Japan down USA to match best-ever finish in Dubai
Fifth place was the best either nation had achieved at the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup, and it was the best either could do in the 2022 edition.
Japanese captain and 2021 Best Player in the world Ozu put away the opener with a fine finish, while Oba and Matsuo extended the lead to make it 3-0 going into the final third.
Jose buried a fourth in the last period and Japan sealed fifth at a canter in Dubai. USA take sixth in the 2022 edition.
Spain beat Saudi Arabia to seventh
Spain won their second match in Dubai against Saudi Arabia in the battle for seventh, after having already played them once in the group stages. Four goals flew in in the first period, as Adrian, Casano (2) and David Ardil put La Roja in control.
The second period saw the score unchanged, but in the third David completed his brace to hand Spain a comfortable victory, and the seventh place in the Emirates Intercontinental Cup.
Spain 5-0 Saudi Arabia
Japan 4-0 USA
Paraguay 4-1 UAE
Brazil 1-2 Iran
MVP: Akbari (IRN)
Top Scorer: Carballo (PAR)
Best Goalkeeper: Hamid (IRN)
2nd – Brazil
3rd – Paraguay
4th – UAE
5th – Japan
6th – USA
7th – Spain
8th – Saudi Arabia