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01 May 2017
Decisive duels and emotional send-offs in store
There's lots to be decided as Groups A & B draw to a close on Monday.
- Italy, Senegal and Switzerland are already through
- Iran and Nigeria will face off for the one remaining ticket in Group B
- Hosts Bahamas will hope to bow out on a high note against Ecuador
The curtain will come down on Groups A and B at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017 this Monday 1 May, with one quarter-final ticket up for grabs and four teams set to take their leave.
The most eye-catching encounter of the day is undoubtedly the one between Iran and Nigeria, who will lock horns for a place in the last eight.
The three countries that have already qualified from this section, for their part, will be gunning to finish on top in order to avoid facing the group winners from the other side of the draw.
Group A: Switzerland-Senegal | Bahamas-Ecuador
Group B: Italy-Mexico | Nigeria-Iran
What you need to know
- With Italy in pole position to top Group B, Switzerland and Senegal will do battle in Group A, with both sides keen to avoid a quarter-final meeting with La Azzurra.
However, this match is not just of strategic importance for the future: it will also provide further evidence of how the two sides are shaping up at present.
Besides impressing going forward, the African champions have scarcely been breached at the other end to date, but they are sure to be tested by the firepower of Noel Ott and Dejan Stankovic, the latter of whom now has 26 Beach Soccer World Cup goals to his name.
Who will come out on top?
- If there is one thing Nigeria and Iran have both shown during their Bahamas 2017 campaigns, it is mental strength. Both fell behind to Mexico, but fought back to turn the tables on El Tri and claim victory.
The Iranians are still in with a shot of winning Group B, while the Super Sand Eagles are seeking to leapfrog the Asians and snatch second place.
- Nassau's National Beach Soccer Arena has been rocking throughout the competition, but emotions will be especially high during the host nation's final fixture, with the Bahamas desperate to bow out in style in front of their faithful fans.
Fellow tournament debutants Ecuador will also be saying goodbye and both teams will no doubt depart not just with fond memories, but having learned many valuable lessons as well.