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24 Jan 2013
Four powerhouses to vie for three tickets
Iran,UAE, Japan and Australia are the semifinalists of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2013 - Asia Qualifier Qatar
Iran edge China to fight for one of three World Cup slots
Iran came back from two goals down take their place among the best four sides in the continent after edging out China in a tense top of the table clash.
The Iranians came into the decider in brilliant form, but were guilty of a schoolboy error when Ahmadzadeh?s misdirected backpass found his own goal. Iran then had goalkeeper Hosseini to thank for keeping the score at 1-0, displaying superb reactions to deny Lui?s rocket from a dead ball.
Still, Ongaro?s China remained determined to ruin Iran?s evening, as Han finished off a great counterattack to give the Chinese a two-goal lead going into the first break.
Iran quickly re-grouped and commenced a heroic comeback, with number 10 Mesigar central to their resurgence, reducing the deficit to 2-1 before Naderi headed home a pinpoint cross to bring the sides levels.
Mesigar completed his brace inside the last minute of the second period to give the Persians a decisive advantage. And, having taken the lead, they made their vast experience count to limit China?s chances and see the game out.
Mokhtari put the icing on the cake midway through the third segment, crushing China?s semi final dreams.
The final whistle sent Iran into the semi finals of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2013 - Asian Qualifier Qatar, where they will have a chance to fight for a place in Tahiti.
?Iran have too much experience. There was too much pressure, but, we've improved a lot,? said China?s coach Rosario Ongaro after the narrow loss.
Goals: 0-1: Ahmadzadeh, min. 5 (1); 0-2: Han, min. 0 (1); 1-2: Mesigar, min. 0 (1); 2-2: Naderi, min. 3 (2) 3-2: Mesigar, min. 1 (2); 4-2: Mokhtari, min. 8 (3);
Australia fight their way into semis
The Beach Socceroos held off Afghanistan?s valiant third period fightback to seal their place in the semi finals of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2013 ? Asia Qualifier Qatar.
The Afghans? previous results meant that they came into this game knowing that they could not progress, but a determined performance ensured that they departed the pitch with their heads held high.
Their spirited attitude was illustrated when they took the lead on five minutes. And, when a double from Panagiotis Nikas, one of the Aussies? most prolific talents, put the Aussies in front at the beginning of the second period, the Afghans immediately leveled.
But Afghan resilience was no match for Australian finesse and the Socceroos, competing in their first ever Asian qualifiers, soon stretched their lead, with Zdrilic and Crevani making it 4-2 before the second break.
Early in the third period, Crevani rocketed a free kick home to bring the score to 5-2, as the Aussies threatened to clock up a cricket score. But Afghanistan were not finished, and Mohammadi headed two almost identical goals to set up a dramatic finale.
A thrilling comeback looked likely until the penultimate minute, when Zdrilic notched his second with an amazing effort from a corner kick to make the final score 6-4.
Australia now head into tomorrow?s semi-finals knowing that another win will ensure a place in June?s World Cup Finals, taking place in Tahiti. After the match, Airton Andrioli, the Head Coach of the Australian National Team was ecstatic.
?We couldn?t have asked for any better,? he enthused. ?When we came here nobody expected anything like this, so credit it to the boys, they did a fantastic job. We?re looking forward to going one step further in the next match. We?re going to continue to fight and we?ll see what happens at the end. But the boys have done extremely well, I?m really proud of them.?
Goals: 0-1: Mohammadi, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Nikas, min. 8 (1); 2-1: Nikas, min. 11 (2); 2-2: Azad, min. 11 (2); 3-2: Zdrilic, min. 3 (2); 4-2: Crevani, min. 2 (2); 5-2: Crevani, min. 11 (3); 5-3: Mohammadi, min. 10 (3); 5-4: Mohammadi, min. 10 (3); 6-4: Zdrilic, min. 2 (3);
UAE hammer Uzbekistan in last group-stage game
The UAE celebrated their passage to the semi-finals with a comprehensive victory over Uzbekistan.
Striker Arter Yunusov got the Uzbekis off to a dream start with an early goal, but they were ahead for only a minute before Hussan Ali Saeed Al Hamadi levelled matters. Al Masabbi put the UAE 2-1 ahead going into the first break, and they built on their lead in convincing fashion thereafter.
Things quickly got much worse for the Uzbekis in the second period, as the Emiratis raced into a 6-1 lead thanks to a brace from Qambar Mohammed and one each from Saeed Yousif and Adel Ali Rahu.
Yet, despite the one-sided score line, the defiant Uzbeki defence worked stoically to deny several further opportunities for the UAE, and restricting them to one further goal in the third period, slotted home by Abbas Ali Daryaei.
With two goals to his name, UAE captain Qambar Mohammed expressed his hope that his team?s superb form can be maintained, saying, ?The team?s momentum is really good right now and we pray the next game goes just as well.?
Goals: 0-1: Artur Yunusov, min. 8 (1); 1-1: Hussan Ali Saeed Al Hamadi, min. 7 (1); 2-1: Rami Abdulla Al Massabi, min. 3 (1); 3-1: Qambar Mohammed, min. 11 (2); 4-1: Saeed Yousif, min. 10 (2); 5-1: Qambar Mohammed, min. 8 (2); 6-1: Adel Ali Rahu min. 3 (2); 7-1: Abbas Ali Daryaei min. 7 (3)
Japan make it Three out of Three to storm into Semis
With Japan?s place in the semi finals already assured following last night?s narrow victory over Lebanon, Thursday?s match against Bahrain may have seen them take the foot off the gas.
But, for the third day in a row, the defending champions of Asia gave a magnificent performance, steaming past a nervous Bahrain. Backed by a vocal support, Japan opened the scoring early, after a defence-splitting pass from Ozu was expertly volleyed home by Komaki.
Bahrain remained resolute however and, with two minutes of the first period remaining, defender Isa Al Doseri rocketed a free kick into the back of Terukina?s net. But respite was brief for the Gulf side, as Yamauchi directed a header past the Bahraini keeper to restore Japan?s lead before the first break.
Ozu then added to Bahrain?s misery and demonstrated why he is a serious contender for tournament MVP. From deep in his own half, he flicked the ball up and controlled with his knee before unleashing an unstoppable volley past the bewildered Bahraini keeper. It was the sole strike of the second period but, such was its quality, there would have been few complaints if it had been the only goal of the entire game.
Three minutes into the third period, Nakamura pounded a fourth home after a fantastic individual effort, sending the Japanese faithful wild. Husain pulled one back for Bahrain with five minutes to go to bring the score to 4-2, before the ?Nippon? sealed the win in style with their fifth goal on the night.
With this victory, Japan took all nine possible points from the group stages.
Goals: 1-0 min. 8 Komaki (1); 1-1 min. 2 Isa (1); 2-1 min. 1 Yamauchi (1); 3-1 min. 10 Ozu (2); 4-1 min. 9 Nakamura (3); 4-2 min. 5 Husain (3); 5-2 min. 3 Makino (3)
Palestine finishes second in Group C
As with Thursday?s earlier match between Lebanon and Thailand, Palestine and Saudi Arabia were playing for Beach Soccer rankings and pride, with neither side able to advance to the semi-finals due to previous losses.
And it was Palestine who emerged with the bragging rights, bouncing back from yesterday?s defeat to the UAE to rout Saudi Arabia 8-2, who were unable to keep up the momentum gathered in yesterday?s win over Uzbekistan.
Yet, as the first period drew ended, the 2-2 scoreline suggested that the game would be a closely contested affair, with Saudi captain Albory netting a brace.
However, Palestine stepped up a gear as they emerged for the second period. They took the lead for the first time in the match, courtesy of forward H. Wadi, and quickly extended their advantage to make it 4-2.
Saudi Arabia?s misery was compounded when M. Dahman scored his second, and M. Barakat added another to give the Palestinians a four-goal lead going into the second break.
A. Atiya rounded off his hat trick from the spot midway through the third period, with H. Wadi adding the eighth before the final whistle, securing second place for Palestine in Group D.
Goals: 0-1 min. 11 Albory (1); 1-1 min. 5 M. Dahman (1); 2-1 min. 3 A. Atiya (1); 2-2 min. 3 Albory (1); 3-2 H. Wadi (2); 4-2 A. Atiya (2); 5-2 min. 2 M. Dahman (2); 6-2 min 1 M. Barakat (2); 8-2 min. 1 H. Wadi (3)
Oman beat regional rivals Qatar 3-1
Although both teams had no chance of progressing to the semi finals, Qatar and Oman fought a gritty battle for honour in the Thursday?s final match. Ibrahim Al Romaihi returned from suspension for the Qataris after serving a one-match ban.
Late into the first period, Oman raced into an early 2-0 lead.
Undaunted, Qatar pushed on, with Jafal Ibrahim?s close-range free kick blocked by the Omani keeper. But Qatar persevered, and received their reward when Hamad Al Sharqi found the right side of the net to reduce the deficit.
The close contest continued into the second period, with both sides creating chances until Oman?s Is?haq struck the decisive blow to make the score 3-1.
Qatar continued to push forward through the third period in search of a way back, but were unable to find the net: Qatar 1 - Oman 3.
Goals: 0-1 min. 4 Hani (1); 0-2 min. 3 Khalid (1); 1-2 min. 1 Al Sharqi (1); 1-3 min. 6 Is?haq (2);
Iraq overwhelms Philippines in final Group D game
Iraq and Philippines went head to head in group D to kick off the third day of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2013 ? Asia Qualifiers Qatar, taking place at Katara in Doha.
In a one-sided game, Huseen Jabr Husein headed Iraq ahead with six minutes on the clock. The lead was doubled just before the first break, with forward Ali Mahdi Lafta hammering home a second.
Despite Philippines? best efforts, Iraq?s domination continued, with Lafta and teammate Abdullah Suhail Oleiwi grabbing two more points for the squad in the space of 30 seconds to build an unassailable 4-0 advantage in the third period.
The rout was completed, with Ali Ahmed Tawfeeq getting on the scoreboard and Oleiwi earning his second goal.
The huge win was not enough to secure passage to the semi-finals for Iraq, who had lost their first two group games, but goalkeeper Ali Ahmed Tawfeeq expressed his delight at the resounding victory.
?We are so proud to have such a positive turnout in today?s game,? he enthused. ?On behalf of our whole team, words can?t explain how happy we are.?
Opponents Philippines could find no such solace, emerging pointless from the group having conceded 37 goals in their three games, and scoring just one.
Goals: 1-0: Huseen Jabr Husein, min. 6 (1); 2-0: Ali Mahda Lafta, min. 1 (1); 3-0: Abdullah Suhail Olewei, min. 10 (3); 4-0: Ali Mahda Lafta, min. 9 (3); 5-0: Ali Ahmed Tawfeeq, min. 6 (3); 6-0: Abdullah Suhail Oleiwi, min. 1 (3)
Lebanon prevail against plucky Thailand
The Lebanese National Team bounced back from Wednesday?s defeat to defending Asian champions Japan with a 6-4 victory over bottom-placed Thailand.
Lebanon?s previous loss already meant that they could not qualify for the next stage but, with each result helping to determine Asian beach soccer rankings, there was far more than pride at stake.
Moghaddam?s side were without H. Abdullah and M. Matar, who were both serving one and two-match bans respectively. They initially appeared to be missing the duo when Thai captain Nanan converted a penalty late in the first period to break the deadlock.
But the lead proved short-lived, with Lebanese defender M. Halawi firing home early in the second period, before captain M. Merhi made it two with a well-placed header.
Thailand?s response was swift, with Madtoha levelling just seconds later. But any psychological advantage was squandered when, with four minutes remaining in the second period, Thailand?s number 9, Poymee, was sent off for foul play, with Lebanon capitalising on the Thai blunder with a thunderous penalty.
Thailand played the next two minutes with four men, in line with Beach Soccer rules, and Lebanon pressed home their advantage, adding a fourth and fifth in quick succession to cruise into a 5-2 lead.
Three minutes from time Thailand grabbed a third, rapidly followed by a goal from each side before the final horn sounded.
Goals: 0-1: Nanan, min. 1 (1); 1-1: M. Halawi, min. 9 (2); 2-1: M.Merhi, min. 6 (2); 2-2: Madtoha, min. 6 (2); 3-2: M. Merhi, min. 4 (2); 4-2: M. Halawi, min. 2 (2); 5-2: M. Al Zein, min. 1 (2); 5-3: Tapinna, min. 3 (3); 6-3: M. Merhi, min. 2 (3); 6-4: Nanan, min. 2 (3)
FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP 2013 ? ASIA QUALIFIER QATAR
14:00 ? Lebanon 6-4 Thailand
14:00 ? Iraq 6-0 Philippines (pitch 2)
15.15 ? Palestine 8-2 Saudi Arabia
15.15 ? UAE 7-1 Uzbekistan (pitch 2)
16:30 ? Australia 6-4 Afghanistan
17:45 ? Japan 5-2 Bahrain
19:00 ? Iran 4-2 China
20:15 ? Qatar 3-1 Oman
Matches for tomorrow
14:00 ? Philippines vs Uzbekistan (Play-off for the 13th place)
14:00 ? Iraq vs Saudi Arabia (Play-off for the 9th place)
15.15 ? Afghanistan vs Bahrain (Play-off for the 9th place)
15.15 ? China vs Palestine (Play-off for the 5th place)
16:30 ? Oman vs Lebanon (Play-off for the 5th place)
17:45 ? Qatar vs Thailand (Play-off for the 13th place)
19:00 ? IRAN VS UAE (SEMIFINAL 1)
20:15 ? AUSTRALIA VS JAPAN (SEMIFINAL 2)