Iran win again as Paraguay bag opening points in Group B
– UAE reach semis for second time in eight editions
– Brazil knock out Spain as Filipe Silva leads scoring
– Iran take tight win against stubborn USA
The Emirates Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai 2022 enjoyed more thrilling ties on Wednesday, as the hosts reached only their second knockout stage in the last eight editions of the competition, while Brazil breezed past La Roja to join their hosts in the semi-finals with a group game still in hand.
Iran also took a second win, edging the day’s most exciting match narrowly, but were denied their early place in the semi-finals when Paraguay beat Japan in Group B’s other game.
UAE sweep aside Saudi Arabia to reach final four
After an historic victory over Spain in their first match, UAE were back on fine form in their second test in Dubai.
Majed gifted the hosts of the Emirates Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup 2022 a first goal with an unfortunate rebound, and after hitting the bar moments earlier, Waleed Beshr fired in number two from distance.
Kamal calmly converted a third goal in the second period, as the crossbar was struck several times at both ends of the pitch.
Saudi Arabia threatened but were unable to find a way through the Emirati defence as the locals took their second win, thanks to Ali and Abdulla Abbas, who pushed the score to 5-0 as the final whistle went.
UAE qualify for the semi-finals for only the second time in the last eight editions. Tomorrow they will face Brazil to see who will finish top of Group A.
Brilliant Brazil beat Spain as Filipe hits hat-trick
As he had done the day before, Brazilian captain Catarino fired in the opener, which took a lucky bounce on the sand to deceive the keeper. A brilliant run by Benjamin Jr saw the number eight bury Brazil’s second and Filipe Silva’s calm finish made it three to Marco Octavio’s men in the first period.
The second was a little more balanced as Saul Batis, part of the next generation of Spanish beach soccer stars, hit a double but not before Datinha put away Brazil’s fourth.
That would be the end of the scoring for La Roja, as a brilliant Brazil dominated the final 12 minutes, with two more brilliant finishes from Filipe Silva.
Mauricinho scrambled his first goal of the campaign over the line from close range and Hulk netted his third to clinch three more points for Brazil, with a final score of 8-2.
Iran come from behind to down USA
Three-time champions Iran had despatched Paraguay by six goals to two the previous day and USA had missed out to Japan, and were therefore in desperate need of points in their second game.
The first goal came from Masoumi who found himself in a one on one situation and, urged on by the mainly-Iranian crowd, kept calm to slot home.
This was all that separated the sides going into the second period, until keeper Chris Toth rifled in an equaliser from distance and Nicolas Perea snatched the lead a minute later. Iran were rattled but Masoumi put away his second and Seyed fired in from distance to lead once again.
A goal of the day competition then ensued in the final period as Albiston and Canale for the USA, and Saeed and Moktari for Iran, got their names on the match report in stunning style.
It was a brace from Moktari which denied the Stars & Stripes in the end, punishing the US high line once more to round the keeper and bury the final goal, as the match finished 6-4 to the reigning Intercontinental champions.
The Americans must win tomorrow when they play Paraguay to keep their hopes of a place in the final four alive, a feat they have never managed before.
Captain Carballo hits three as Paraguay bag first win
Paraguay were first off the mark with a perfectly placed shot right into the top corner by Carlos Carballo, which Ozu (named in 2021 as the world’s best player) managed to get a head to but not enough to deny La Albirroja first blood.
Akaguma and Oba soon turned the match around, taking the lead for Japan but Martinez equalised late in the first period for Paraguay, who in the second 12 minutes overran the Samurai Blue, scoring twice from corners, as well as well-worked over head kick, to take the score to 6-3.
Kibune pulled one back with a well-controlled volley, and Oba hit a bicycle early in the final period to get the Japanese back into the match at 4-6.
But the South American champions could not be caught, as Carlos Carballo completed his hat-trick and Rolón (nominated in the Best Goalkeeper category in this year’s Beach Soccer Stars) got on the scoresheet from distance too, taking the final score to 8-5 in favour of Paraguay.
Japan 5-8 Paraguay
Brazil 8-2 Spain
UAE 5-0 Saudi Arabia
Iran 6-4 USA
For full details on the Emirates Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai 2022, including fixtures, results and standings, head to beachsoccer.com.