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01 Nov 2012
Brazil and Nigeria, in too
The Verdeamarela sends Switzerland home, consequently pushing the Green Eagles into the best 4. Semifinals get defined
The Green Eagles fly to semifinals (6-5)
A hard-battled win over Japan, and the subsequent victory of Brazil over Switzerland merited the Nigerian national team the access to the next round of this Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup 2012 taking place again in Dubai. The Green Eagles had one opportunity of getting into the best four of such a prestigious competition, and they did not miss it, prevailing in a crazy match they knew how to survive to. The African Beach Soccer can be really proud of their representative.
Nigerians and Japanese slapped each other’s cheeks repeatedly during the first two minutes, giving the crowd and the spectators at home no time to blink. Asami and Ibenegbu particularly contested to see who was the one earning his side more goals, with the Green Eagle flying higher than his Nippon counterpart. Part of this, though, was to fall on Oladepo’s merits, as the Nigerian goalie brought on some terrific saves to prevent Ruy Ramos’ new equalizer.
Amazingly, the same two players kept on brandishing their teams offensive blade, with one goal more on each one’s pocket. Abu wanted to join the party, and took Ibenegbu’s baton to keep punishing the Asian nets. Two missiles by the African number eight meant the 6-3, what was seemingly granting Adamu’s side an easy last stage of the game. But it was not, as Japan fought their last chances and climbed up to the 6-5 thanks to Noda and Komaki. But that meant the roof of the Nippon reaction, and the final whistle got them flying back home after failing to collect any point in this Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup Dubai 2012. The Nigerians, instead, got into the best four a couple of hours later, after Brazil’s win over Switzerland.
Goals: 0-1: Asami, min. 10 (1); 1-1: Ibenegbu, min. 10 (1); 1-2: Asami, min. 10 (1); 2-2: Ibenegbu, min. 9 (1); 3-2: Ibenegbu, min. 8 (1); 4-2: Ibenegbu, min. 7 (2); 4-3: Asami, min. 7 (2); 5-3: Abu, min. 5 (2); 6-3: Abu, min. 10 (1); 6-4: Noda, min. 10 (3); 6-5: Komaki, min. 3 (3)
Tahiti pocket first points before flying home (4-3)
Not much was at stake at the match facing Tahiti and the USA in this last league stage day of the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup 2012 Dubai, but that did not mean that any of the sides would save a bit of energy trying to fetch the points. Despite both sides were already out of the semifinals, the game meant a great opportunity to work on tuning the team up ahead of the continental Qualifiers soon to come. And both of them took this opportunity.
As anyone would have been able to predict, the fixture was an absolutely balanced one. And none of the teams got hold of the game’s control. Naea Bennet’s opener gave Tahiti the first, but Feld leveled things back with the 1-1 right at the beginning of the second period. The American number 17 was the one to keep USA on the pursuit when things got wrong, just what it happened when Li Fung Kuee swept the Tiki Toa ahead again.
The third period meant the turning point in the match. Tahiti finally managed to get the reins of the situation, and stung twice again both in the leg’s opener and in the last minutes. Laverde’s side counteracted that rather soon, thanks to Reyes net, but the remaining time ended up being too short for the Americans to complete the comeback, what leaves them at the bottom of the table in group A.
Goals: 1-0: Bennet, min. 1 (1); 1-1: Feld, min. 10 (2); 2-1: Li fung Kuee, min. 7 (2); 2-2: Feld, min. 3 (2); 3-2: Zaveroni, min. 9 (3); 4-2: Naea Bennet, min. 2 (3); 4-3: Reyes, min. 2 (3)
Amazing Brazilian comeback gets Switzerland out and Nigeria in (3-4)
The last league match in group B was one of those dramatic fixtures that exhaust not only the players and the coaches, but also everyone witnessing the showdown. Brazil and Switzerland got to the kick-off with different perspectives, but willing to field a similar style. The Swiss imperiously needed a victory to proceed to next round, and Brazil, despite having things quite under control, could not allow a loud defeat fly them home. Any of the teams could have got the prize, but it fell on the Brazilian side, thanks to Guga’s terrific comeback in the last two minutes of the game.
Valentin, one of the goalkeepers that had got us used to that coast to coast missiles, pushed the Alpine ahead, but the Verdeamarela reacted rather quickly this time, through Fernando DDI. Despite the victory would have got them both onwards, Brazil wanted the points too, and managed to stand on their foot when Schirinzi’s team geared up and managed to get ahead again, though Meier.
Stankovic’s 3-1 with just four minutes to go seemed the winner hit for Switzerland, but it was not. Brazil, who had never lost face to the game, managed what seemed impossible. To minutes before the final whitstle, Bruno Malias fired the first of an unbelievable comeback, with Benjamin and Fernando DDI to follow, that would get the European side out of the race and would secure Brazil the highest place in the table.
Goals: 1-0: Valentin, min. 8 (1); 1-1: Fernando DDi, min. 3 (2); 2-1: Meier, min. 1 (2); 3-1: Stankovic, min. 4 (3); 3-2: Bruno Malias, min. 2 (3); 3-3: Benjamin, min. 1 (3); 3-4: Fernando DDI, min. 0 (3);
One goal makes the difference again for Russia against the UAE (2-3)
Marcelo Mendes and his lads must be getting really tired of facing Russia on such a leveled basis, only to see the World Champions win once and again with just a one-goal rent. Eremeev’s header in a corner just two minutes before the final whistle made the difference this time, in a game in which both sides, already qualified, fought for the top of the group.
Russia did what they usually do, no surprise: getting ahead in the score as soon as possible, and then leave their opponents the need to work something out… Gorchinskiy made that first step for the defending champions, and the 1-0 remained quite a bit. It was not until the fifth minute of the second period that the hosts found the way to the Russian nets. Hassan Ali, one of the new talents recruited by Mendes paid that trust back with the equalizer. After that, Kamal was the protagonist of probably the most bittersweet thirty seconds one can remember on a Beach Soccer field. The defender got his team ahead, heading in a long-range service by Humaid, but immediately afterwards, he himself wiped this advantage off, with an unbelievable own goal no one in the stadium could credit.
The scoreboard stayed then untouched for another long stage. Both Emirati and Russians enjoyed some chances to make the first step towards the group head, but that decider would still last some minutes to come, guess on whose side... Strategy has always been an excellent way out for the World Champions when things do not work smoothly, and Likhachev’s side took advantage once again today of a corner kick move to unbalance things. Eremeev’s header, with just two minutes to go, meant the nine-out-of-nine record for the tsars, who get onto next stage as the best team in group A. Whereas the European will face Nigeria, UAE will take on Brazil in tomorrow semifinals (20:30 local time).
Goals: 0-1: Gorchinskiy, min. 6 (1); 1-1: Hassan Ali, min. 7 (2); 2-1: Kamal, min. 5 (2); 2-2: Kamal, min. 5 (2); Eremeev, min. 2 (3)
SAMSUNG BEACH SOCCER INTERCONTINENTAL CUP DUBAI 2012
16:45 – Nigeria 6-5 Japan
18:00 – Tahiti 4-3 USA
19:15 – Switzerland 3-4 Brazil
20:30 – UAE 2-3 Russia
Matches for tomorrow
19:15 – Russia vs Nigeria (Semi-final 1)
20:30 – Brazil vs UAE (Semi-final 2)