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20 Nov 2013
Exciting second day sets stage for group finale
Switzerland, Russia, and UAE earn three points with wins while Iran earns two more points with emotional penalties victory
Switzerland withstands Morocco for 3 points
The Swiss squad came out strong and did not want to begin like they did against Mexico yesterday. They scored early and often, withstood a rally from Morocco, found themselves down by a goal, and then their offense opened up even more and took them to an 9-7 victory over Morocco. The loss for Morocco was a tough one as they came from behing twice, once taking the lead and in the end coming up just short.
Switzerland began their match against Mexico on day one very sluggish and today they wanted to do just the opposite. Morroco, saw themselves down goals very early after a header from the Swiss Borer and then a spectacular left-footed strike from Stankovic. The two quick goals awakened The Lions of the Atlas and their defense began to settle in. That helped Morroco score their first goal of the day on a great counter attack halfway through the frame to get his team back within striking distance. One minute later Morocco struck again on another two rockets of shots to take the one goal lead. Seconds later, Morocco committed a delay of game foul and the Swiss striker, Stankovic, nailed home the direct kick to tie the match again. Switzerland was not done scoring though, and after a spectacular distribution from the Swiss keeper, Noel Ott tapped in an easy goal to put his side back up by one. The period ended with a score of Morocco 3-4 Switzerland.
If there was any disappointment after giving up four goals in the first period, Morocco did not show it as the second frame began. Morocco took the kick-off and thumped a shot towards goal and had two more quick opportunities, though they were unable to capitalize. Immediately following the Moroccan offensive onslaught, Stankovic scored his third goal of the match to give his Swiss side some breathing room, putting his team up by two goals. It had been nearly a full period since the Swiss keeper conceded a goal and as if on cue, Valentin decided to get back in on the action and scored one of his own from nearly the end of the pitch. The goal put Switzerland up by three goals late in the period. Stankovic would add another goal, his fourth of the day, leaving Switzerland with a seemingly safe lead.
The final frame began just as exciting as the middle period and Morocco showed some fight as Boulakouaba scored his second of the match to bring his side back within three goals. Switzerland wanted to restore a four goal advantage and called upon their leading scorer, Stankovic, who netted his fifth goal of the game, the first player ever to score five at the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup. A minute later Morocco went on a scoring frenzy, scoring three back-to-back-to-back goals within the span of a minute to get within one goal. On a record breaking day for this tournament, most goals scored in a match, Stankovic netted his 6th goal of the match, a record in this tournament for any one player, to put his team back up by two goals.
The three points for Switzerland were very important after they only secured two points yesterday since their win came in extra time. This 9-7 victory for Switzerland was in doubt at some points but they overcame a courageous couple of comebacks from the North African side and broke records en route to the win. Morocco now has two losses in two matches but will be playing Mexico on Thursday, looking for their first points. Switzerland will use this momentum and take on the hosts, UAE on Thursday.
Goals: 0-1: Borer, min. 10 (1); 0-2: Stankovic, min. 9 (1); 1-2: Nassim, min. 5 (1); 2-2: Esaadi, min. 4 (1); 3-2: Boulakouaba, min. 4 (1); 3-3: Stankovic, min. 4 (1); 3-4: Ott, min. 1 (1); 3-5: Stankovic. min. 10 (2); 3-6: Valentin, min. 5 (2); 3-7: Stankovic, min. 1 (2); 4-7: Boulakouaba, min. 10 (3); 4-8: Stankovic, min. 9 (3); 5-8: El Hadaoui, min. 8 (3); 6-8: Esaadi, min. 7 (3); 7-8: Mahboub, min. 6 (3); 7-9: Stankovic, min. 4 (3).
Iran uses penalties again and stuns Brazil
The first Group B match of the day showed why it is being referred to as the Group of Death as both teams came in undefeated, Iran with a win in penalties over Russia and Brazil handling Italy. In this second match of the day, the battle was very evenly matched again and the winner was in doubt until the final minutes in the final frame. The 4(3)-4(1) penalties win for Iran puts them closer to the semi-finals and in the driver's seat.
Iran began taking their shots very early and looked extremely confident, very understandably, after defeating World Champions Russia yesterday. They were unable to score and on the first opportunity with the ball, Brazil got a shot past Iran and took the one goal lead. The lead did not last long as the Iranian Lions used their star keeper, Hosseini, to level things with a great strike from all the way across the pitch. Iran was very physical in their match against Russia yesterday and early in the opening frame they continued to use that tactic against Brazil. The tactic seemed to work as the Persian were able to limit the offensive chances for Negão's side. Brazil were not in control of the match early but as the period moved along they began to possess the ball more and see more chances. Late in the period, the Seleção scored again to restore their one goal lead. The back and forth first action continued and Iran scored again just seconds later to tie the match again. The period ended with a score of 2-2.
The last minutes of the first period saw two quick goals and many more opportunities and that same pace carried over into the opening minutes of the middle frame. Though the shots were plentiful, there were not any goals in the opening half of the period. The goalkeepers took over and flashed their unbelievable skills and acrobatically saved every shot that came towards goal. The first goal of the period came in the 6th minute when Iran struck again, the second goal from Boulokbashi, to take their first lead of the match. The intensity picked up from there and the unrelenting action saw both sides make timely tackles and stop the opponents shots. Iran did a very good job of slowing the match down to better fit their sytle of play and at the end of the middle frame the score was Iran 3-2 Brazil.
The Canarinha started the final period just how they wanted and needed to, with a quick goal. Brazil scored on a direct kick after a red card was given to the Iranian. Early in the period, the Asian kings was not in sync and Brazil looked very much in control though the score stayed tied. The shaky first few minutes of the period were long gone for Iran as they began to look like the team that took the lead in the middle frame. Despite their increasing confidence, they seemed unable to score again until the final three minutes, when Iran took a turnover on the Brazilian half of the field and capitalized to go up by one goal once again. Brazil added a goal on a rebound from a direct kick and they tied the match again with two minutes left. There were no more late game heroics as the period ended tied at 4. Midway through extra time neither team had sniffed the goal as the defenses were doing more than their job in shutting down the opposition. The overtime ended with the score still tied at 4 and the match went to penalties.
The two points earned by Iran is their second straight win on penalties, against two of the worlds best teams, Russia and then Brazil. Iran, after their 4(3)-4(1) win over Brazil today, will play Italy on Thursday and will try to stay unbeaten. The loss fo Brazil is difficult to swallow but they can still reach the semi-finals as they are in control of their own destiny. They will play Russia on Thurday.
Goals: 0-1: Mauricinho, min. 10 (1); 1-1: P. Hosseini, min. 10 (1); 1-2: Eudin, min. 2 (1); 2-2: F. Boulokbashi, min. 1 (1); 3-2: F. Boulokbashi, min. 6 (2); 3-3: Bruno Xavier, min. 10 (3); 4-3: M. Hassani, min. 3 (3); 4-4: Bruno Xavier, min. 2 (3).
Penalties: A. Naderi: score; Bruno Xavier: score; M. Hassani: score; Eudin: saved; M. Ahmadzadeh: score
Russia keeps semis in sight with big win
Italy and Russia both had tough losses in their opening matches, Italy to Brazil 2-5, and Russia to Iran in penalties 2(2)-2(3) and both were in desperate need of a win coming into today's match. The 6-3 win for Russia over Italy was a much needed rebound and keeps their semi-finals hopes alive. It was an exciting match that saw Russia dominate and then Italy make a courageous comeback that fell just short. Italy has their title hopes dashed but they still have one match left to play at the group stage.
The goalies were called upon early and often to keep their teams in the match as shots were struck left and right though none scored in the opening minutes of the period. Russia struck first on a laser of a shot that got past the Italian keeper and gave them the early one goal lead. The first goal woke The Azzurri offense and they began taking more and more shots on goal but none went in, some were blocked, some were saved, and the posts took care of the rest. Despite allowing the one goal, Italy utilized a rigid defense in the opening frame and that was crucial in keeping the score, Russia 1-0 Italy at periods end.
Russia continued to keep their one goal lead going into the midway point in the middle frame. The Russian keeper, Bukhlitskiy, played magnificently in the opening frame and that stellar play continued in the second period as he thwarted and stopped every shot that was sent his way. Russia doubled their lead with a pretty hit from Makarov and only a minute later, the Russians added to their lead with a long-distance bomb from Eremeev to go up by three goals. Russia was not done, they scored twice more to go up by 5 goals late in the period. The four goal period ended with Russia up 5-0.
An opening minute goal in the final frame by Russia would have been disastrous for Italy, and that looked very possible as the Russians sliced through the Italian defense only to miss the shot. Italy would not go down without a fight and one of their stars, Gori, scored the first Italian goal of the match to get his team within 4. Less than a minute later, Italy added another to start the comeback. The Azzurri found themselves down only 3 goals at the halfway point of the period, when Corosiniti scored another goal that brought real hope to the Italians that a comeback was possible. Late in the period, though, Russia added another goal to restore their three goal lead. That goal halted the Italian and the game ended with Russia up 6-3.
The three points earned by Russia in their 6-3 win over Italy now have them tied with Brazil for second place in Group B. Russia is to meet Brazil on Thursday and that winner will be either first or second in the group and advance to the semi-finals. The placing depends on how Iran fares. The loss for Italy means that they cannot play in the semi-finals but they will play Iran on Thursday and can make things harder for them. The Azzurri will also play on Sunday in a playoff for either 5th or 7th place.
Goals: 1-0: Peremitin, min. 7 (1); 2-0: Makarov, min. 7 (2); 3-0: Eremeev, min. 6 (2); 4-0: Makarov, min. 4 (2); 5-0: Krash, min. 2 (2); 5-1: Gori, min. 8 (3); 5-2: Palmacci, min. 7 (3); 5-3: Corosiniti, min. 4 (3); 6-3: Shishin. min. 3 (3);
UAE stays unbeaten against Mexico
The 3-1 win for UAE over Mexico was an exciting defensive struggle that included two first period goals, one from each team, no goals in the second frame and two more goals in the third period, both from UAE. Mexico lost their first match in extra time despite leading early, and this match was just as exciting, though Mexico went down early, came back and then did not have enough left in the tank to get the win after giving up two goas in the final period.
UAE wanted to play from ahead and they opened the match with a great strike from their most capped player, Ali Karim, to go up 1-0 early. Mexico did not want to have to play from behind but they were forced to and midway through the period they scored on a magnificent header by Villalobos, but the equalizer was disallowed as the referees determined that Mexico was too physical on the play. The opening period was played very quickly and both defenses were extremely tough to break as only the one goal was scored going into the final minutes of the period. There were less than three minutes left in the frame when Villalobos scored on a header off a rebound for the Azteca to level the match at 1. That is how the period would end, 1-1.
The middle frame began just as intense as the first period but the goals did not hit the back of the net. The Mexican offensive attacks looked more potent as they continued to get chances and challenge the hosts' defense. UAE’s defense did hold strong with the help of their talented goalkeeper, Al Jasmi. The period progressed and the physicality did also but both defenses held a sturdy front and going into the middle of the period there had not been any more goals scored. Earlier in the period, Mexico was in control, but later on the Emirati gained confidence and took more advantage of their chances though they kept to a clean sheet in the period. The period ended just as the first one did, tied, 1-1.
A rare no-goal middle frame laid the groundwork for an even more dramatic final period. The offenses came out swinging, hitting the posts on multiple shots, but four minutes in, neither team had scored. UAE and Mexico had very potent offenses and both sides could explode at any moment. Mendes' side took the lead after the nailed a penalty kick and then less than ten seconds later UAE added another on a turnover by La Verde on their end. UAE took their biggest lead of the match, 2 goals, into the final minutes. At that point, tempers began to flair and three red cards were given, one to UAE, two to Mexico, after an off the ball scuffle. Both sides took control of themselves and settled down but no more goals were scored and UAE won 3-1.
The 3-1 win and three points secure UAE a spot in the semi-finals and they will be playing Switzerland on Thursday, looking to earn the top spot in Group A. They currently are in first place as Switzerland only earned two points on their tournament opening win in overtime yesterday. Those top two teams will face each other tomorrow. Mexico played in two very competitive matches but lost in overtime yesterday and today the 3-1 loss eliminates them from going to the semi-finals. Tomorrow Mexico will play Morocco in their final Group A match.
Goals: 0-1: Ali Karim, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Villalobos, min. 2 (1); 1-2: Husain, min. 6 (3); 1-3: Kamal, min. 6 (3);
SAMSUNG BEACH SOCCER INTERCONTINENTAL CUP DUBAI 2013
16:45 –Morocco 7-9 Switzerland (Group A)
18:00 – Iran 4(3)-4(1) Brazil (Group B)
19:15 – Russia 6-3 Italy (Group B)
20:30 – Mexico 1-3 UAE (Group A)
Games for tomorrow:
Thursday 21st of November, 2013
16:45 –Iran vs. Italy (Group B)
18:00 – Morocco vs. Mexico (Group A)
19:15 – Brazil vs. Russia (Group B)
20:30 – UAE vs. Switzerland (Group A)