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19 Nov 2013
Extra time, penalties, and offense on day 1
Switzerland comes from behind to win in overtime, Iran defeats World Champs in penalties, while Italy cruises and UAE holds off rally
Switzerland rallies to win in extra time
The first match of the Samsung Beach Soccer International Cup Dubai 2013 began with a thrilling 6-5 overtime win for Switzerland over Mexico. Four goals in the opening period put Mexico on cruise control but a huge second frame brought the Swiss side back to within one goal and then the only goal scored in the final frame was the equalizer. An emotional overtime saw one of the youngest players in the International panorama, Noel Ott, nail the winner to give the Swiss the improbable win. The game was not settled in normal time, though, and that means that the Swiss side only earn two points and not the normal three awarded to a winner .
Mexico started the match off very quickly with a solid shot on goal that was saved nicely by the Swiss. The quality of play was top-knotch and El Tricolor scored three minutes in off a beautiful cross and strong header. The sheer power of the strikes were astonishing and La Verde used one of those strikes and scored again, a minute later to go up by two goals. Switzerland looked shell-shocked as the period began, but midway through the period they settled down and began making some of their typical runs and showing their offensive prowess. Only a few minutes after giving up an own goal, Spacca scored on a spectacular volley to bring the Alpine within two goals. Less than a minute later, Mexico restored their three goal lead and headed into the first break up 4-1.
The excitement that began the second period was unrelenting, though the shots that found the back of the net in the opening period were not doing the same in the middle frame. There were many shots but the first goal of the period came after a magnificent individual effort by the Swiss star Stankovic. If the first period belonged to Mexico, the second period was owned by the Swiss. Schirinzi's lads scored two goals in the opening half of the period, to get within one goal, but the Mexican side scored with four minutes left in the period to restore their two goal lead on the second goal of the match for Marin. The two goal advantage for Mexico would not last long as Switzerland launched another excellent strike that hit the back of the net making the score Switzerland 4-5 Mexico, and that is how the period ended.
Heading into the final period, the winner was still in doubt with both teams jostling back and forth, maintaining only the one goal differential through the opening minutes of the frame. The pace in the third period was more subdued than the earlier periods with both teams playing a chess match looking for the all-important next goal. The rockets that were shot on goal in this period were brilliantly saved by both keepers and the period remained scoreless midway through. Not only were the goalies playing that much better as the game progressed, but the defenses were on full display in the final frame, blocking shots and snuffing out nearly every offensive opportunity. With time running out, Stankovic set up a wonderful goal for Leu, who nailed the shot and scored his second of the game to tie the game with less than 3 minutes remaining. That is how the period ended, tied at 5. The game then headed to three minutes of extra time. The extra time was action-packed as both sides were bent on not heading to penalties. In the final minute of extra time, the youngest player on the pitch, Noel Ott, scored on an excellent shot to give his team the lead and eventual win. That goal proved to be the winner, the Swiss won 6-5.
The 6-5 win for Switzerland was a perfect display of Beach Soccer as they went down early, fought back, tied the match late and earned the win and a needed two points, playing in a difficult Group A. Switzerland will next play Morocco on Wednesday. Mexico will take on hosts UAE on Wednesday and look to rebound from a very hard loss.
Goals: 0-1: E. Marin, min. 9 (1); 0-2: A. Villa, min. 8 (1); 0-3: Spacca (own goal), min. 6 (1); 1-3: Spacca, min. 4 (1); 1-4: F. Cati, min. 4 (1); 2-4: Stankovic, min. 8 (2); 3-4: Leu, min. 6 (2); 3-5: E. Marin, min. 4 (2); 4-5: Borer, min. 3 (2); 5-5: Leu, min. 2 (3); 6-5: Ott, min. 1 (et).
Iran shocks Russia in penalties for 2 points
The two-time defending FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup champions and defending Euro Beach Soccer League champions began their Beach Soccer season having to stomach a very hard-fought 2(2)-(3)2 penalties loss against Iran.
The opening minutes showed why both Iran and Russia are two of the world's best Beach Soccer sides. The defenses looked stout, the attacking was acrobatic and masterful and the goalkeeping made sure that the score stayed even. The goalless affair ended with seven minutes remaining in the period as Shaykov of Russia hit a great shot into the net to give his team the one goal lead. Both sides exchanged strikes although no other goals were scored in the period.
Iran began the second leg looking very determined to tie the game but unfortunately for them, they did not score early. Similar to the first period, the physicality of the match was on full display in the middle frame. Both squads were penalized, booked, argued calls, and showed how determined they were to win this match. The Iranian Lions kept calm and maintained a solid back line despite the one goal deficit, though Iran did continue to go on the attack as well. Neither side scored in the second period and going into the final frame, the score was Russia 1-0 Iran.
The final frame started with even some even more amazing saves from both keepers, two of the best in the game right now. Midway through the period, The Persian Stars, were continually pressing and it finally paid off as Iran scored the equalizer. The goal created an urgency from both teams and the pace too a breathtaking speed though no other goals were scored and the match ended 1-1. The game went to extra time with Iran holding the momentum. Iran scored quickly in the extra frame but in the last minute Russia made sure they would not go down that easy. The match ended with two quick goals and tied 2-2 going into penalties. Iran saved the first penalty kick from Russia and that proved to be the game decider.
The 2(2)-(3)2 penalties win for Iran leaves them feeling great about their chances to win Group B and the tournament. The Iranians will play Brazil on Wednesday with two points already in their pocket. The Russian side played extremely well but will have to string some wins together to advance from the group stage. On the World Champions will play perennial powerhouse Italy.
Goals: 1-0: Shaykov, min. 7 (1); 1-1: M. Mesigar, min. 6 (3); 1-2: M. Ahmadzadeh, min. 2 (et); 2-2: Krash, min. 0 (et).
Penalties: Leonov: save; A. Naderi: score; Krash: score; M. Hasanni: score; Shishin: score; M. Ahmadzadeh: score
Brilliant Bruno Xavier knocks tough Italy out
The 5-2 win for Brazil was a hard-fought battle against a very determined Italy. The Azzurri played a complete match and went up early by two goals but Brazil's Bruno Xavier, adidas Golden Ball in the last FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, scored four unanswered goals to push his team up for good. The win for Brazil was the first of the tournament to not going into extra time. The three points point Brazil alone atop of Group B. Italy displayed great goalkeeping and even though they lost, their keeper was the best on the sand today.
A rather unseen Brazilian team made their way to Dubai, but it did not seem to slow their fast paced rhythm or fluidity. The green and yellow did not bring all their normal stars but their play in the opening minutes did not reflect any differences from their normal style. Spada, the keeper for Italy, played an amazing first few minutes, being forced to make save after save, and he was more than up to the task. It was a very rapid first period though the offenses were stifled until the final minute, when the Azzurri scored on a brilliant sweeping left-footed strike by one of their many standouts, Gori. The period ended with that being the only goal, 1-0, Italy.
Despite being down by one goal, Brazil did just as they did in the first period, controlled the ball and tempo. The Selection were in control once again but only a few minutes into the period, Gori scored another goal, his second of the match to give the Italians a two goal lead. In the same minute, Brazil used a star of their own to level things. Bruno Xavier scored two goals in the same minute, one left-footed rocket and one right-footed rocket, to equalize the score. In the middle of the frame, the verdeamarela used their keeper to score and got their first lead of the match when Cesinha bested Spada on a shot that was the length of the pitch. As the period wound down, it looked as though Gori had scored a hat-trick on a corner, but a penalty was called for pushing and the goal was disallowed. The period ended Italy 2-3 Brazil.
Early in the final frame, Bruno scored on an absolute bullet to get the first hat-trick of the tournament, and third ever Brazilian to do so in this tournament. The Selection did not rest on their laurels and pushed for more goals but the Italians did their best to stay within reach. On the other end, Italy was not afforded very many clean opportunities to score in the final period and what chances they were given, were deflected by The Green and Yellow. Bruno Xavier added a late goal to give him four on the day and secure the 5-2 Brazil win.
Brazil earns the first three points in Group B with their 5-2 win over Italy as Iran grabbed only two points due to their win in penalties. Brazil started slow but later began looking like the champions that they are. They scored five straight and won in regular time. Italy started by scoring the first two goals but they could not connect after that. Brazil will play their second match against Iran on Wednesday and Italy will take on Russia.
Goals: 1-0: Gori, min. 1 (1); 2-0: Gori, min. 9 (2); 2-1: Bruno Xavier, min. 9 (2); 2-2: Bruno Xavier, min. 9 (2); 2-3: Cesinha, min. 5 (2); 2-4: Bruno Xavier, min. 9 (3); 2-5: Bruno Xavier, min. 0 (3).
UAE uses big 2nd period to beat Morocco
The 3-2 victory for UAE over Morocco was a great start to their tournament and they displayed character in holding off an attempted rally by a talented Morocco side. The Morocco squad went down by two goals early, battled back, but in the end was unable to overcome the two goal deficit. The goalkeepers made spectacular saves on penalties, one-on-ones, and terrific strikes kept this game close throughout.
The hosts, UAE, came out very focused on getting an early goal and while their defense held, their offense was unable to get any shots in the net. Morocco took more shots early in the period but they could not get any goals either. There were missed opportunities as well, on mental mistakes such as taking too much time on a set piece, that stopped either side from scoring in the opening minutes. Halfway through the period there had not been any goals but the look was as though many goals were to come, the goalies were being asked to do more and both teams were poised to get a shot in the net. Neither side was able to get that elusive first goal, though, and the period ended with a score of 0-0.
A break in the defensive armour came two minutes into the middle frame when the Emirati struck to score the first goal of the match. The play resumed being a teeter-totter match from one end to the other. The goalies were needed more and more. Late in the period, UAE were awarded a penalty kick and the chance to double their lead, but it was brilliantly saved by Morocco. Mendes' side was given another change, on a free kick from 11 yards out with under a minute left and this time the shot got through and they did in face double their lead. It was on a goal by Hassan Ali, his second of the match. At the end of the frame the score was UAE 2-0 Morocco.
The intensity of the middle period boiled over to the last frame as two quick goals were scored. The first goal was by The Lions of the Atlas to get them within one goal. Less than a minute later, UAE restored their two goal lead with a rebound cleaned up by Ali Karim. UAE used counter-attacks to try and add to their lead while Morocco was unable to clean looks at the goal. The score remained the same heading into the final minutes. With under three minutes, Morocco found new life as UAE made a costly mistake near their own goal which allowed Brigel of Morocco to pounce on the turnover and score to make it 3-2, advantage UAE. The comeback stopped there and that is how the match would end, UAE 3-2 Morocco.
Three points and a win in their first match of tournament will help UAE in their Wednesday match against Mexico, who lost to Switzerland in extra time. The 3-2 victory was a solid opening to the campaign for the hosts. The loss for Morocco is not devastating as they will have a chance to regroup tomorrow against Switzerland, who defeated Mexico, but they will have to capitalize on every chance they get.
Goals: 1-0: Hasan Ali, min. 10 (2); 2-0: Hasan Ali, min. 0 (2); 2-1: B. Mosco, min. 10 (3); 3-1: Ali Karim, min. 10 (3); 3-2: Brigel, min. 2 (3);
SAMSUNG BEACH SOCCER INTERCONTINENTAL CUP DUBAI 2013
16:45 –Switzerland 6-5(et) Mexico (Group A)
18:00 – Russia 2(2)-2(3) Iran (Group B)
19:15 – Italy 2-5 Brazil (Group B)
20:30 – UAE 3-2 Morocco (Group A)
Games for tomorrow:
Wednesday, 20th of November, 2013
16:45 –Morocco vs. Switzerland (Group A)
18:00 – Iran vs. Brazil (Group B)
19:15 – Russia vs. Italy (Group B)
20:30 – Mexico vs. UAE (Group A)