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08 Nov 2019
Iran beat UAE on penalties to contend final against Spain
The final of the 2019 Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup will be fought between Spain and Iran
The defending champions of the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai are into their fourth final in the tournament where they will face Spain.
Joaquin Alonso’s men defeated last year’s finalists Russia to secure a top two finish. The Russians will face the UAE for third.
In the scuffle for finishing positions, Italy lost their third match in Dubai and will now be grateful for a seventh-place finish on the final day in Dubai.
The Azzurri will play Mexico who are still on the hunt for their opening victory in the competition after letting a four-goal lead slip against Japan.
Iran 1(4)-(3)1 UAE
With a win against the defending champions in Friday’s match, the Emirati would confirm their best ever finish in the nine-year history of the Intercontinental Cup in Dubai.
The injured Iranian Akbari, who still sat atop the scoring charts, watched on from the stands as Iran took the first goal. It came from keeper Hamid, who fired in a rocket from his own half which took a fortunate bounce to deceive his opposite number.
At the first break, the locals were trailing but they pushed in the second stage to keep the Iranians from extending their advantage, which they threatened to do on several occasions.
However, the balance began to shift as time gradually ticked by and another goal didn’t come. Bruno Malias’ side became desperate as the match entered its third and final period.
Each chance or save was cheered wildly by the crowd until, suddenly, the breakthrough came, and who else but captain Walid Mohammad to put UAE level with five minutes of the game left, taking the Persians into an added three minutes.
But that wasn’t enough to choose the victor, so the game rolled on into a penalty shootout. Ten spotkicks decided the finalist, and while UAE managed to net three, Peyman Hosseini prove the hero for Iran.
The reigning champions maintain their unbeaten penalty shootout record in the Intercontinental Cup, handing the heartbroken Emirati a play-off for third against Russia.
Goals: 1-0: Hamid, min. 3 (1); 1-1: Waleed, min. 5 (3);
PSO: 0-0: M. Shir, saved; 0-0: Ali, missed; 1-0: Mirshekari, scored; 1-1: Hesham, scored; 2-1: M. Kiani, scored; 2-2: Waleed B., scored; 3-3: Abbas., scored; 4-3: M. Masoumi., scored; 4-3: Kamal., saved;
Spain 4-2 Russia
A classic European battle kicked off in the semi-finals of the Intercontinental Cup, as last year’s finalists took on La Roja in Dubai.
Llorenç Gomes, enjoying his final day of being the world’s best player ahead of the Beach Soccer Stars on Saturday, reminded everyone why he won the award the previous year when he smashed in a beautiful overhead from the half-way line, which bounced in off the Russian post.
This moment of brilliance was all that stood between these rivals as the second period began, and midway through the second stage, David beat the defender to a loose ball to double the lead.
It took Nikonorov just moments to cancel the goal out though, as he put away a close-range one-on-one to score his third of the tournament.
A ridiculously sweet strike from Chiky retook the lead for Alonso’s men and a lucky bounce off the sand saw Javi Torres double the lead. From that point on it was all about controlling the run of play, which they did well to run down the clock and clinch a place in the final.
At least a second-place finish is a huge improvement on their debut appearance in 2018 for La Roja, where they finished sixth. Russia will play in the play-off for third.
Goals: 1-0: Llorenç, min. 2 (1); 2-0: David, min. 6 (2); 2-1: Nikonorov, min. 6 (2); 2-2: Fedorov, min. 9 (3); 3-2: Chiky, min. 9 (3); 4-2: Javi Torres, min. 7 (3);
Japan 5-4 Mexico
Japan had been a whisker away from a place in the semi-finals in their final group game against UAE, but today they found themselves in a scrap for finishing positions against a Mexico side who were yet to registered a win in Dubai.
El Tri were the first to score when Martinez found space in the box to give Mexico the lead going into the break. He completed a brace in the second period, as did Maldonado to push their advantage to four goals!
However, two blistering hits from Ozu saw the big Japanese defender cut the deficit in half before the teams returned to the sand for the final time.
The Samurai kept this incredible momentum up into the final period, as Matsuda and Oba rifled in goals to draw level. With two minutes on the clock, Matsuo completed the incredible comeback with a deflected shot, and Japan will play in tomorrow’s fifth-place play-off, guaranteeing their best ever finish in the Intercontinental Cup.
Goals: 0-1: Martinez, min. 7 (1); 0-2: Maldonado, min. 11 (2); 0-3: Maldonado, min. 11 (2); 0-4: Martinez, min. 8 (2); 1-4: Ozu, min. 5 (2); 2-4-: Ozu, min. 0 (2); 3-4-: Matsuda, min. 6 (3); 4-4-: Oba, min. 6 (3); 5-4-: Matsuo, min. 2 (3);
Egypt 4-3 Italy
A fifth-place finish was the best the Egypt or Italy couldn’t hope for in their 2019 Intercontinental Cup campaigns, but it took a long time for either side to break through the defensive lines.
The first period ended in a goalless stalemate after the frame of the goal and both keepers kept out the opposing attackers.
Taha eventually broken the deadlock in the second period from close range, but moments later Josep Jr burst into the Egyptian box to power in an equalizer. Elshahat and Mohamad restored and then doubled the lead for the North Africans with fierce strikes in the space of a minute.
Italy ramped up their attacks as the minutes ticked away, and when it was down to the final seconds, Palmacci glided into the area to poke home the Azzurri’s third, taking the score to 4-3.
Eventually, they ran out of time and as a result, Italy will face Mexico in the play-off for seventh-place. Egypt, meanwhile, will lay Japan for fifth.
Goals: 1-0: H. Taha, min. 9 (2); 1-1: Josep Jr, min. 8 (2); 2-1: Elshahat, min. 5 (2); 3-1: Mohamad, min. 4 (2); 3-2: Montani, min. 6 (3); 4-2: Abdoo, min. 5 (3); 4-3: Palmacci, min. 0 (3);
For more information, including fixtures, results and standings, go to the Beach Soccer Worldwide website.