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Cosimo SibiliaPresident of Lega Nazionale DilettantiFifteen years of beach soccer in Italy
Dick WhalenNASSC Tournament DirectorThe North American Sand Soccer Championships turn “Silver”
23 Nov 2013
Iran dethrone Russia in Dubai!
UAE completes Asian fiesta after overpowering Switzerland in the fight for 3rd of this Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup 2013
Hard training had decidedly positive impact on Russia as they found themselves in their third straight Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup final. Iran was no slouch, though. They went up one time in the first, one time in the second, and again in the third when they went up for good after a spectacular opening minute. The 4-3 win for Iran over Russia dethrones the two-time defending Intercontinental Cup champions. A spectacular calendar year for Russia ends on a slightly sour note but they constantly competed in and won almost every tournament they entered.
Iran struck first on a magnificent delivery, from one of the best keepers of the tournament, P. Hosseini, to M. Ahmadzadeh who used a flick header to get the shot past the Russian keeper. The energy was almost too much to handle as both sides were feeding off of the excited and loud fans in the jam-packed stadium. Iran maintained the one goal lead going into the middle of the first frame despite Russia having more chances on goal. That changed when another great delivery from a goalie led to the next goal, this time it was Russia, with Bukhlitskiy feeding Peremitin for the equalizer. The period came to an end with no more goals and a score of 1-1.
Excitement was non-stop in the opening minutes of the middle frame though neither team could crack the other's defense. Russia’s keeper was asked to a little more in the opening minutes and Russia was fine with that as the score stayed level going into the heart of the period. The Persian Stars made a name for themselves in this tournament for being extremely tough and physical and the second period saw that style of play take over, but Russia was ready to fight back and did not back down. The first goal of the period came in the final minutes on a direct kick by The Iranian Lions because of a costly error by Russia, the Russian keeper held the ball for too long. The two-time defending World Cup champions took advantage of an Iranian error only a minute later to tie the game again. The period ended tied, 2-2.
Just when it looked as though the game could not get any more exciting, The Iranian Lions scored on the opening kick-off of the final frame. The opening minute thrills did not stop there as Iran added another goal seconds later to take the biggest lead of the game, two goals. In a period that could only be expected of a final, both teams, predictably so, had each player flying on offense and defense to make sure they put in a complete performance. Iran was able to exemplify this two-way mentality just a little better. In the final minutes, Iran made a big mistake with an own goal that put Russia right back in the mix. Iran continued to attack and saw many more scoring chances but were unable to add to their slim one goal lead. The final minute was full of relentless action and with 15 seconds a penalty was awarded to Russia after an Iranian hand ball, but the Shishin unexpectedly kicked the penalty wide. The period ended with Iran up 4-3.
The 4-3 victory over Russia for Iran gives them their first Intercontinental Cup title and they wrestled it away from the only owners the crown has known, Russia. The Tsars, like all their matches, played surgerically precise offense and defense but the Russians were not able to avenge their penalties loss to Iran earlier in the tournament. Russia had not lost a single match at the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup until this third edition and now they have lost two, both to The Princes of Persia.
Goals: 1-0: M. Ahmadzadeh, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Peremitin, min. 4 (1); 2-1: M. Kiani, min. 2 (2); 2-2: Shishin, min. 0 (2); 3-2: M. Ahmadzadeh, min. 11 (3); 4-2: A. Naderi, min. 11 (3); 4-3: Kiani(own goal), min. 4 (3);
UAE completes amazing for 3rd
A gut-wrenching loss for Switzerland against Russia proved to have some ill effects on the Swiss psyche as they came out and scored early but collapsed late in an 8-7 loss to hosts UAE. The win gives the UAE a truly laudable third place finish. The game started slow with a defensively stout UAE giving up two goals while Switzerland made some brilliant stops to keep UAE down. UAE more than battled back and eventually did just enough on offense and defense to complete the gigantic comeback.
The first real opportunity of the match came to Switzerland but they were unable to secure the early goal, as the UAE sniffed out the danger and stopped it. The typical roles seemed to be reversed a bit as the period progressed, the UAE created more opportunities to score but the Swiss, often attacking, defended the attacks very well. No goals had been scored until over five minutes had ticked off the clock, when the youngest player in the tournament, Noel Ott, scored by beating two defenders and the goalie. Ott wanted to add to his goal total and he accomplished that task when he nailed home a shot that was from the most improbable of angles coming from a corner. The goal put the men from the Alps up by two goals. The Swiss defense held strong and did not allow a first period goal and the frame ended with a score of 2-0, Switzerland.
Switzerland looked comfortable and in control as the middle frame began and the hosts were unable to score on their limited number of chances. Tthree minutes had gone by when Kamal scored the first goal of the match for Mendes' side. Noel Ott was awarded a penalty kick under a minute later and did not miss, and thus restored his team's two goal lead. UAE slowed the pace of play in the middle frame and dug deep to keep the Swiss and specifically Stankovic from running all over their defense. Both squads played fantastic defense to end the period as no other goals were scored and going into the final period the was UAE 1-3 Switzerland.
A perfect scoring opportunity was given to Zayed’s Sons when a penalty was assessed to Ott for a hand-ball and Hassan Ali made sure he did not miss, the goal brought UAE within one. Less than a minute later the Emirati scored another to level the match at three. Stankovic, who was held without a goal for over two periods, netted his first to restore a Swiss one goal lead. That lead would not last ten seconds as UAE scored again to tie the match for the second time in the period. Stankovic knew there was work to be done if he wanted his team to win, so he turned provider and tapped a beautiful heel pass to Misev who banged the shot in. The Swiss Bomber added another goal seconds later to put the Alpine up by two goals again. The Swiss added another quick goal, making that five goals in a minute for both teams. UAE refused to let Switzerland run away with the match, though, and scored another two quick hits to get within one goal with three minutes remaining. Not seconds later did UAE take another direct kick and score to level the score at seven. With the clock ticking down to the final whistle, Ali Karium scored miraculously for his side's winner, and a historic third place in the tournament.
Goals: 0-1: Ott, min. 7 (1); 0-2: Ott, min. 5 (1); 1-2: Kamal, min. 9 (2); 1-3: Ott, min. 8 (2); 2-3: Hassan Ali, min. 10 (3); 3-3: Butti, min. 9 (3); 3-4: Stankovic, min. 9 (3); 4-4: Hassan Ali, min. 9 (3); 4-5: Misev, min. 8 (3); 4-6: Stankovic, min. 8 (3); 4-7: Borer, min. 6 (3); 5-7: Butti, min. 3 (3); 6-7: Hassan Ali, min. 3 (3); 7-7: Hassan Ali, min. 3 (3); 7-8: Ali Karim, min. 0 (3).
Brazil clinches 5th with win over Italy
The 7-5 overtime win for Brazil over Italy was bittersweet as they got the win against a tough Italian squad but it was a different feeling for them as the Verdeamarela normally play for the title on the final day of the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup. The opening two periods were owned by Brazil but the third period was dominated by Italy, when they took a two-hit lead only to give up two goals with under two minutes left to tie the game. Brazil went on to control overtime and score two goals to Italy’s 0. This year's edition, like previous years, featured the best National teams that Beach Soccer has to offer. Italy played splendid for much of the tournament though they were only able to finish in sixth place. That speaks more to the competition in the tournament than anything else.
Brazil began the match perfectly, stopping an early Italian attack and then countering with a goal of their own, less than 30 seconds after the opening whistle. Italy stabilized their defense and was able to keep Brazil from adding to their lead, however Brazil was still in control and had Italy on their heels. The Italian keeper, Carpita, was called upon early and often to keep The Azzurri close and he was very busy in stopping nearly every shot that came his way. The Italian attacks began to find their way to the Brazilian goal with weaving offensive runs, though the Europeans could not get past the South American goalie. Counter attacks are common place with Brazil and late in the opening frame The Selection doubled their lead with a wonderful shot by Eudin. The period ended with Brazil up 2-0.
The middle frame had a similar feel to the opening period with Brazil looking in control. Early in the period Italy was afforded the opportunity to cut the Brazilian lead in half on a penalty kick, but Cesinha made the save to keep his teams two goal lead. Though, less than a minute later, Italy was given a free kick from much further out than the penalty area and Palmacci connected on the difficult shot to get his side within one goal. The opening half of the game did not see Brazil concede many offensive chances for Italy but as the match advanced, Brazil was forced to make more stops and saves. Italy remained calm and played an inspired period, much different than the opening frame, though they gave up a late goal to Brazil and headed into the final break down 3-1.
Italy was not ready to give up and Palmacci scored his second goal of the match on a direct kick to get The Azzurri within one goal. The excitement in the final frame did not stop there, as Italy went on a fast break and Frainetti found himself one-on-one with the Brazilian keeper but the Italian was not able to get a quality shot on target. Italy continued to scrap and near the midway point in the period they scored the equalizer on a magical display of individual effort from Palmacci, scoring his second hat trick of the tournament. The improbable comeback became official late in the period when Italy scored on a spectacular shot that hit the top corner of the net. Less than a minute later Italy added another goal to give themselves their biggest lead of the day, two goals. Eudin of Brazil connected on a late shot of his own to keep the Brazil life-line alive and with under two minutes left, the Italians clung to a one goal lead. Brazil came back again and were in search of the regular time victory, managing the equalizer late on a direct kick. Bruno Xavier missed a last second opportunity to win the match but instead the game went into extra time.
In the additional 3 minutes, Brazil secured a victory 7-5 over Italy and earned a well-deserved fifth place finish. Brazil brought a young and different team than the Beach Soccer world is used to seeing and thus no one knew what to expect from the inexperienced side. The loss was a strange one for Italy as they looked like the lesser team, dominated, took the lead, but then gave up a late two goal lead. Brazil had chances to win the match earlier in regular time but could not put away the pesky Italian side.
Goals: 1-0: Bruno Xavier, min. 11 (1); 2-0: Eudin, min. 3 (1); 2-1: Palmacci, min. 8 (2); 3-1: Mauricinho, min. 1 (2); 3-2: Palmacci, min. 11 (3); 3-3: Palmacci, min. 7 (3); 3-4: Marinai, min. 4 (3); 3-5: Frainetti, min. 4 (3); 4-5: Eudin, min. 1 (3); 5-5: Sidney, min. 1 (3); 6-5: Mauricinho, min. 2 (et); 7-5: Bruno Xavier, min. 1 (et).
Mexico earns 7th place with win
Previous editions of the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup did not feature a 7th place match and Mexico and Morocco made sure to make the first ever seventh and eighth place game an exciting one. An early penalty kick goal by Morocco laid the groundwork for a very tightly contested match throughout. The two teams both enjoyed the lead and subsequently had to rally from behind. The 2-3 win for Mexico was a spectacular end to the tournament and despite the loss, Morocco played extremely well in all of their matches and should be very proud.
Mexico took the opening kick-off and belted a quick shot that was saved, but it was an attempt that set the tone for the early minutes of the period. Nearly three minutes into the match, Morocco withstood the Mexican attacks and were rewarded with a penalty kick, which they netted to take the early one goal lead. The early defecit did not deter El Tricolor as they maintained their offense first attitude. The North Americans were unable to score, in fact, they offered up some easy chances to The Lions of the Atlas who were unable to capitalize on those turnovers. Mexico scored their first goal of the match in the final minutes of the first period, making the score 1-1 heading into the second period.
Fortune was not on the side of La Verde early in the middle frame, as their attacking efforts were not rewarded with goals though they looked in control of the match. The two teams were using different styles of play as the North Africans took a more conservative approach, relying on their defense and goalkeeping a little more. The Moroccan keeper was asked to stop point-blank shots over and over and did exactly that to keep things level until midway through the frame. At the halfway point, Zamogilny of Mexico scored his second goal of the match to give his team the lead, though the lead only lasted 30 seconds due to a quick equalizer by Morocco. The Group A rivals defenses finished the period strong as neither side scored again and the frame ended tied at 2.
Morocco and Mexico began playing with more and more urgency early in the final period as they both wanted to win the match in regular time. Early in the period, the match was still up for grabs, with neither side conceding many penalties or turnovers and no goals. A lapse in judgement on defense for Morocco led to the first goal of the period, as the Lions of the Atlas looked distracted and allowed Cati of Mexico to sneak behind the defense and tap home a perfect cross. Mexico was not content with the one goal lead and continued to press the Morocco defense. Going into the final minutes of the match no one had scored again and the energy was at an all-time high for the game. Mexico was able to hold-off Morocco and the match ended with a score of Morocco 2-3 Mexico.
The 3-2 win for Mexico culminates an up and down tournament for La Tri but the 7th place finish is nothing to scoff at with eight of the best team all vying for wins. Morocco was not happy by any means with the emotional final match. The African side went up twice but was unable to maintain the lead and they finished the tournament in eighth place.
Goals: 1-0: Boulakouaba, min. 9 (1); 1-1: J. Zamogilny, min. 3 (1); 1-2: J. Zamogilny, min. 6 (2); 2-2: El Hadoui, min. 6 (2); 2-3: F. Cati, min. 6 (3).
SAMSUNG BEACH SOCCER INTERCONTINENTAL CUP DUBAI 2013
16:45 – Morocco 2-3 Mexico (7th Place Match)
18:00 – Brazil 7-5 (aet) Italy (5th Place Match)
19:15 – UAE 8-7 Switzerland (3rd Place Match)
20:30 – Iran 4-3 Russia (Final)
Best Goalkeeper: Andrey Bukhlitskiy (Russia)
Top Goal Scorer: Dejan Stankovic (Switzerland)
MVP: M. Ahmadzadeh (Iran)