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21 Nov 2013
Iran, Russia, Switzerland and UAE into semis
Two more games go to penalties as Italy and Brazil lose those heartbreakers while Mexico and Switzerland stay steady in their wins
Iran sweeps Group B on 3rd penalties win
Iran needed to defeat Italy in order to win Group B, despite winning their first two matches. Their first two wins were in penalties so the four points were not quite enough to clinch the group coming into today's match. The 7(3)-7(2) penalties victory for The Persian over Italy secured them first place in the group. Italy lost both of their first two games, too, and remains at the bottom of Group B. The Italian squad changed their lineup a bit and early on it seemed to work as they went up early and fought very hard the entire match but could not best Iran in penalties.
Two of the world's best goalkeepers were on full display in the opening minutes of the match as Spada of Italy and Hosseini of Iran were called upon to save their teams from falling down early. The Azzurri struck first on a direct kick by Palmacci to go up 1-0. Iran made the equalizer on a direct kick of their own, but the score stayed level for less than a minute when Italy nailed home a spectacular shot to go back up by 1. Only seconds past the midway point of the frame the Italians were awarded a penalty kick and they made sure to give their side the two goal lead. No lead is safe in Beach Soccer and The Iranian Lions exemplified that as they then scored two quick goals to bring the teams even again. The final minutes of the period included a red card for Italy, their player sent off, and they played a man down but their defense held steady and the period ended with a score of 3-3.
The middle frame began with the goalies taking some shots of their own as they wanted to score on their counterparts. Early in the period neither side was able to break the defensive code of their opponents. The middle frame saw Iran go away from their physical play, which had become commonplace in their opening matches, consequently, the speed of the game quickened and Italy and Iran found themselves in a delicate chess match in a tied game. The Iranians took their first lead of the match in the final minutes of the period on a rocket from their keeper to go up by one goal. That would be the only goal of the period and Iran went into the final break up 4-3.
Italy wanted nothing more than a victory in their final group stage match and the opening minutes of the final frame saw that desire as the Italians were very much on the attack. At the same time, Iran was not satisfied with the one goal lead, they put their offense in very good places to score but early in the period they could not. Italy was able to score the equalizer on a free kick from midfield that was kicked beautifully. The game would not stay tied for long as Iran scored to go up by one goal again. Nearing the middle of the frame, Italy was given a free kick near midfield, and Palmacci scored his second goal of the match. The Transalpine scored another quick goal on a long-distance strike that put them up by one goal for the first time since early in the first period. In the middle of the period, Iran had a man sent off the pitch but they somehow managed to score the equalizer while being short-handed. The Iranians restored their one goal lead late in the period off of a quick reaction to a rebound, but less than a minute later, Italy scored another equalizer. There were a flurry of shots to end the game but neither side was able to score and the game went into overtime tied at 7. In overtime both sides played nervously and did not take many chances on offense and the game went into penalties.
The 7(3)-7(2) penalties win for Iran over Italy means they finish first in Group B regardless of the outcome of the Russia and Brazil match, due to the head-to-head tiebreakers over both squads, both penalty wins. Iran will play either UAE or Switzerland, whoever finishes second in Group A, on Friday in the sem-finals..
Goals: 0-1: Palmacci, min. 7 (1); 1-1: F. Boulokbashi, min. 7 (1); 1-2: Di Tullio, min. 6 (1); 1-3: Frainetti, min. 5 (1); 2-3: M. Hassani, min. 4 (1); 3-3: F. Boulokbashi, min. 4 (1); 4-3: P. Hosseini, min. 3 (2); 4-4: Di Tullio, min. 9 (3); 5-4: M. Mesigar, min. 7 (3); 5-5: Palmacci, min. 7 (3); 5-6: Leghissa, min. 6 (3); 6-6: M. Mesigar, min. 5 (3); 7-6: M. Ahmadzadeh, min. 3 (3); 7-7: Frainetti, min. 2 (3).
Penalties: Corosiniti: score; F. Boulokbashi: score; Leghissa: miss; A. Naderi: score; Palmacci: score; M. Hassani: score.
Short-handed Mexico wins first match
A win would go a long way to boost the confidence of either team as they had both lost their two opening matches. Mexico came out strong and scored first and then used a two goal second to hold off Morocco and take 3rd place in Group A. The soggy pitch provided even more exciting and unpredictable action as Mexico earned their first three points in a 5-2 win over a very determined Morocco side.
Mexico and Morocco both came out of the gates active and looking for a quick goal and momentum, though neither side conceded those until there were five minutes left in the opening frame. La Tricolor scored on a wonderful half-volley and half-overhead strike from far out to give them the coveted lead in their final match in the group stage. The final minutes of the period saw some of the most spectacular saves of the day from both goalies, which are relatively common in Beach Soccer. Estrada of Mexico withstood some very late and very threatening chances to keep his side up 1-0 going into the first break.
Rain began falling for portions of the match and the speed slowed but the action did not as La Verde and The Lions of the Atlas battled to score goals. The Azteca added to their one goal lead in the middle of the second frame as Villa knocked in his second goal of the match. As is the case in many Beach Soccer goals, there was a bit of bad luck for Morocco on the second Mexican goal as the ball took an awkward bounce before it went by the keeper. Late in the period there was a great display of personal feints and ball control as Lopez scored, almost all by himself, to put his team up by three goals. Not a minute later, Morocco made something out of nothing and scored their first hit of the match to get within two goals. The action-filled frame ended with a score of Morocco 1-3 Mexico.
To make things easier for themselves, Mexico scored early in the final frame on a goal by Plata. The goal put Mexico’s lead back to three goals. In the middle of the period, Morocco struck again to get within two goals and it was in part due to exhaustion from the Mexican side. Mexico were without four of their players from bookings in previous matches and thus had a limited rotation and bench throughout the period. Going into the final minutes Mexico maintained their two goal lead and were even attacking, looking to add to the score so that they could be 100% sure of a win. Earlier in the tournament, Mexico, had taken a three goal against Switzerland but ended up losing the game. That was not the case against Morocco as the final frame ended without any more goals and Mexico won 4-2.
The three points in the 5-2 win over Morocco gives Mexico their first points and win of the tournament and now they have some much needed confidence going into their next match when they will be playing for 5th place. The loss for Morocco was very disappointing as they were close to winning every single match, playing very tough against UAE and Switzerland as well. Morocco will be playing for 7th place on Saturday against the 4th place finisher in Group B, Italy.
Goals: 0-1: A. Villa, min. 5 (1); 0-2: A. Villa, min. 7 (2); 0-3: H. Lopez, min. 3 (2); 1-3: El Hamidy, min. 3 (2); 1-4: M. Plata, min. 10 (3); 2-4: Brigel, min. 5 (3); 2-5: H. Lopez, min. 0 (3).
Russia gives up lead but wins on penalties
Two champions but only one could advance to the semi-finals. Russia and Brazil both had one win and one loss coming into the final group stage match. The winner would finish the group stage in second place and the loser would play Mexico in the match for 5th place. The Russians began by scoring almost as quick as is possible and it had just enough firepower to withstand the comeback but win in penalties.
Russia began the opening period with a goal that came within the first 5 seconds. The goal did not put Brazil on their heels, though, as the Tetracampeão did not look shell-shocked and stayed on the attack in the opening minutes. The Russian keeper, Bukhlitskiy, needed to be on his best form to keep his side up and he was exactly that throughout the first half of the frame. The team defense from both sides kept the strikers from scoring as often as they'd like to or are used to, and when a penalty was called on Russia late in the period, even Brazil, known for their deadly accuracy, was unable to capitalize on the very close direct kick. Neither country scored another goal in the period and the opening frame ended with Russia up by one goal.
The second period began with some brilliant passing and teamwork on the offensive end but Russia found a way to score early when Shishin doubled the Russian lead with a strong right-footed strike. The Brazilian side could not be held off the score sheet for long and their star, Bruno Xavier connected on a direct kick from a long distance out to bring his side within one goal. It was very evident that both teams wanted nothing more than to win and that they were both champions in part because they both seemed to make chances from nothing, but those chances did not turn immediately into goals. Going into the final minutes of the middle frame, Russia struck again and Shishin scored his second of the match and put his team up by two goals. The second period finished with a score of Brazil 1-3 Russia.
Brazil opened the final period by taking more and more shots on target, but the Russians were up to the task and stopped all the dangerous attempts on goal, but with the likes of Bruno Xavier on the opposing side that didn't last long. The Brazilians scored two minutes into the period to make the final period even more interesting with only one goal separating the two teams. Still early in the period Russia scored again to restore their two goal lead and give them a little breathing room. Datinha of Brazil came right back and squeezed a shot through two Russian defenders and past the goalkeeper to get his side back within one goal, once again. Midway through the period Brazil added another long-distance goal and tied the game, creating unparalleled excitement in the final six minutes. In the final minutes Russia scored on a rifle of shot to give his team the one goal lead again and put all the pressure back on Brazil. Brazil did not back down and in the final seconds they were awarded a penalty kick, their star, Bruno Xavier nailed home the kick with less than 16 seconds left. That was the last goal of the match and it went into extra time. Brazil scored quickly in overtime to give themselves their first lead of the match but in the last minute, Russia scored on a direct kick from just outside the penalty area to even the score and send the game into penalties.
Russia earns second place in the group after earning two points in a thrilling 6(1)-6(3) penalties win and will face the loser of the UAE and Switzerland match. Regardless, their next match will be tomorrow. Russia could not stop a valiant comeback but was able to finish the game strong after a back and forth overtime then a dramatic shoot-out. Brazil will play Mexico, 3rd place finishers in Group A, on Saturday for 5th place.
Goals: 0-1: Shkarin, min. 11 (1); 0-2: Shishin, min. 8 (2); 1-2: Bruno Xavier, min. 8 (2); 1-3: Shishin, min. 2 (2); 2-3: Bruno Xavier, min. 10 (3); 2-4: Makarov, min. 8 (3); 3-4: Datinha, min. 7 (3); 4-4: Buru, min. 6 (3); 4-5: Peremitin, min. 1 (3); 5-5: Bruno Xavier, min. 0 (3); 6-5: Datinha, min. 2 (et); 6-6: Makarov, min. 0 (et).
Penalties: Shishin: score; Catarino: miss; Krash: score; Mauricinho: score; Peremitin: score
Switzerland earns 1st in Group A
The final two teams had already been decided in Group A, Switzerland and UAE. First and second place were still unknown heading into the final group stage match of the tournament. The Swiss went down early, in fact, found themselves losing before 4 seconds had passed but they dominated the first period and rode that energy to a 5-3 victory. UAE began the match how they wanted but could not sustain the momentum though they will still be competing in the semi-finals tomorrow.
UAE opened things up by scoring a record-tying quick goal, only three seconds into the match Hassan Ali nailed home a shot to put The Whites up very early. The Swiss Bomber, Stankovic, did not take long to answer with a goal of his own and he leveled the game at 1 goal apiece. A minute later the Alpine added another goal to give themselves their first lead of the day. Some seconds later, Noel Ott scored a header on a beautiful cross from a corner kick to put the Swiss up by two goals early in the opening frame. The early outpouring of goals slowed as the defenses settled down. Stankovic added another goal late in the period and then with, ten seconds left, UAE made things more interesting by getting another of their own, making the score UAE 2-4 Switzerland at the end of the period.
No early goals were scored in the middle frame but there was a distinct feeling that either side would strike at any moment. Despite defensive stops in the opening period, the goalkeepers were not asked to do as much but the defensive weapons were making more and more saves as well as taking some shots in the middle frame, and they both kept the score the same. Schirinzi's and Mendes' side both limited their turnovers in the period and wanted to make sure they did not give up an easy goal off a silly mistake. No mistakes came and the period finished with Switzerland up 4-2.
The UAE scored early in the final frame to bring themselves back into the match and within one goal of Switzerland. Understandably, there was a distinct sense of urgency from UAE but they were not able to score again before the Swiss. In turn, the Alpine hit once again, restoring the two goal advantage. Both sides played more aggressive in the final minutes and there were more errors, but the mistakes significance were downplayed as neither squad could take full advantage. Going into the final minute, not other goals were netted and in fact the game would end with the two goals being the only ones scored as the game ended, UAE 3-5 Switzerland.
Switzerland finished the group stage exactly how they planned, with a win, three more points, and first in Group A after a 5-3 win over hosts, UAE. Switzerland will be playing in a semi-final tomorrow against the second place finisher in Group B, Russia. UAE will face fellow middle-eastern nation, Iran, as they finished first in Group B, in the other semi-final to take place on Friday.
Goals: 1-0: Hassan Ali, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Stakovic, min. 9 (1); 1-2: Meier, min. 8 (1); 1-3: Ott, min. 7 (1); 1-4: Stankovic, min. 1 (1); 2-4: Basheer, min. 0 (1); 3-4: Kamal, min. 11 (3); 3-5: Mo, min. 7 (3);
SAMSUNG BEACH SOCCER INTERCONTINENTAL CUP DUBAI 2013
16:45 –Iran 7(3)-7(2) Italy (Group B)
18:00 – Morocco 2-5 Mexico (Group A)
19:15 – Brazil 6(2)-6(3)Russia (Group B)
20:30 – UAE 3-5 Switzerland (Group A)
Games for tomorrow:
Friday 22nd of November, 2013
16:45 - Brazil vs Morocco (play-off for 5th place)
18:00 - Mexico vs Italy (play-off for 5th place)
19:15 - Iran vs UAE (semifinal 1)
20:30 - Switzerland vs Russia (semifinal 2)