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04 Nov 2014
Morocco, Portugal, Brazil, and Russia take first points
An opening day of thrills and goals in Dubai leaves the UAE, Iran, the USA, and Japan searching for their first win
Brazil starts fast and finishes strong to open Intercontinental Cup with win
The 10-3 win for Brazil over the United States of America was very emphatic as they wanted to stake their claim among the favourites for this event. The Brazilians scored the match's first points but then saw the USA fight back and tie matters at 2 apiece before Brazil took over and never looked back. The win gives Brazil the tournaments’ first points and puts them atop their group heading into their next match on Wednesday against Japan. The USA will regret not taking advantage of the few Brazilian mistakes but they have plenty of time to rebound and will attempt to against World Champions Russia on Wednesday.
Beach soccer is a sport where you must limit mistakes and the first one came from the Red, White, and Blue, as they scored an own-goal early in the first period. The Brazilians then went on the offensive and they capitalized on a great shot from Anderson to take the early two-nil lead. The two hit lead did not hold for long as the Stars and Stripes found their footing, with the help from Valentine and his first goal of the tournament. The US came to play and showed that when they scored the equalizer just before the midway point in the match to level things at 2. The Tetracampeão kept their cool and responded with two more goals of their own to take the 4-2 advantage into the first break. The momentum that the Yanks had built began to dissipate in the middle frame as the Canarinha added to their lead and only allowed one second period goal to the North Americans, thus maintaining a 6-3 lead going into the final period.
The final period showed that the United States had not been zapped of their energy and they demonstrated that by compiling good chances and attacks but the South Americans were just that much quicker and faster and Brazil in fact scored the first goal of the final period to balloon the lead to to 7-3. Brazil is never content with any lead and they made sure to emphasize that when they added to their lead with more late goals and when the final whistle sounded, the USA had no more answers and fell by a score of 10-3.
Goals: 0-1: Santos (o.g.), min.11 (1); 0-2: Anderson, min. 9 (1); 1-2: Valentine, min. 8 (1); 2-2: Leopoldo, min. 7 (1); 2-3: Sidney, min. 5 (1); 2-4: Fernando DDI, min. 4 (1); 2-5:Rodrigo, min. 8 (2); 2-6: Fred, min. 5 (2); 3-6: Motogalvan, min. 2 (2); 3-7: Rodrigo, min. 9 (3); 3-8: Fernando DDI, min. 4 (3); 3-9: Fred, min. 4 (3); 3-10: Daniel, min. 0 (3).
Russia keeps pace with Brazil after convincing win
The 9-3 win for Russia over Japan was as impressive as a win could be as they scored early and often, held off Japanese comeback attempts and earned three points to go along with the three also earned by Brazil, the other favourite in Group B. Russia needed only a few minutes in this match to show the world why they are the current champions of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup as well as the Euro Beach Soccer League. Japan had the pride and grit to fight back but they could not maintain against the Russian buzz saw. Russia will next face a hungry United States team, which lost earlier, on Wednesday. Japan will have another tough battle against Brazil on Wednesday.
Japan and Russia are both favourites to win this tournament and the offensive display from the Russians in the first period alone was a statement. The Japanese fought back but were not lucky enough. They had their chances but the Russians jumped out to a four goal lead before Oda got one back for the Nippon. The Russian attack was relentless as they added another goal early in the period to take their largest lead of the match, at 6-1. Japan countered with their second goal but Russia looked unstoppable following another tacked on goal. Beach soccer is never quiet and Japan again showed their grit as they got another goal back, but late in the middle frame the Japanese still trailed by four at 7-3. That is as close as the Asian side would get in the second period and the teams went into the final break with Russia up 7-3.
Scoring slowed in the final period as both sides found a rhythm on defense but that was exactly what Japan did not want, as they needed their stars to step up on the other end. Russia did continue to attack but with the four goal advantage they had put themselves in a good position just in case their shots stopped hitting the back of the net, as was the case. The World Champions' perseverance paid off as they netted the final frames’ first goal and pushed their lead back up to five goals. The World Champions added a late goal and finished the match with a very thorough 9-3 win.
Goals: 1-0: Romanov, min.8 (1); 2-0: Shishin, min. 4(1); 3-0: Krash, min. 3 (1); 4-0: Romanov, min. 3 (1); 4-1: Oda, min. 3 (1); 5-1: Peremitin, min. 3(1); 6-1: Makarov, min. 10(2); 6-2: Goto, min. 6(2); 7-2: Peremitin, min. 6(2); 7-3: Haraguchi, min. 4(2); 8-3: Shishin, min. 4(3); 9-3: Krash, min. 0(3).
Morocco survives UAE comeback attempt
The 4-3 win for Morocco over the UAE was a very evenly matched throughout. Even though it seemed like the Lions of the Atlas were going to run away with the easy victory, that is until the hosts looked at 3-0 deficit in the face and did not back down, tying the match at 3 in the third period. Morocco did not get flustered and scored a late goal to secure their victory. The win means Morocco is at the top of Group A and will use the momentum to tackle Portugal on Wednesday. The UAE will next face Iran in the final match on Wednesday evening.
Two teams, one of them being the host, were both looking for the outright win and did not want to concede anything, especially early. The match remained level until the visitors did their best to spoil the UAE’s home opener at the Cup, by scoring the first goal on a spectacular header from Nassim. That goal would prove to be the difference in the opening frame as the Moroccans took a 1-0 lead into the first break. The excitement and tension spilled over into the opening minutes of the middle frame as the Lions of the Atlas had a goal called off and the score remained 1-0 for Morocco. The slim one goal lead was quickly doubled when El Hamidy surprised the Emirati defense with a great overhead that put the score at 2-0 for the guests. The Falcons could not find their first goal and had shots just miss but Morocco stayed in control and held a 3-0 lead, after Nassim’s second goal on the day, going into the last period.
Trailing 3-0, the UAE began the final frame by scoring their first goal of the match in the opening minute and then quickly tacked on another to pull to within one goal, both scored by Haji. Possession was a key cog in determining the winner and going into the middle of the frame, neither side had a clear advantage, apart from the slim one goal Moroccan lead. That lead quickly disappeared when Hassan Ali ignited his team and the fans with a great finish to knot things at 3. Nassim would not be outdone for Morocco as he scored his third of the match to restore the tight one goal lead heading into the final minutes. Morocco’s defense and more importantly goalkeeping held strong to hang on for the 4-3 win.
Goals: 0-1: Nassim, min. 5(1); 0-2: El Hamidy, min. 10(2); 0-3: Nassim, min. 9(2); 1-3: Haji, min. 11(3); 2-3: Haji, min. 10(3); 3-3: Hassan Ali, min. 6(3); 3-4: Nassim, min. 3(3).
Portugal refuses to lose and survives scare from Iran
The 4-2 Portuguese win over Iran was an absolute thriller from whistle to whistle. Neither team could have been considered a favourite going into this match but the Portuguese scored first, which could have been expected but Iran then countered with two straight goals to take the one goal lead. Portugal bounced back with three unanswered goals to take the safe cushion to the bank. The win gives Portugal three points and a top spot in Group A with Morocco, fellow opening day winners, heading into their Wednesday showdown. Iran will look to regroup against the hosts, the UAE, on Wednesday.
A strong opening to the match was what both teams wanted, and both are champions, so they knew exactly what to do. However the thing about such high level competition is that something has to give. The two sides displayed why they are such dangerous teams as the two defenses needed to impress, which they more than did, to keep the score at 0. The Princes of Persia accumulated more chances but did not slot one home and despite the beauty and technically sound shots and sequences from Portugal, they were not able to score in the opening frame either and the period ended tied at 0. The superb action continued in the second stage as the goalies lived up to their billing as the worlds’ best. Portugal broke through first with a goal from their captain and legend, Madjer, with just over three minutes gone in the middle frame. Iran had some beautiful plays of their own and nailed home a bicycle from M. Ahmadzadeh at midfield that squared the score once again, this time at 1. Iran added another magnificent goal from M. Ahmadzadeh to go up 2-1 heading into the third and final period.
The Seleção das Quinas did not even need 20 seconds in the final period to score the equalizer on a strike from Belchior, which tied the score at 2. The Portuguese continued to play the aggressor with their offense and defense rounding into form. Madjer then did what leaders go, came up big to score the go ahead goal, restoring their first lead since the opening minutes of the second period. Portugal proceeded to pick apart the Iranian defense and scored their fourth goal of the match, giving the Europeans their biggest lead of the match, 2 goals, at 4-2. Iran still needed their keeper, P. Hossieni, to make some stunning saves to keep the game within reach. The stellar defense and goalkeeping did not make a difference as Portugal won 4-2.
Goals: 0-1: Madjer, min.8 (2); 1-1: M. Ahmadzadeh, min. 6(2); 2-1: M. Ahmadzadeh, min. 3(2); 2-2: Belchior, min. 11(3); 2-3: Madjer, min. 10(3); 2-4: P. Hossieni (o.g.), min. 7(3).
SAMSUNG BEACH SOCCER INTERCONTINENTAL CUP DUBAI 2014
16:15 - USA 3-10 Brazil (Group B)
17:30 - Russia 9-3 Japan (Group B)
18:45 - UAE vs. Morocco (Group A)
20:00 - Iran vs. Portugal (Group A)
16:15 - Portugal vs. Morocco (Group A)
17:30 – Brazil vs. Japan (Group B)
18:45 - Russia vs. USA (Group B)
20:00 - UAE vs. Iran (Group A)