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23 Apr 2015
Semi-finals are set and drama awaits
Argentina upsets Brazil, their fellow semi-finalists, to go along with Paraguay, and Ecuador, as semi-finals begin on Saturday
Peru stifles Uruguay for big win
The 8-4 win for Peru over Uruguay was a soid performance from start to finish as they knew the circumstances and they played with the intelligence and heart that is needed to play in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. The Peruvians started by scoring the first goal and then they began filing on the scores as they built a big lead and held on for the victory. The win means that Peru won 2 of their group matches and finished with six points and third place in the group as they lost out to Argentina in the standings. The loss eliminates Uruguay from playing in the semi-finals, which is a heartbreaker, but they will have the chance to rebound in the consolation semis, and improve their world ranking, beginning on Friday.
The two teams needed a win if they hoped to make it to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Portugal 2015 and the early intensity showed that they both understood that fact. Los Incas had just a little more energy in the opening minutes as they slotted home a nifty shot, off of a rebound, to take the 1-0 lead. Los Charruas’ best chance at an early goal came in the form of a direct kick just outside the penalty area, merely minutes after Castro scored the second of the period for Peru. The Uruguayans found their first goal late in the frame, on a great low strike from Marcelo, to put the score at 2-1 for the Peruvians going into the first break. The Incans began the second period tying to stop their back line from splintering as the Celeste were in full attack mode. The attacks did not bear any fruit on the form of goals and in fact it created to perfect chances for Peru, as they scored twice in the same minute to balloon their lead to 4-1 going into the final minutes of the period. Peru maintained a stranglehold on proceedings and kept the 4-1 lead going into the final period.
The final frame was the emotional of all of them as Peru wanted to hold off their opponents and push their way towards victory. Uruguay was searching for their scoring touch and needed to find it fast, as they faced a big deficit going into the all decisive period. The Peruvians scored first in the frame, to put a real scare into Uruguay, as the realization that they could miss out on the semi-finals and the World Cup. The Uruguayans changed their tactics, switching to a more aggressive and attacking goalkeeper, but for every goal they scored, Peru had an answer and going into the final minutes, the game was being played at a faster pace than before. Peru had made enough space for themselves and finished the match up by four goals, at 8-4.
Goals: 0-1: Velezmoro, min. 9 (1); 0-2: Castro, min. 5 (1); 1-2: Marcelo, min. 1 (1); 1-3: Zagaceta, min. 7 (2); 1-4: Castro, min. 7 (2); 1-5: Vidal, min. 7 (3); 2-5: Pampero, min. 5 (3); 2-6: Moscoso, min. 4 (3); 3-6: Gonzalo, min. 3 (3); 3-7: Castro, min. 1 (3); 4-7: Pampero, min. 1 (3); 4-8: Vidal, min. 0 (3).
Chile cruises to third place in group
The 6-3 triumph for Chile over Colombia was convincing in the end, though it did not start that way, with the Chileans making mistakes on the defensive and allowing to Los Cafeteros to stay close. The second period proved to be the undoing for the Coffee Growers as The Reds stormed ahead to seal the Colombians’ fate at fourth in the group and launching Chile into third. The win gives Chile six points, but a minimum of nine was needed to advance in the very tough group. Colombia did win an overtime match in the group stage and finished fourth with two points. Both sides will play on Friday on the consolation semi-fianls.
Chile and Colombia did not have the semi-finals to play for but they had their pride, standings in their group for the consolation semis and also for the Overall World Rankings. Chile was unable to keep Colombia off the board for very long, as they scored an own goal in the first period, before scoring the equalizer in the final minute of play in the opening period. The period would come to an end with the same score, 1-1. La Rojo continued their push and rattled off more goals in the middle frame, taking a commanding 5-1 lead and showing no signs of a letdown from their crushing last second loss to Ecuador on Wednesday. The Chileans did not want to take their foot of the gas and continued to control possession, however Colombia scored the first goal of their own, after the first was an own-goal, to put the score at 5-2 going into the final break.
Colombia were not going to quit because they saw a big deficit and instead they took it as a challenge and began the final frame with belief in their system and attacking ability. The faith paid off as they score the first in the frame to get back to within two goals, for the first time since early in the middle frame. Chile did not looked finished or satisfied, however they were unable to get past the Colombian defense heading into the final minutes of the match. That big second period proved to be enough to propel La Roja to victory as they held on for the unsurprisingly close 6-3 victory.
Goals: 0-1: Argote (o.g.), min. 5 (1); 1-1: Estay, min. 0 (1); 2-1: Belaunde, min. 11 (2); 3-1:Belaunde, min. 10 (2); 4-1: Echeverria, min. 6 (2); 5-1: Echeverria, min. 1 (2); 5-2: Marcos P., min. 0 (2); 5-3: Ortega, min. 7 (3); 6-3: Valenzuela, min. 2 (3).
Argentina takes out bitter rivals to advance to semis
The 7-5 win for Argentina over Brazil was nerve-racking for everyone involved, as no lead was safe and both sides were scoring timely goals, almost at will. The energy felt like both Selections were only waiting for a more dramatic filled moment to score, only to nudge the best out of the opponent. The Argentine squad scored first but Brazil bounced back, took the lead, gave it up, then saw Argentina come on strong late and secure the win. The win gives Argentina three wins in four group matches and puts them in second place in Group B. They will play the winner of Group A on Saturday in the semis. The loss for Brazil was a shocker to some but they still finish first in the group and will play on Saturday in the semi-finals as well.
Argentina had everything in front of them and they knew what they had to do. Win in regular time and advance. Any other outcome would leave them out of the semis and the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Portugal 2015 in July. The motivation was there and the results came early as the Argentine side scored an early goal to take the 1-0lead, but the lead lasted less than three minutes as the Brazilians answered with their first, putting the score at 1-1 going into the final minutes of the period. The Canarinho did not stop there as they hit pay dirt again, to take a 2-0 lead into the first break. La Albiceleste were trying to dispossess Brazil every chance they could, but the Brazilians did well to maintain control and command the tempo going into the heart of the period. Just past the midway point in the period, Los Gauchos find the equalizer, on a direct kick from Leguizamon that bounced up past the Brazilian keeper to put the score at 2 apiece. The Argentineans hoped to take the lead again or at least going into the final period tied, however the Tetra Campeones said otherwise, scoring in the last minute to take the 3-2 lead going into the last 12 minutes.
Argentina needed to do things the hard way as they could not settle for a win outside of regular and they thrived on that pressure, particularly in this match as they transformed their one goal deficit into a one goal advantage, in under a minute to open the final frame. The Verde-Amarela did not panic at the sight of a measly one goal difference and they kept their cool and were still looking like the dominant team, though the Cowboys were the next to strike, creating the biggest lead of the match for either team, at two goals, 5-3. Rodrigo of Brazil had a personal reply to Argentina, we will not go easily into the night, as he scored his third goal of the match, inching the Brazilians closer at 5-4. The comeback was nearly complete when Brazil scored with just over two minutes left, on a rebound from Mauricinho, to level things at 5-5. Not to be upstaged, Sirico scored on a bicycle kick that was set up by beautiful passing in the final 30 seconds of play to put the score at 6-5 for Argentina. Argentina would add an insurance goal from Hilaire S, to finish the match up 7-5.
Goals: 1-0: Medero, min. 10 (1); 1-1: Rodrigo, min. 8 (1); 1-2: Rodrigo, min. 5 (1); 2-2: Leguizamon, min. 5 (2); 2-3: Datinha, min. 0 (2); 3-3: Medero, min. 11 (3); 4-3: Costas, min. 11 (3); 5-3: Leguizamon, min. 7 (3); 5-4: Rodrigo, min. 6 (3); 5-5: Mauricinho, min. 2 (3); 6-5: Sirico, min. 0 (3); 7-5: Hilaire S., min. 0 (3).
Paraguay takes 1st in group with lopsided victory
The 9-2 win for Paraguay over Ecuador was either a potential Finals preview or a potential 3rd Place Match, which would have the final FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Portugal 2015 – CONMEBOL Qualifier spot on the line. Paraguay got off the mark first, but Ecuador made sure to let the guests know that they were not going away. After that, it was all Paraguay and they ran away with the big victory. The victory was a big one for Paraguay as they finished the group stage undefeated and first in the group. Paraguay will play Argentina in the semi-finals on Saturday. Ecuador still qualified for the knock-out round, but the loss puts them in second place in Group A and they will face Brazil on Saturday.
The crowd has been such a factor for the Ecuadorian Selection and Paraguay knew that, and they wanted to net the first goal to level the playing field. They did just that, in the opening minute to take the 1-0 lead. The hosts were not very welcoming as they came back and scored to re-energize the crowd and put the score at 1-1. The Albirroja scored a second time in the frame, on a shot from E. Barreto, to take a 2-1 lead into the first break. The second 12 minutes began like the opening frame with Paraguay scoring first and then Ecuador fighting to get back into the match, even though they were only down by a score of 3-1. Ecuador threw shot after shot on goal, but the kicks were not falling and the score remained 3-1 for the Paraguayans going into the final minutes of the period. Paraguay was forced to stay on the defensive, party because Los Amarillos were attacking and part because they were confident in their defense and satisfied with the lead. When the buzzer sounded the end of the period, Paraguay still held onto the 3-1 lead.
The Yellows needed a big period on offense and on defense, but the opening minutes did not go their way as the Paraguayans scored twice in the opeing minutes to push the slim two goal lead into a big 5-1 lead. Paraguay was finding their rhythm as the perfect moment and added another early period goal, to take the lead to 6-1. Ecuador was not disappointing on offense, as they stayed on Paraguay’s half for much of the period, but the disappointing thing was the score, as the goals were not immediately falling. Ecuador knew they were already qualified but the third goal from M. Benitez, all in the final frame, showed Ecuador what they need to do to advance even further in the qualifier. When the final whistle sounded, the Ecuadorians had found their second goal but it was not enough as Paraguay finished up 9-2.
Goals: 0-1: P. Moran, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Bailon, min. 8 (1); 1-2: E. Barreto, min. 8 (1); 1-3: A. Rolon, min. 8 (2); 1-4: A. Rolon, min. 9 (3); 1-5: P. Moran, min. 9 (3); 1-6: J. Lopez, min. 8 (3); 1-7: M. Benitez, min. 3 (3); 2-7: Gallegos, min. 3 (3); 2-8: M. Benitez, min. 3 (3); 2-9: M. Benitez, min. 2 (3).
FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP 2015 – CONMEBOL QUALIFIER MANTA (ECUADOR)
13:00 – Uruguay 4-8 Peru (Group B)
14:15 – Chile 6-3 Colombia (Group A)
15:30 – Argentina 7-5 Brazil (Group B)
16:45 – Ecuador 2-9 Paraguay (Group A)
14:15 – Bolivia vs Venezuela (9th Place Match)
15:30 – Colombia vs Peru (Play-off for 5th Place)
16:45 – Chile vs Uruguay (Play-off for 5th Place)