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11 Dec 2015
Semi-finals defined in the Mundialito
Barcelona vs Al Ahli and Vasco da Gama vs Fluminense will determine the finalists of this 2015 edition
Al-Ahli forges ahead for second win and semis
The 7-4 win for Al-Ahli over Levante included never relenting action, started by UAE's top club team. Levante tried to comeback, similar to what they tried to do in their first two matches, and they nearly did on each occasion, but they fell short each time. Al-Ahli knew that they needed a win to advance into the semis so their first strike gave them the energy and confidence they needed to dispatch of the vaunted Spanish clubs' defense. The victory puts Al-Ahli in the semi-finals as they will now have the opportunity to play two more games in beautiful Rio de Janeiro, the semi-final on Saturday, and then either the Final or 3rd Place match on Sunday. Levante will be saddened to leave Brazil without a win but they were extremely competitive in each match and even surprised fans and players alike.
The UAE club came out with the knowledge that Levante had displayed some of the most self-less and spirited defense, and in the opening minutes of the match that trend continued, with the score staying at 0-0 going into the heart of the period. There were not many early chances for either side, however, as the game progressed, openings came. B. Novo was able to smack home a volley off of a set piece to give Al-Ahli the 1-0 lead. Matters continued with the squads feeling each other out, until the final minutes of the frame when the Valencia club scored from a wrapping shot by Miralles to level the score at 1. Al-Ahli used that goal to spur their offense and B. Novo scored his second of the period, on a thumping strike on a direct kick that may well go down as the goal of the tournament, certainly in the discussion. That goal would prove to be the last in the frame and the game went into the second period with Al-Ahli up by a score of 2-1. The middle frame picked up even more with Madjer scoring an almost instantaneous goal on the restart, followed by a second goal for Levante, putting the score at 3-2 halfway through the match. Al-Ahli was eventually able to restore their two goal lead, taking a 3-2 lead into the final period.
Al-Ahli, laden with World Champion Portuguese players, did not want Levante to get any ideas about a comeback, so when Rodrigo scored in the opening minutes of the third frame, it was no surprise that the UAE club looked even more in control. Rodrigo came alive in the early going and he was on a rampage to score, but other than his goal in the first two minutes, his chances fell just short, or went wide. Those close calls did not deter Al-Ahli as Madjer scored the sixth goal for his team, which put the score at 6-2 going into the final minutes of the match. Madjer, the Portuguese legend was not done and he scored his third goal to push the lead to five goals. As a consolation, Salvo of Levante UD scored his second and third goals in the final minutes to bring the score to a more respectable 7-4, but they would not be enough as that is how the encounter would end.
Goals: 1-0: B. Novo, min. 7 (1); 1-1: Miralles, min. 3 (1); 2-1: B.Novo, min. 2 (1); 3-1: Madjer, min. 11 (2); 3-2: Salvo, min. 7 (2); 4-2: Haitham, min. 4 (2); 5-2: Rodrigo, min. 10 (3); 6-2: Madjer, min. 7 (3); 7-2: Majer, min. 2 (3); 7-3: Salvo, min. 2 (3); 7-4: Salvo, min. 1 (3)
FC Barcelona remains undefeated heading into semi-finals
The 8-6 victory for Barcelona over Sporting Clube de Portugal was as action-packed as could be hoped for and it was essentially a winner-take-all quarterfinal match. Barcelona started quickly but the Portuguese club climbed back to make matters close, though Barcelona closed out strong and shut the door on the Green and White Lions. Sporting was never able to take the lead despite a hat-trick for Nelito, in part because Barça's Datinha had five goals all by himself, and setting up others at the same time. The win puts FC Barcelona in first place in the group and they will be battling in the semis against the only team in the group that beat them, albeit on the opening day, Al-Ahli on Saturday. Sporting Clube de Portugal will head home without a chance to play in the elimination rounds but their style of play and matches were all exciting and great part of this edition of the Mundialito de Clubes.
Everything was on the line for both teams, as the winner knew they would go through to the semi-finals and the loser would go home. Bruno Xavier, who happens to be one of the world's best players, got the scoring started when he and Amarelle were on the same page, finishing the play with a goal. The early goal and lead did not last long as Sporting came right back on a corner kick from Goto that was headed home by Nelito, which leveled the score at 1. Barcelona was moving very well and were active, making them look much more dangerous and helping to give them the 2-1 lead. The finals minutes of the first period were just as dramatic as the opening minutes, with the sides exchanging goals, putting the score at 3-2 for Barça going into the first break. Datinha was able to continue causing problems for the Sporting defense and he was able to score his second of the day, putting the Cules up 4-2 heading into the middle of match. Barça was not satisfied with their two goal lead and the third goal from Datinha pushed the score to 5-2, but two straight goals from the Lisbon based team put the score at 5-4, before a shot from impossible distance from Datinha, gave him four for the day. Nelito wanted in on the hat-trick action and he scored his third of the day late in the period to put the score at 6-5 going into the final frame.
The Leões needed a few more goals to complete the comeback and they pressed the Catalan clubs' defense early in the final 12 minutes. That necessity did not give Sporting the first goal they needed and wanted, and it was Ozu of the Spanish club that scored first, putting the advantage back to two, at 7-5. Datinha was on top of his game in this match, almost nothing could go wrong, and he scored his fifth of the match, putting the game all but out of reach for the Portuguese side, making the score 8-5. Nelito seemed to be at the heart of everything good for Sporting and he helped set up the next goal for Sporting, finished by Duarte, making the score 8-6 going into the final minutes of the match. The score would not shift again. and FC Barcelona wound up winning 8-6.
Goals: 1-0: Bruno Xavier, min. 8 (1); 1-1: Nelito, min. 8 (1); 2-1: Datinha, min. 5 (1); 2-2: Rashed, min. 1 (1); 3-2: Nico, min. 1 (1); 4-2: Datinha, min. 8 (2); 5-2 (2); Datinha, min. 7 (2); 5-3: Ricardinho, min. 7 (2); 5-4: Nelito, min. 3 (2); 6-4: Datinha, min. 1 (2); 6-5: Nelito, min. 1 (2); 7-5: Ozu, min. 10 (3); 8-5: Datinha, min. 9 (3); 8-6: Duarte, min. 4 (3).
Lucão stays inspired to have Vasco top the group
Vasco da Gama advanced to the semifinals of the Mundialito de Clubes with perfect registers, having won all their matches so far in Barra da Tijuca, and with the sweet taste of having managed to do what their rivals could not: bend mighty Fluminense. The Gigante da Colina confirms candidacy to the club showpiece with a flawless performance in which no chance was awarded to their contenders on the sand ‘Flu’.
Most of the credit is to be given to prolific striker Lucão, who added three more goals today to confirm himself as one of the most dangerous players on the pitch in this Mundialto de Clubes. Alongside him, Igor, with two hits today, helped Vasco run past Fluminense.
After Lucão opened the score, Vasco stayed ahead for the whole first period and most of the second. Bryan equalized with a perfectly executed free kick, but as soon as third period kicked off, Vascore grasped the score control back. In just two minutes, the Gigante da Colina had things 3-1 up, but couple Lucão and Igor seemed to have had not enough, and added to that advantage with two more goals that left the score 5-1, which is how the match would end.
The two carioca sides will square off again tomorrow, this time with a bigger prize at stake: advancing to the final of this Mundialito de Clubes Beach Soccer 2015. Only time will tell who will be playing for the cup.
Goals: 1-0: Lucão, min. 6 (1); 1-1: Bryan, min. 2 (2); 2-1: Igor, min. 11 (3); 3-1: Lucão, min. 9 (3); 3-1: Lucão, min. 7 (3); 5-1: Igor, min. 6 (3)
Corinthians disarms Flamengo to snatch last points at stake
Defending champions SC Corinthians Paulista earned the last points at stake in this Mundialito de Clubes, following a wide win over Flamengo. The paulista side used an amazing third period to decide a game whose end was absolutely uncertain until the last stages, as the carioca would not give up.
It is always hard for two big champions, defending winners and runner-up of the last edition of the Mundialito, to find themselves vying for nothing less than three points. But big teams always come into the pitch knowing what they are, they pride they are always supposed to fight for, and this is what both sides did from the very beginning although the doors of the semi-finals were absolutely closed for them.
The Timão tried to get hold of the game control soon in the first period, but Casé immediately replied Be Martin’s opener. Corinthians charged again, with Alan and Be Martins having the score 3-1, but that was not enough, either. Flamengo, always combative, managed to wipe the disadvantage off, coming from 3-1 behind, as Digo’s amazing free kick was worth the 3-3 equalizer.
Before the period was over, Be Martins, with his third hit, and Anderson, with the first of his hat trick, swept Corinthians ahead once again. Flamengo tried not to lose face to the game after that, but the Timão were feeling too strong. Despite Fred pulled one back for the rubronegro, the final 0-4 run for the defending champions loudly unbalanced the final score.
Goals: 1-0: Be Martins, min. 7 (1); 1-1: Casé, min. 5 (1); 2-1: Alan, min. 5 (1); 3-1: Be Martins, min. 5 (1); 3-2: MAuricinho, min. 1 (1); 3-3: Digo, min. 4 (2); 4-3: Be Martins, min. 3 (2); 5-3: Anderson, min. 2 (2); 5-4: Fred, min. 11 (3); 6-4: Anderson, min. 10 (3); 7-4: Sidney, min. 7 (3); 8-4: Be Martins, min. 6 (3); 9-4: Anderson, min. 1 (3).
MUNDIALITO DE CLUBES BEACH SOCCER 2015
12.00 – Al-Ahli Club 7-4 Levante UD (Group B)
13.15 – FC Barcelona 8-6 Sporting Clube Portugal (Group B)
14.30 – CR Vasco da Gama 5-1 Fluminense FC (Group A)
15.45 – SC Corinthians 9-4 CR Flamengo (Group A)
09.15 – FC Barcelona vs Al Ahli Club (Semi-final)
10.30 – CR Vasco da Gama vs Fluminense FC (Semi-final)