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15 Mar 2019
UAE and Japan qualify for FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
Semi-final wins see UAE and Japan make it to FIFA World Cup in Paraguay as they reach final in Thailand
Having secured their place in the 2019 FIFA World Cup, UAE will face Japan on Sunday to decide who is the new Asian champion.
In sealing victories against Oman and Palestine in the semi-finals of the AFC Beach Soccer Championship, both teams had already secured their place in beach soccer’s biggest competition – the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
However, there are three Asian berths to the FIFA World Cup, which will be held later this year in Paraguay, up for grabs, and therefore the match between Oman and Palestine won’t be your average third-place play-off…
UAE 3-2 Oman
The United Arab Emirates had enjoyed victory after victory so far in the campaign, the most emphatic of which came against Malaysia in the quarter-finals, where the Emirati netted eight.
Today’s tie against Oman would be no walk in the park though. Almuntaser gave UAE an early advantage halfway through the opening period of play, by punishing a goalkeeping error.
They did their best for the remaining minutes to push the advantaged and score again, but Oman hung in there to see the period out without conceding another, and actually struck back in the second, when Nooh Al Zadjali found the net out of nowhere to level the score up.
There was an immediate reaction from UAE, as Abbas Ali cut past the defender to slot in a second. A fortunate deflection on a Jalal Al Sinani shot saw the Omanis back in the match at 2-2 but Beshr killed the game off in style, with a superb volley, sending Mohamed Almaazmi’s side to the final.
Oman still have a chance to qualify for Paraguay with victory in tomorrow’s third-place play-off.
Palestine 0-6 Japan
On the road to the semi-finals, Palestine had maintained an incredible unbeaten run, topping their group and seeing off Lebanon in the quarter-finals.
But today’s match-up against Ruy Ramos’ Samurais would be, by far, their biggest test so far…
Takuya Akaguma, after netting twice in Japan’s quarter-final tie against Iran, picked up straight where he left off, opening the score with a fantastic strike in the sixth minute of play.
Palestine did well to keep the Japanese stars from scoring again, with effective defending and some superb goalkeeping. But there was little they could do about a long-range missile of a free-kick that Ozu sent flying the length of the pitch to double the Japanese advantage, just before the first whistle.
As the second period started, Japan continued their offensive, as Oba drove a shot into the roof of the Palestine net to make it three, and when Ozu scored a second free-kick, it seemed that a place in the final was now beyond rescuing for the Palestinians.
Yamuichi joined Ozu as the tournament’s joint-top scorer, while Naoya Matsuo converted a sixth to polish off the game for Japan, who celebrated their much-deserved qualification to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
They will face UAE of Sunday, while Palestine still have a hope of joining the finalists in Paraguay, should they beat Oman on Sunday to take third place.
You don’t want to miss that!
Stay up-to-date on the results, fixtures and standings of the AFC Beach Soccer Championship on the BSWW website.
Thursday 7th March:
Lebanon 5-3 China (Group B)
Afghanistan 3-2 Malaysia *AET (Group A)
UAE 6-1 Kyrgyz Republic (Group B)
Thailand 2-5 Palestine (Group A)
Friday 8th March:
Bahrain 5-2 Qatar (Group C)
Iraq 2-5 IR Iran (Group D)
Japan 8-1 Kuwait (Group C)
Saturday 9th March:
Kyrgyz Republic 2-11 Lebanon (Group B)
Palestine 3-2 Afghanistan (Group A)
China PR 2-6 UAE (Group B)
Malaysia 5-4 Thailand (Group A)
Sunday 10th March:
Kuwait 2-5 Bahrain (Group C)
Oman 6-3 Iraq (Group D)
Qatar 1-7 Japan (Group C)
Monday 11th March:
UAE 3-2 Lebanon (Group B)
China PR 9-3 Kyrgyz Republic (Group B)
Malaysia 4-5 Palestine (Group A)
Thailand 2-0 Afghanistan (Group A)
Tuesday 12th March:
Japan 6-2 Bahrain (Group C)
Iran 3-4 Oman (Group D)
Qatar 1-8 Kuwait (Group C)
Wednesday 13th March:
Thursday 14th March:
Oman 5-3 Bahrain (Quarter-final)
Japan 3-2 IR Iran *AET (Quarter-final)
UAE 8-1 Malaysia (Quarter-final)
Palestine 4-3 Lebanon (Quarter-final)
Friday 15th March:
UAE 3-2 Oman (Semi-final)
Palestine 0-6 Japan (Semi-final)
Saturday 16th March:
Sunday 17th March:
Palestine v Oman (Third-place Play-off)
JAPAN v UAE (FINAL)