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06 Nov 2018
Victories for Brazil, Egypt, Russia and Iran on day one in Dubai
Day one saw all the Intercontinental Cup's previous winners claim victory
The fixtures of the opening day of the Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai 2018 promised to be a set of competitive showdowns, as four matches saw eight of the world’s best teams do battle in pursuit of one of the most sought-after trophies in beach soccer.
The day got underway with the coming together of two beach soccer titans…
Brazil v Spain
The current holders of the Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup started their title defending campaign against first-timers, Spain. But having made it all the way to the final of the European championships, La Roja were not going to be easy to brush aside…
Between them, these sides had one nominee for Best Goalkeeper of the Year, two nominees for Best Coach of the Year and all three nominees for Best Player of the Year – what a match to kick off the tournament!
Despite creating several chances, Alonso’s Spain had a job on their hands to contain the pressure of the Brazilian firepower. Still, the first period finished goalless.
However, Brazil burst on the sand with relentless energy and within a minute Bruno Xavier, one of the three nominees for the Best Player of the Year, drove home a low shot to open the scoring.
But Spain hit back, when Edu volleyed in an equaliser straight from a throw. But the level pegging was short lived as Datinha – the other Brazilian nominated for Best Player - retook the lead for Gilberto’s side. The second period held yet more twists, as the final nominee for Best Player, Llorenç, joined the others on the scoresheet, only for Brazil to go ahead once more, when Rodrigo found the net with a minute of the second period to go.
The third period began with the scores at 3-2 but it only took a few minutes for Datinha to nudge Brazil even further ahead. When Bruno Xavier also claimed a brace, the Spanish were well beaten and Brazil claim the first points of the tournament.
Spain will face their hosts tomorrow, while Brazil will try to make it two out of two against Egypt.
Goals: 1-0: Bruno Xavier, min. 11 (2); 1-1: Edu, min. 6 (2); 2-1: Datinha, min. 4 (2); 2-2: Llorenç, min. 2 (2); 3-2: Rodrigo, min. 1 (2); 4-2: Datinha, min. 8 (3); 5-2: Bruno Xavier, min. 3 (3);
UAE v Egypt
The hosts’ opening game was against Ahmed Mohamed’s Egypt. This year is the fourth consecutive year that the Egyptian selection has travelled to Dubai to compete in the competition.
But the visitors showed no courtesy to their hosts when A. Elshahat volleyed in a rocket straight from the kick off. The clock showed just one second gone and Egypt were already leading.
Despite strong attacks, the hosts just couldn’t find the back of the net and, despite both goalkeepers being called into action on several occasions, the early goal by the Egyptian number four was all that separated the teams at the first whistle.
But almost immediately after the restart, Ali found some space in the middle of the field to smash in an equaliser for the hosts. This seemed to subdue the Egyptian morale a little and the hosts increased their offensive.
The second period finished at one goal apiece with everything still to play for. But it seemed that Egypt moved into another gear as the final period drew on. First, H. Costa struck across the keeper from the right wing to take the lead once more, and a matter of minutes later, Mohamed nodded in from point blank rage to extend the advantage.
Some last-minute pressure wasn’t enough to bring the UAE back into the game and Egypt took the victory. Mohamed Abbas Al Maazmi’s men will face Alonso’s Spain tomorrow, as both teams search for their first win.
Meanwhile, someone’s winning streak will come to an end when Egypt face Brazil…
Goals: 0-1: A. Elshahat, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Ali, min. 11 (2); 1-2: H. Costa, min. 6 (3); 1-3: Mohamed, min. 4 (3);
Tahiti v Russia
Like Brazil, Russia go into the 2018 edition of the Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup in Dubai, with the objective of winning their fourth title here. But Tahiti, a team who had made it to the last two FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup final, stood in the way of their first victory…
On paper, this game would be hard to call and a match up between these two teams is always bound to be a close one. However, the bout started with Russia asserting dominance very quickly.
First, the keeper Chuzhkov (one of this year’s nominees for Goalkeeper of the Year) struck from distance to take the lead. Then Zemskov doubled the advantage and when Paporotyni poked home a third, the match was looking out of Tahitian reach.
Taiarui pulled one back for Tahiti in the first period, but when Nikonorov made it four to Russia before the whistle, the Tahitians had a three-goal gap to cut. Paporotyni and Zemskov each grabbed a brace and extended the Russian tally to six in the second period. But Tavanae scored from a set piece to reduce the difference, and then he scored again just after the restart, and suddenly the score was 3-6.
The Tahitians seemed to have found their rhythm by the final period as they slowly closed, what was at one point, a sizable gap. First the keeper Revel hit a low shot and then Lebaste flew in to knock in a header from close range and the score sat at 5-6…
With just two minutes to go Li Fung Kuee scored to make it 6-6 and the Russian fans in the stands suddenly fell silent. But then, a fumble by the Tahitian keeper saw Shkarin pounce on the opportunity to cruelly snatch away the potential of extra time from the stubborn Tahitians.
Russia take their first points of the competition, while Tahiti will play Iran tomorrow to see if they can do the same.
Goals: 0-1: Chuzhkov, min. 11 (1); 0-2: Zemskov, min. 5 (1); 0-3: Paporotyni, min. 4 (1); 1-3: Taiarui, min. 4 (1); 1-4: Nikonorov, min. 2 (1); 1-5: Paporotyni, min. 10 (2); 1-6: Zemskov, min. 5 (2); 2-6: Tavanae, min. 0 (2); 3-6: Tavanae, min. 11 (3); 3-6: Tavanae, min. 11 (3); 4-6: Revel, min. 10 (3); 5-6: Lebaste, min. 6 (3); 6-6: Li Fung Kuee, min. 2 (3); 6-7: Shkarin, min. 2 (3);
Iran v USA
The only other team to have tasted success in this prestigious competition, Iran kicked off their campaign against the USA. 2018 sees the United States compete in their fourth edition of the tournament.
It didn’t take long for the scoring to be opened when Moradi found the net. This put the US immediately on the backfoot and the lead was doubled when Akbari sent a rocket flying into the top corner of the USA goal.
Just a minute later things got worse for Francis Farberoff’s side when a sublime overhead from Ahmedzadeh found the very same corner, and Iran went into the break with a three-goal lead.
After the restart, the Iranians were straight back at it, and Kiani scored a free-kick to make it four. The USA did create some chances of their own but were ultimately unable to cope with the Iranian prowess as the second period drew on. Mesigar swung low to volley a throw from his keeper, making it five to Marco Octavio’s side. Moradi snatched a brace as Iran continued to show no mercy.
By the time the second whistle blew it was 8-0, but at the start of the third and final period Silveira dragged one back for the Stars and Stripes. Hopes of a come-back may have been slipping away but at least their opponents now wouldn’t walk away with a cleansheet as well as the victory.
The last period was generally a much stronger performance from the USA, as they managed to stem the flow of Iranian goals, and the final score was 8-1.
The United States have another tough game tomorrow when they face three-time winners Russia, and Iran will take on Tahiti.
Goals: 1-0: M. Moradi, min. 10 (1); 2-0: A. Akbari, min. 2 (1); 3-0: M. Ahmedzadeh, min. 2 (1); 4-0: M. Kiani, min. 11 (2); 5-0: M. Mesigar, min. 8 (2); 6-0: M. Moradi, min. 4 (2); 7-0: M. Masoumizadeh, min. 1 (2); 8-0: A. Mirshekari, min. 0 (2); 8-1: Silveira, min. 8 (3);
Remember that you can watch all of the games in the Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai 2018 live and free at https://beachsoccer.com/schedule.
You can also keep up with all the fixtures, results and standings right here.