DUBAI // Japan defeated Bahrain 4-2 last night to win the final of the Asian qualifiers for the 2009 Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup. With the scores level at 2-2 in the third period after Aldoseri Hussain's conversion from the spot, Shusei Yamauchi put Japan ahead with a neat flick into the far corner. Masakiyo Maezono then doubled their lead three minutes from time. The win puts Japan in Group B for the World Cup alongside Spain, Ivory Coast and El Salvador in Group B. Bahrain will join Brazil, Nigeria and Switzerland in Group D.
"Before the game, I told my team that we had two ways going into the World Cup," said Bahrain coach Gustavo Silva. "We could do it the easy way by winning the match and getting into the easier group, or we could do it the hard way by losing the match and getting into the tougher group. "Unfortunately, we could not do it the easy way. Now we just have to forget about this and focus on the first game against Switzerland. We reached the quarter-finals in 2006 and we can do it again."
In the earlier match for third place, Oman defeated Iran to return home with the bronze medal. The Asian Beach Games champions prevailed 2-1 in the penalty shoot-out after finishing extra-time at 1-1. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org