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Rami Abdullah Al Mesaabi of UAE in action against the United States.
Rami Abdullah Al Mesaabi of UAE in action against the United States.

Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup: UAE in semi-final

Stankovic's hat-trick effort for Switzerland goes in vain as Nigeria clinch a thriller.

DUBAI // Nigeria upset the European Champions Switzerland on the second day of the Beach Soccer Samsung Intercontinental Cup yesterday with a last-gasp winner.

Abu scored the deciding goal with just 11 seconds to go for a thrilling 7-6 victory to put the African side back on course for a place in the semi-finals.

Nigeria went 2-0 up in the first period but the Swiss fought back to lead 6-5 after a hat-trick by Dejan Stankovic.

But Nigeria were not done and, after Tale had levelled the scores at 6-6, the stage was set for Abu to score and clinch three vital points.

In the second match, Russia defeated Tahiti 4-2 with the power in world champions' line-up being the deciding factor.

The Oceania champions shocked their opponents in the very first move in the game, with Naea Bennet nodding the ball in.

But their advantage lasted just two seconds as Leonov scored with a shot from the halfway line.

The world champions then piled on the pressure and scored three goals in the following five minutes to take the game away from Tahiti.

Then it was Brazil's turn and they ground out a 6-5 victory over Japan to take a clear lead at the top of group B.

In the last match of the night, the UAE beat the United States 5-3 to stay level on points with Russia at the top of the group although they trail the Europeans on goal difference.

The result means the UAE progress to the semi-finals for the second year running.

* Agency

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