UAE clinch Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup bronze after win over Russia in extra time
Iran complete title treble with victory against Spain in final at Kite Beach in Dubai
In a thrilling clash for third place, the UAE defeated Russia 2-1 in extra time to secure bronze at the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup in Dubai on Saturday.
Waleed Beshr was their hero at the Kite Beach, finding the net twice and saving one by clearing the ball from the goal line after the Russians got the ball past UAE goalkeeper Mohammed Al Jasmi.
Beshr grabbed the lead when he intercepted a pass to knock in the first midway in the opening period.
The host managed to keep the marauding Russians at bay for most of the remaining two periods.
But when it appeared they had done enough, the Russians struck through Boris Nikonorov in the dying moments to force the game into extra time.
The Russian forward’s effort from the middle of the pitch bounced in front of Al Jasmi, then touched his outstretched hands before crashing into the roof of the net.
Beshr regained the lead from a free kick that went like a bullet to the far corner of the Russian net and this time they held on for the remaining half of the three-minute extra time of play to celebrate a medal finish.
For the UAE it was also the final preparation before the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay from November 21 to December 1.
“For us, it was a fantastic outing as the final warm up competition before the World Cup,” said UAE manager Mohamed Abbas Al Maazmi.
“This is the first time in six years we reached the semi-finals. We can consider this performance as a very satisfying result.
“Every game we played was very close. We won three and lost two, both in penalty shootouts. When we consider the quality of the opponents, the guys were really outstanding throughout this competition.”
Meanwhile, Iran joined Brazil and Russia as the only teams to win the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup three times after defeating Spain 6-3 in the final on Saturday.
The defending champions took a 2-0 lead courtesy Mostafa Harchegani and Saeid Piramoun but Spain hit back to level through Llorenc Gomes and Eduard Molina for a 2-2 score at the end of the first period.
Adrian Garcia put Spain ahead but their joy was short lived as Mohammadali Mokhtari leveled and goalkeeper Hamid Behzadpour from his own area found the net at the other end to regain the lead 4-3.
Mohammad Ahmadzadeh and Mohammad Masoumizadeh were then on target in the final period to complete Iran’s march.
Updated: November 9, 2019 10:50 PM