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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Imperious Brazil add Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup to growing list of honours

Iran finish third after seeing off Russia; hosts UAE beat Egypt to finish fifth

Brazil, in yellow, beat Portugal 2-0 in the final of the Beach Soccer Cup 2017 in Dubai. Courtesy Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup
Brazil, in yellow, beat Portugal 2-0 in the final of the Beach Soccer Cup 2017 in Dubai. Courtesy Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup

Brazil lived up to their top billing to emerge winners of the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup after a 2-0 win over Portugal in the final at the Marasi Business Bay in Dubai on Saturday.

Rafael Borkina fired the opening goal after being set up by Lucao and Felipe doubled the lead, both in the second period, to stretch Brazil’s winning run to 47 matches.

Gilberto Costa, the Brazil manager, credited his players for an outstanding tournament.

“We arrived with a record to maintain and the boys played incredibly well to keep that record intact,” he said.

“There was a lot of pressure on us because as a team we have won every competition we played in the last two years. The Intercontinental Cup was a strong competition and winning it was another feather in the cap for this side.”

Brazil, who were crowned the Fifa World Beach Soccer champions in the Bahamas in May, were meeting Portugal for the second time in Dubai having already defeated them 4-1 in the group stage last week.

“This was the game that really mattered at the end,” Gilberto said. “All other results in this competition would have counted for nothing had we not won tonight. And fortunately we did.”

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Iran took third place after a 4-2 win over Russia in the preceding game.

Russia were in front following Boris Nikonorov’s finish at the far post after neat build-up work from Yury Krashenninikov and Artur Paporotnyi.

Hamid Behzadpour, the Iran goalkeeper, cancelled the lead when his shot bobbled awkwardly to deceive Maksim Chuzhkov.

Mohamad Ahmadzadeh put Iran ahead and Moradi provided them a two-goal cushion going into the final seven minutes.

Kirill Romanov reduced that advantage but Mostafa found the net from a free-kick to complete the win over and for the European champions to finish outside the top three for the first time in the competition’s history.

Ali Karim’s teammates react after his winner for the UAE against Egypt. Courtesy Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup
Ali Karim’s teammates react after his winner for the UAE against Egypt. Courtesy Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup

A late strike from Ali Karim powered the UAE to victory over Egypt 2-1 in the play-off for fifth.

It was sweet revenge for the hosts, who were beaten 4-3 when the two teams met in the group stage.

Abbas Daryaei broke the deadlock for the hosts with an inch-perfect set-piece into the far corner past Sabah Abdelaziz.

Egypt got back on level terms when Shika stole in and made the most of a loose ball at the back to equalise with an exquisite lob in to the far corner.

However, Ali Karim’s precise free kick with a minute left on the clock proved the key moment in a tightly contested match as the hosts ensured a creditable fifth-place finish.

Paraguay finished seventh in the eight-team tournament after beating Mexico 3-0..