Dubai: Al Ahli, Al Wasl, Al Nasr and Ajman all advanced to the semi-finals of the 2013 UAE Beach Soccer League, which is scheduled to conclude at Al Mamzar Beach Park next month.
In last weekend’s final qualifying matches, Al Ahli beat Al Shabab 5-4, Al Wasl squeezed past Ittihad Kalba 3-2 and Al Nasr hammered Fujairah 7-3 to confirm their spots in the knock-out stages of the competition.
Al Ahli will meet Al Wasl while Al Nasr will clash with Ajman in the semi-finals to be at the Al Mamzar Beach Park pitch next Saturday.
Al Ahli, for whom Portuguese striker Madjer scored a brace, stayed top of Group A after a 5-4 win over Al Shabab, while Ajman went second following their 5-0 win over bottom-placed Dibba Al Hisn.
In the final round of Group B matches, Al Wasl dug deep for a 3-2 win over Ittihad Kalba, while Al Nasr remained leaders of the group after a 7-3 hammering of Fujairah Club.
In addition to Madjer’s brace for Al Ahli, his national teammate Nuno Miguel, Ahmad Hassan and Mohammad Salem were also on target.
Al Ahli led 2-0 at the end of the first period and made it 4-0 in the second half, only to see Al Shabab come back strongly with goals from Abdullah Abbas, Eisa Abbas and Brazilian striker Pablo. Iranian striker Rustum Ali equalised with six minutes remaining in the third period, before Madjer scored the winner with just two minutes left.
Al Wasl, meanwhile, looked to be coasting to an easy win after Saeed Yousuf and Butti Abdul Hussain netted in the second period. But Mohammad Abdullah and Tareq Ahmad restored parity for Ittihad Kalba.
In the final period, Saeed Yousuf got his name on the scoresheet and that proved to be the match-winner for the club from Al Zabeel.
Al Nasr were on fire against Fujairah Club, with their Iranian star Ahmad Jaddah firing a hat-trick and Lebanese striker Haitham Al Fattal grabbing a brace, Adil Ali Al Rahi and Hussain Ahmed adding their names to the scoresheet. Mousa Ebrahim scored all three for the visitors, but that was not enough for them to advance to the next stage of the competition.
The semi-finals will be played on March 2 followed by the final and third-place play-off the following Saturday.
Eight teams are taking part in the 2013 UAE Beach Soccer League, which is organised by Dubai Sports Council under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council.