Doha: The UAE celebrated their passage to the semi-finals of the Asia qualifiers of the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup, where they were due to play Iran in Doha on Friday night, with a comprehensive 7-1 victory over Uzbekistan.
Striker Arter Yunusov got the Uzbekis off to a dream start on Katara Beach with an early goal, but they were ahead for only a minute as Hussan Ali Saeed Al Hamadi levelled matters. Al Masabbi put the UAE 2-1 ahead going into the first break, and they built on their lead in convincing fashion thereafter.
Things quickly got much worse for the Uzbekis in the second period, as the Emiratis raced to a 6-1 lead thanks to a brace from Qambar Mohammad and one each from Saeed Yousuf and Adel Ali Rahu.
Yet, despite the one-sided scoreline, the defiant Uzbeki defence worked stoically to deny several further opportunities for the UAE, and restricting them to one further goal in the third period, slotted home by Abbas Ali Daryaei.
With two goals to his name, UAE captain Qambar Mohammad expressed his hope that his team’s superb form could be maintained, saying, “The team’s momentum is really good right now and we pray the next game goes just as well.”
Australia and Japan were due to play the second semi-final on Friday night.
The two finalists and the third place play-off winner will earn qualification to represent Asia at the 2013 Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup in Papeete, Tahiti.