Beach Soccer-1667577449484
Emirates team during the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup 2022 at Kite Beach in Dubai. Image Credit: Courtesy: DSC

Dubai: Iran, Paraguay, UAE and Brazil entered the semi-finals of the Emirates Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai 2022 on Thursday.

Iran and Paraguay beat Japan and the USA in Group B to join the hosts and Brazil in the knockout stage. Paraguay’s Carballo currently leads the scoring with five goals.

In the semi-finals, Iran will go up against the Emirati hosts while the Copa America finalists, Brazil and Paraguay, will meet again the semi-final.

Brazil downed the hosts in tight final group match. Captain Catarino was the one to open the scoring in Brazil’s match, but a calm freekick saw the hosts equalise through Haitham before the first period ended.

Opposite number

The hosts were proving hard to break down, but Marco Octavio’s men found a way through once more in the second period, as Brazilian keeper Bobô fired past his opposite number.

At 2-1, Brazil only had a slim lead and looked nervy as the Emirati asked questions, but Mauricinho turned in a third from close range to extend the gap, and from that point on the men in blue controlled the game until the final whistle to top Group A undefeated.

Both sides will play in the semi-finals, which is only the third time that the UAE have ever reached the final four. Brazil, meanwhile, are on track to take their fourth title, but they haven’t won the Intercontinental Cup since 2017.

USA and Japan won their playoff matches on Friday to stay in the race for fifth place. Spain and Saudi Arabia will contend for the seventh spot.

Results:

Paraguay beat USA 4-3

Spain beat Saudi Arabia 4-0

Brazil beat UAE 3-1

Iran beat Japan 4-3

Play-offs:

USA beat Spain 4-3

Japan beat Saudi Arabia 10-3.