Dubai: Brazil became the first team to assure themselves a spot in the last four with a 10-5 thrashing of Egypt, while the UAE bounced back for a 5-4 win against formidable Spain and stay alive on the second day of the Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai being played at the Kite Beach Jumeirah.
Easy 5-2 winners against Spain on the opening day, Brazil made merry against the Pharoahs for maximum points and ensure a spot in Friday’s knockout semi-finals. Following their 3-1 disappointment against Egypt on Tuesday, the UAE rebounded in style with a convincing victory against European champions Spain in the day’s second match.
The result means the hosts still remain in the hunt for the second spot for the last four stages from Group A along with Spain and Egypt, with everything depending on the last group matches on Thursday.
“We need a win against Brazil on Thursday. We take a lot of confidence from this win against Spain, but we will have to really fight hard for the three points to get into the semi-finals,” two-goal hero Ahmad Beshir told Gulf News.
“This win against Spain is huge for us, but we won’t have too much time to celebrate this as we need to focus on our next task and that is to defeat world champions Brazil,” he added.
Down to a first-minute goal from Llorenc Gomez, the UAE fought back to equalise through Hisham Muntasir to go in level at the end of the opening period. In the second, Beshir scored two quick goals and Muntasir got his brace while Ali Mohammad also found the net to make it 5-1.
Spain fought back in the third period with goals from Antonio Jose Mayor and a free-kick from Gomez to draw near. Javier Torres Molina then made his height count and the hosts were with their backs to the wall defending the narrowest of leads. But they hung on for the final two minutes.
In the earlier match, leading the Brazilian attack was stand-in hit man Igor Matheus Melo Rangel with a hat-trick, while Rodrigo Soares Da Costa got a brace and another five contributed one goal each.
Brazil did much of the hard work initially with quick goals from captain Bruno Da Silva Xavier, Rangel, Mauricio Pereira and Rafael Antonio De Jesus pushing them 4-0 clear with just nine minutes gone. Ahmad Elshahat Mohammad pulled one back for Egypt, but the multiple world champions hit back with a couple through Rangel and Da Costa for a 6-1 cushion at the end of the opening period.
The three-time defending champions took things easy in the second period and the Egyptians got goals through Moustafa Samir, Mohammad Abdel Nabi Hassan and Haitham Atef to keep the encounter alive. But that is when the Brazilians superior experience came in play as Rangel completed his hat-trick to ensure a 7-4 cushion at the end of the second period.
Brazil 10 Egypt 5
UAE 5 Spain 4
Thursday’s fixtures: Tahiti v USA 4.15pm, Egypt v Spain 5.30pm; UAE v Brazil, 6.45pm, Iran v Russia 8pm
Saturday: Final and placings