A toddler watches the semi-final match of 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Asian Qualifier between UAE and Iran at the Katara Beach in Doha yesterday. CENTRE: Action from the match between Iran and UAE. RIGHT: An UAE player attempts an overhead kick during their match against Iran.Pictures by: Salim Matramkot
Iran vs. Japan in the finals, secure their place in Tahiti
· The UAE and Australia to fight for last berth
· AC Milan’s and FC Barcelona’s training sessions open to the public
· AC Milan vs. FC Barcelona Beach Soccer Friendly - 19h00 AST
KATARA BEACH, QATAR –
Iran and Japan secured two out of the three berths to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2013 in Tahiti with close victories over the United Arab Emirates and Australia. The Emiratis and Aussies have an opportunity to land the last spot in the global showcase with a victory in a playoff for third place on Saturday evening.
Elsewhere, Qatar lost to Thailand 2-5. The Annabi will have a chance to avenge Friday’s loss in a match for 15th
place against the Philippines on Saturday at 15h15 AST.
Prior to their beach soccer friendly, AC Milan’s and FC Barcelona’s training sessions at 09h30 and 10h30 respectively on Saturday morning are open to the public.
IRAN 3-2 UAE
Iran became the first Asian side to earn a ticket to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2013 after edging the UAE 3-2 in an exciting, hard fought semi-final.
The UAE will have a second chance to seal a World Cup slot on Saturday, in the third place playoff against Australia.
AUSTRALIA 1-2 JAPAN
Japan will contest Saturday’s final with Iran, after prevailing against a determined Australia in a close-fought encounter that only caught fire in the final period.
Japan’s coach Rui Ramos always knew it would be a difficult match:
“We were not surprised by Australia’s strength because when you reach these stages of the tournament there are no easy teams. My dream is to win, thereby becoming the first manager to win three Asian continental tournaments in a row. Our hope is to win the final, but the objective of qualification has already been achieved.”
Qatar 2-5 Thailand
Although both Qatar and Thailand finished bottom of their groups, pride and rankings were at stake in Friday’s sixth match. And it was Thailand who struck first and often, storming to a 3-0 lead after two periods. They added another, two minutes into the third to make it 0-4.
Qatar finally awoke seconds later and began to mount a come back with goals from Ibrahim Al Romaihi and Hamad Al Sharqi. But, it was too little, too late for the Annabi. Thailand struck a fifth and the match ended 2-5.
Qatar now places the Philippines for 15th
place on Saturday at 15h15 AST.
Afghanistan 2-5 Bahrain
After Thursday’s narrow 6-4 loss to Australia, Afghanistan were looking to recover with a victory in their ninth place playoff match against Bahrain. But, it was the 2006 Asian Champions, Bahrain, who came out on top in the end - 5-2.
China 2-5 Palestine
Palestine eased to a comfortable win over China in today’s playoff for fifth place. Although both teams came into the game knowing that they could not advance to the semi-final, the match was played out in a competitive spirit.
Oman 1-0 Lebanon
Oman may not have been able to fulfil their dream of reaching a second FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, but they kept in the race for the fifth place with a narrow 1-0 victory over Lebanon.
One single goal by Yaqoob midway through the first leg was enough for Hilal’s side to prevail over Lebanon, for whom only 7th place is at stake now.
Friday’s Results (Local Time):
14:00 – Philippines 2-8 Uzbekistan (Play-off for 13th Place)
14:00 – Iraq 3-0 Saudi Arabia (Play-off for 9th Place)
15.15 – Afghanistan 2-5 Bahrain (Play-off for 9th Place)
15.15 – China 2-5 Palestine (Play-off for 5th Place)
16:30 – Oman 1-0 Lebanon (Play-off for 5th Place)
17:45 – Qatar 2-5 Thailand (Play-off for 13th place)
19:00 – IRAN 3-2 UAE (SEMIFINAL 1)
20:15 – AUSTRALIA 2-3 JAPAN (SEMIFINAL 2)
Saturday’s Matches (Local Time):
09:30 - AC Milan Training
10: 30 - FC Barcelona Training
14:00 – Iraq vs. Bahrain (Play-off for 9th Place)
14:00 – Uzbekistan vs. Thailand (Play-off for 13th Place) – Pitch 2
15.15 – Philippines vs. Qatar (Play-off for 15th Place)
15.15 – Lebanon vs. China (Play-off for 7th Place) – Pitch 2
16:30 – Palestine vs. Oman (Play-off for 5th Place)
17:45 – UAE vs. AUSTRALIA (3rd/4th Place)
19:00 – FC BARCELONA vs. AC MILAN
20:15 – IRAN vs. JAPAN (FINAL)