Emiratis narrowly miss out on beach soccer final

UAE lose out to Iran on penalties.
THe semi-final between the UAE and Iran was decided on penalties. Courtesy beachsoccer.com
THe semi-final between the UAE and Iran was decided on penalties. Courtesy beachsoccer.com
The UAE went down to Iran 3-1 in a penalty shootout after a 4-4 deadlock in the beach soccer semi-finals in the fourth Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Thailand, on Thursday.

They meet Vietnam in the bronze medal play-off for third while the Iran, the defending champions and bronze medallists in 2010, meet Japan in the final, both Friday.

Iran went 2-0 up through Mohammed Ahmadzadeh and Ali Naderi. Walid Mohammed and Humaid Al Balooshi were on target for the UAE while Naderi struck in-between for a 3-2 score in the next period.

The UAE rallied to level 4-4 with goals from Mohammed and Ali Karim after Farid Boulokbashi had struck for Iran early in the third period. The extra time of play ended in a deadlock, and the game was decided in a shootout.

“We tried our best,” said Karim. “We’ll have to put this result behind us and now try to win the next game against Vietnam.

“It was a close game against Iran. They are a good side and we matched them in every aspect of the game to take it to extra time. It was quite unfortunate to lose in a shootout.

“Indeed it was very depressing to come so close and then lose. The next best thing we can achieve is the bronze medal and we’ll have to give our best shot at that.”

Japan will play their first Asian Beach Games final, after running past Vietnam in the first semi-final.

Despite being one of the powerhouses in the continent, and being crowned Asian Beach Soccer kings on several occasions, Japan had never managed to get this far. Now having broken the barrier, they will be looking to dethrone Iran.


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Published: November 20, 2014 04:00 AM