UAE out to ‘create a major upset’ in Beach Soccer Cup opener against Brazil

Ahmed Rizvi previews the opening day of the Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup, with the UAE playing giants Brazil in Dubai on Tuesday.

The UAE beach soccer team celebrate a warm-up win over Russia ahead of the Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup. Photo Courtesy / UAE FA
Powered by automated translation

DUBAI // The UAE have set their sights on reaching the last four of the Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup after failing to make it beyond the group stages the past two years.

The UAE had managed to reach the semi-finals in the first three editions of the tournament, and they defeated Nigeria and Switzerland for third place in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The Emirates finished their 2014 campaign, however, without a single point after losing all three matches.

They improved on that showing last year, defeating Argentina and eventual champions Russia in their group matches, but defeat to lowly Egypt in their opening match of the tournament cost them a place in the semi-finals.

Having spent the past month preparing for the tournament, the hosts are hoping for a positive result against 2014 champions Brazil in their opening match today as victory against the South American powerhouses could be crucial to their chances of progressing from a group that also includes 2015 runners-up Tahiti as well as Poland.

“Having a team like Brazil in your group has both advantages and disadvantages,” said Gustavo Henrique, UAE’s Brazilian manager. “But I am glad we are playing them on the first day because it is always better to face a strong opponent like Brazil early in the tournament. Also, the first match is usually the toughest for most teams.

“But we are playing at home, in front of our fans and we hope we can create a major upset in our opening match.”

Henrique’s optimism stems from the UAE’s two wins in the lead up to the tournament. They edged defending Intercontinental Cup champions Russia in their first practice match and then beat Hungary in the second.

He was far from pleased with his players’ performance in the match against Hungary. “The important thing is we have finished our preparations on a winning note and that should give the team a lot of confidence heading into the tournament, especially the win over Russia,” he said.

“It will be make or break for us from the start, but I am confident this team will respond to the challenge. As a team we have set our goals and I am confident we can fulfil these goals. Our first goal is to reach the semis, and from there anything can happen.”

What: The Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup

When: November 1-5.

Schedule for the Group Stages:

November 1

16:15: Tahiti vs Poland (Group A)

17:30: UAE vs Brazil (Group A)

18:45: USA vs Iran (Group B)

20:00: Russia vs Egypt (Group B)

November 2

16:15: UAE vs Tahiti

17:30: Brazil vs Poland

18:45: Egypt vs Iran

20:00: Russia vs USA

November 3

16:15: USA vs Egypt

17:30: Poland vs UAE

18:45: Tahiti vs Brazil

20:00: Iran vs Russia

Where: Dubai Marine International Club

Tickets: Free entry for fans

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE

Like us on Facebook at