Switzerland and Russia set to make beach soccer semi-finals

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Old 24-Nov-2011
Switzerland and Russia set to make beach soccer semi-finals

UNP ImageDubai: Reigning world champions Russia and Switzerland nearly secured their places in the semi-finals of the 2011 Fifa Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup at The Walk JBR last night.

Russia followed up their 8-1 thrashing of Nigeria on the opening day with a clinical 7-4 dismantling of bottom-placed Tahiti to record their second win in Group A. Switzerland had earlier weathered off Oman 8-2 in Group B to become the first team to make the last four stage.

The UAE, who secured a 6-2 win against Tahiti in their opener late on Tuesday, were scheduled to play Nigeria later last night, and a win against the African champions could see the hosts make the semi-finals from Group A. Multiple world champions Brazil was the second team in the running for a semi-final spot from Group B.

On the final day of the preliminary matches this evening, Switzerland have to play star-studded Brazil and the hosts have to face Russia to decide group placings.

The eight-team competition that pits champions from all continents joining World Cup winners and the hosts is being held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman, Dubai Sports Council (DSC).


Oman, who were surprising 1-0 leaders against Brazil before losing 5-2 on Tuesday, once again showed true potential against the Europeans as they went in the lead through Khalid Al Rajhi. But they could not sustain the pressure of the Swiss attacks as Dejan Stankovic the best player and winner of the Golden Boot at the 2009 Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup in Dubai equalised and then completed his hat-trick to quell the Omani challenge.

Russia, who dethroned Brazil as world champions in Ravenna, Italy in September this year, showed why they are a force to be reckoned with as they secured an entertaining 7-4 victory against Tahiti. The Russians led 3-2 at the end of the first period with goals from Egor Shaykov, Dmitriy Shishin and Anton Shkarin, only to see Tahiti pull back two through Teaonui Tehau and skipper Naea Bennett. But Russia pumped in four with no answer in the second period to make it 7-2.

However, the world champions relaxed in the third period and this gave the southern Pacific Ocean islanders a chance to pull back two goals in quick succession.

Old 24-Nov-2011
Saini Sa'aB
Re: Switzerland and Russia set to make beach soccer semi-fin

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