Iran beaten on penalties by Tahiti at FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
Nassau: The Islamic Republic of Iran's dreams of glory at this year's FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup came to an end on Saturday (local time) when they lost to Tahiti 3-2 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw.
The match got off to a very tentative start with both teams weighing each other's tactics up. Peyman Hosseini saved Li Raimana Li Fung Kuee's penalty in the first minute and Tearii Labaste hit the crossbar with a free-kick from distance, but other than that, not many chances were created.
The opening goal finally came midway through the second period when Ali Nazem jabbed home a shot from close range after a failed clearance by Heiarii Tavanae.
Tahiti eventually showed their experience and patience when Patrick Tepa scored with four and a half minutes left in the match. Captain Naea Bennett found Tepa with a calm cross and the midfielder timed his run before putting the chance away with confidence to send the match to extra time.
Neither side could find the decisive winner in the additional period, so the game went to penalties. It took 12 attempts to decide the winner in the shoot-out, but eventually it was Raimoana Bennett who was the day's hero as his goal sent the Tahitians to their second consecutive final.
Sources: FIFA/Getty Images