Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Haiyang: The UAE had to settle for second place at the inaugural Asian Beach Soccer Cup after the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup qualifiers went down 2-1 on penalties to hosts China after the two sides were locked at 2-2 at the end of extra-time.
China took the lead through Wan Chao’s well-struck free-kick only from Haitham Mohammed to equalise for the Emiratis as the two sides went into the third and final period on an even keel.
Hassan Ali’s strike with two minutes remaining looked to have given the World Cup qualifiers the victory but with just 15 seconds to play before the final hooter tournament MVP and top scorer Liu Yi Si levelled the contest to send the match into extra time.
Neither side could add to their tally in the additional three minutes and in the shootout it was the hosts who held their nerve to prevail with goalkeeper Wen Ting Yuan saving Kamal Ali Sulaiman’s effort from nine meters with the score at 2-1 to China following successful strikes from Wan and Han Xue Geng either side of Saeed Yousif’s goal for the UAE.
The UAE will represent Asia at the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup alongside Iran and Japan and the Gulf side has been drawn in an extremely tough-looking Group A which features hosts Tahiti, Spain and the USA.
The 17th edition of the tournament kicks-off on September 18 and concludes ten days later.
In its mission to promote and develop the game in the continent the AFC added beach soccer to the futsal committee to create the Futsal and Beach Soccer Standing Committee.
Beach Soccer is becoming increasingly popular throughout Asia and at the FIFA Congress in Mauritius, Bahrain and India submitted their bids to host the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Photo: Beach Soccer Worldwide