Saturday 23 November 2019, 17:34

Japan and Switzerland advance, Uruguay spring surprise

  • Japanese and Swiss claim wins to book quarter-final berths

  • Uruguay upset Italy to go top of Group B

  • Paraguay and USA are first to exit tournament

REVIEW OF THE DAY – Japan and Switzerland became the first teams to secure spots in the quarter-finals of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019, after respectively defeating the USA and the host nation in two exciting clashes that effectively decided Group A.

Uruguay, meanwhile, produced the first major surprise of the tournament, beating a formidable Italy side in another high-octane encounter. Consequently, Los Charrúas move into pole position in Group B with six points out of six, but they still have a little bit of work to do to ensure themselves of a place in the last eight.

In the same section, Tahiti bounced back from their opening-day defeat and preserved their chances of advancing by overcoming Mexico, whose destiny is no longer in their own hands.

Group A USA 3-4 Japan 🎥 Paraguay 6-7 Switzerland (a.e.t.) 🎥

Group B Tahiti 6-1 Mexico 🎥 Uruguay 4-3 Italy 🎥

Moments of the day 📌

Beach soccer fiesta Los Pynandi Stadium was a highly impressive sight during the Paraguay-Switzerland match: the home faithful encouraged their heroes from start to finish, and cheered them off the field, despite the result not going their way. The fans were also able to enjoy the Fan Zone, an ideal place to have fun, with a range of activities scheduled every day.

A general view during the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019

Support from the sidelines After being sent off in the opening match, Tahiti’s Jonathan Torohia and Heiarii Tavanae had to watch their country’s duel with Mexico from the stands, an unusual situation for two players who played in the 2015 and 2017 Beach Soccer World Cup finals. While Torohia, the team’s goalkeeper, celebrated every goal as if he were out on the sand, and constantly cheered on his team-mates, Tavanae watched on in a more composed manner.

Ace celebration Uruguay’s Santiago Miranda marked his goal against Italy by imitating tennis strokes, as a nod to beach tennis player Virginia Cantou. Miranda met Cantou during the 2019 South American Beach Games, and promised her a surprise celebration if he managed to score at the World Cup.

Guillermo Costa (L) and Santiago Miranda of Uruguay celebrate a goal 

Three hundred caps between them Noel Ott and Philipp Borer, two icons of Swiss beach soccer, both made their 150th appearance for the Helvetians against Paraguay, and they celebrated the milestone by reaching the quarter-finals. Ott registered Switzerland’s second goal, while Borer was unfortunate not to get on the scoreboard.

Shots of the day 📸

What’s next 🗓

Matchday 4 - 24 November

Group C Russia-United Arab Emirates (16:15 local time) Belarus-Senegal (19:25 local time)

Group D Nigeria-Oman (17:50 local time) Brazil-Portugal (21:00 local time)

In Group C, the two European teams will be hoping to seal their place in the next round, but for that to happen, they both have to win. Belarus in particular are unlikely to have things all their own way against a Senegalese team that pushed Russia to the limit.

The Russians, on the other hand, will certainly be viewed as favourites in their match with United Arab Emirates, but they will have to avoid making the same mistakes that plagued their first game in order to steer clear of a shock defeat.

In Group D, top billing goes to the clash between powerhouses Brazil and Portugal, who both enjoyed comfortable victories in their opening fixtures. In the other game in the pool, Nigeria and Oman both require a positive result to remain in the hunt for a quarter-final ticket.

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