Thursday 21 November 2019, 21:13

Stars shine on opening day of Paraguay 2019

  • FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019 off to thrilling start

  • Italy impress as Gabriele Gori scores five

  • Japan, Uruguay and Switzerland all win narrowly

REVIEW OF THE DAY - The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019 started with a bang on a matchday that saw a total of 28 goals scored across four games. Italy made a huge statement by defeating 2017 runners-up Tahiti by an eight-goal margin thanks to 2017 top scorer Gabriele Gori's five goals, who showed once again why he's one of the deadliest beach soccer forwards on the planet.

Switzerland held off a persistent USA side in another 14-goal thriller before Uruguay and Mexico played out a tight contest with both goalkeepers Alejandro Guerrero (Uruguay) and Gabriel Macias (Mexico) putting in strong performances, but ultimately Gaston Laduche's late strike won it for La Celeste. The day wrapped up in some style as Japan defeated Paraguay thanks to a birthday boy's header in the last second of the match.

Group A Switzerland 8-6 USA 🎥 Paraguay 4-5 Japan 🎥

Group B Italy 12-4 Tahiti 🎥 Uruguay 1-0 Mexico 🎥

Moments of the day 📌

A tradition observed and respected Before kick-off of the opening match of the tournament, there was a special moment when Tahiti performed their traditional haka dance, a ceremonial symbol of challenge to the opponent. Not only did the Tahitians get the competition started in a beautiful and unique way, but their Italian opponents showed great respect for Tahiti by applauding them. Watch the Tiki Toa (Warrior Gods) perform the haka before a training session below or get a view of today's by visiting our Instagram Stories.

Stankovic's special celebration A living legend of beach soccer opened the scoring in Switzerland's thrilling 8-6 win over USA. Dejan Stankovic scored with a trademark piece of skill, scoring with an acrobatic bicycle kick and he added more style points with the celebration that followed. By putting the ball under his shirt and sucking on his thumb, Stankovic dedicated the goal to his second daughter Ema who was born just three months ago.

Dejan Stankovic of Switzerland celebrates the first goal 

Birthday boy's brace Any day playing in the Beach Soccer World Cup is special, but when you start and score a brace on your birthday, that takes things to another level. Japan forward Takuya Akaguma celebrated his 30th birthday on Thursday in style by scoring twice in front of the home crowd in Asuncion and, most notably, heading in the winner from Ozu Moreira's corner with less than a second left on the clock.

Shots of the day 📸

What's next 🗓

Matchday 2 - 22 November

Group C Senegal v Russia Belarus v UAE

Group D Portugal – Nigeria Brazil - Oman

Matchday 2 will see three former Beach Soccer World Cup champions take to the stage. Russia will kick off the day against African champions Senegal before Portugal take on Nigeria. Beach Soccer kings Brazil will wrap up the evening against Oman.

The tournament's only debutants Belarus face United Arab Emirates, Asia's runners-up.

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