Italy, Switzerland and Senegal became the first three countries to book their places in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017 quarter-finals after posting victories on Saturday 29 April.
On the flip side, the defeats suffered Mexico, Ecuador and the Bahamas ended their respective hopes of progressing.
Goals galore for Gori
A tally of eight goals proved enough for Pedro Moran to capture the adidas Golden Boot at the last edition of the tournament, Portugal 2015. Italy’s Gabriele Gori, meanwhile, has taken just two games to equal that total this time around. Gori produced another instrumental performance against Iran, bagging a brace to help fire his country to a second straight win and into the quarter-finals.
Mexico and Ecuador left to reflect on contrasting exits
Mexico captain Angel Rodriguez: “You can’t afford to switch off when you’re leading with two minutes to go at a World Cup. When you make a big mistake like we did, you get punished.”
Ecuador’s Daniel Cedeno, who notched a double: “I’m pleased with my efforts and the group’s. We did everything humanly possible, we battled, but the results just didn’t go our way. We’ve got to kick on and be more prepared; this is our first World Cup and we’re going to prepare better [next time] because it’s a really high-quality and tough competition.”
Senegal, swashbuckling and solid
The highest-scoring side at Bahamas 2017 to date? Senegal, with 19 goals. What about the team with the best defensive record? That would be the Lions of Teranga again, having conceded just once. However, Ibrahima Balde made it clear that he and his team-mates are not getting carried away: “We’re really happy. We’ve played very well, although we haven’t achieved anything yet. The tournament will begin in earnest for us in the quarter-finals.”
1 May 2017