In the 2019 Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup in Dubai, defending champions Iran have beaten host nation, the UAE, in penalties, after a 1-all draw in regulation, to set up a final match with Spain.
Iran’s keeper Hamid Behzadpour drew first blood in the opening period, when he rifled a long-range shot into the net.
In the second period, Iran held onto their slender lead, but the Emiratis restored parity in the third through their captain to force extra time.
Extra time failed to produce a victor, so the game rolled on into a penalty shootout, where each team missed one spot kick before Peyman Hosseini proved the hero for Iran as he saved the last penalty.
Iran will play against Spain in the final match, while handing the heartbroken Emiratis a play-off for third against Russia.
In their last match before lining up against Emiratis, Iranians had handed a defeat to their Russian rivals.
Back in December 2018, a world rankings released by Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWW) showed Iran's national beach soccer team was the second best team in the world, having moved up one position and overtaking Portugal’s place.
The Iranian team sat atop Portugal (2,450 points), Russia (2,017 points) and Italy (1,978 points). The first rank belonged to Brazil with 3,875 points.
As far as Asian teams are concerned, Iran tops the ranking with a significant difference in total points. Japan, United Arab Emirates and Oman hold Asia’s ranks of two to four with 1,083, 969 and 633 points respectively.
Iran's national team claimed the 2018 Huawei International Beach Soccer Cup, in Dubai, after defeating the former champion, Russia.