Khaleej Times – DUBAI, They were consistent and unbeaten throughout the five-day tournament. Their fans were the most noisiest of all around the 3,500-capacity state of the art stadium at the Kite Beach in Jumeirah. That’s what got the Iran team’s adrenaline pumping and they showed it in style by outplaying European champions Russia in the final 4-2 to get their hands on the Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai.
The Asian champions had beaten the same opponents in the league 3-2. In other matches three-times champions Brazil, whose 66-game winning streak ended on Friday against Russia, settled for third place with a 5-3 win over Egypt.
USA surprised Spain with a 4-3 scoreline to finish fifth, and UAE came from behind to pip Tahiti 7-6 and finish seventh.
Ranked No. 3 in the world and winners of the 2013 competition, the Iranians meant business from the word go. Within four minutes of the first period Mostafa Kiani gave Iran the lead. Two minutes later Mohammad Masoumizadeh added to the tally.
Then goalkeeper Hamid Behzadpour, who was having a superb spell under the bar with four good saves, bolstered Iran’s lead with a powerful kick from his own half that ballooned off a defender’s head and entered the Russia net to give Iran a 3-0 lead after the first period.
Artur Paporotnyi revived Russia’s hopes with a goal early into the second period but Iran maintained their grip with Mohammad Moradi scoring in the last few seconds to keep Iran ahead 4-1.
With five minutes to go for the final hooter, Paporotnyi struck again from a free-kick but Iran held on to win.