FIFA - Iran qualified for their first ever FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup semi-finals with a thrilling win in extra time against Switzerland, while experienced sides Tahiti, Brazil and Italy also booked tickets to the last four.
Four-time champions Brazil needed a stunning overhead kick in the final two minutes of the match to see them edge past champions Portugal.
Portugal 2015 runners-up Tahiti had to work hard against Paraguay, but late strikes from Heiarii Tavanae and Patrick Tepa helped seal their progression to Saturday's semi-finals.
Italy's 5-1 win over Senegal was the most dominant performance of the evening. Coach Massimo Agostini's side were boosted b top scorer Gabriele Gori (14), who appears as if he'll never stop scoring in the Bahamas.
Match 25: Paraguay 4-6 Tahiti
Match 26: Brazil 4-3 Portugal
Match 27: Switzerland 3-4 Iran AET
Match 28: Italy 5-1 Senegal
Tahiti make it three straight. Portugal 2015 adidas Golden Glove winner Jonathan Torohia was the unlikely man to open 2015 runners-up Tahiti's account on Thursday. Torohia's long-distance volley seemed to give the team all the momentum they needed to fend off a tenacious Paraguay side and qualify for a third consecutive semi-finals. "We feel accomplished and are very deserving of the win. We've reached our goals." Will Tahiti go one stage further and advance to Sunday's final and make it back-to-back finals appearances? Iran stand in the way.
Hosseini the hero. Ali Nazem's name will always be connected with Iran's historic qualification to the semi-finals of the Beach Soccer World Cup, but what you won't read on the official match report is how crucial goalkeeper Peyman Hosseini was in seeing his side through. Hosseini made multiple, acrobatic saves in the dying minutes from what seemed like every member of the Swiss squad.
A champion bows out. When it was confirmed that Brazil and Portugal would go head-to-head in the quarter-finals, beach soccer fans everywhere knew one of the giants of the game would be packing their bags to go home early. After a thrilling encounter, it was Portugal who came up just short. In one of the most startling facts of Bahamas 2017, all-time Beach Soccer World Cup leading goalscorer Madjer failed to find the back of the net all tournament long. The Portugal captain and beach soccer star gave his thoughts after the final whistle: "It’s tough to take but we’re the two top teams in the world, either of us could have won but it was Brazil. We didn’t deserve to lose this match. The process [for recovery] is the same, we’re a family and we’ll leave this country as a family."
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