Asian trio reach world stage

Japan, Iran and the United Arab Emirates have secured Asia's three qualifying berths for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Tahiti 2013 in the five-day qualifying tournament which concluded today in Doha, Qatar.

The former progressed by virtue of winning their respective semi-finals, while United Arab Emirates defeated Australia to claim the third and final ticket.

Japan edged out Australia 2-1 in the first semi-final to continue their record of appearing at every FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

The match was scoreless until the final quarter with Japan grabbing two goals in quick succession before Australia, who hit the woodwork five times, pulled a goal back.

Iran are heading for their fifth appearance on the world stage after edging United Arab Emirates 3-2 in an exciting, hard fought semi-final.

Despite Ali Karim's double, Iran were made to work hard to stave off a strong UAE challenge.

The all-important third-place play-off went the way of United Arab Emirates with a 3-2 scoreline.

In an entertaining final of the qualifying competition, Iran grabbed a late equaliser against Japan to tie the scores at 6-6 before winning the penalty shoot-out 5-4.