The day replayed – A great day of action at Dubai 2009 included a classic encounter between Brazil and Italy, and a match in which two teams met for the first time, as Russia took on tournament newcomers Switzerland. The Schweizer Nati pulled off quite a shock in the latter encounter, knocking out the Russians, who were one of the tournament heavyweights. Indeed, this is turning out to be an excellent month for the Swiss, who, after winning the FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009, are now just one step away from the final of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Dubai 2009. Getting there will be no easy task though, as they will face Uruguay in the semi-finals, who beat Spain in an intense encounter that was decided in extra time.
Brazil were always in control against the Squadra Azzurra in their repeat of the final of Marseille 2008. Italy did manage to score four goals through their captain Roberto Pasquali, but they were always chasing the game. Portugal had more trouble against a highly-motivated Japan, who held them until the last minute of the game. But the winning goalscorer, Belchior, is a player whose talent and character are hard to contain, and ultimately he was the difference between the sides.
Goal of the day
Uruguay-Spain, Ricar, 36’47’’
This was not a spectacular goal, but an extremely valuable one. Ricar is still his team's top goalscorer and he scored a brace against Spain, the second strike earning his team a place in the semi-finals. The Charrúa forward was lurking in the box waiting for the Spanish goalkeeper to make a mistake as Martin's cross came in. And he took full advantage of Valeiro's error, poking the ball over the line to send the Celeste into the last four.
Sublime Belchior: Although he received a slice of luck as the ball bobbled up off the sand for Portugal's winning goal with a minute to go, Belchior had worked tirelessly throughout and deserved his goal. If not for the crossbar and the quick reflexes of goalkeeper Tomoya Ginoza, he would have had even more. In addition, the Portugal No10 played a part in a brilliant team move to score the first goal, back-heeling the ball to Alan, who crossed for Madjer to head home.
Recovering well: A mistake by Switzerland goalkeeper Nico Jung allowed Russia to equalise, but the excellent Dejan Stankovic quickly came to his team's rescue and restored the Central Europeans' lead with a spectacular overhead kick that put them on the road to the semi-finals.
Dead ball: Italian captain Roberto Pasquali scored four times against Brazil, but even that was not enough to overcome the Auriverde. The only way the Azzurri managed to breach the Canarinha defence was through set pieces: two from kick-offs, a penalty and a free-kick.
Battle of the goalkeepers: The last 30 seconds of the Uruguay-Spain match produced a pair of heart-stopping moments, as fans were treated to world-class saves by two of the world's best goalkeepers to take the game into extra-time. Spain's Valeiro acrobatically stopped a shot from Martin, while Diego, not to be outdone, blocked Amarelle's fierce shot.
5 - The number of times Brazil have played in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup semi-finals, meaning that they have not missed a single one. On four of the five occasions, they prevailed over their opponents to reach the final, their single defeat coming in the 2005 semi-final against Portugal, who they are set to play next.