Three through while hosts struggle
© Foto-net

Uruguay, Portugal and Italy all booked themselves berths in the last eight thanks to wins in Marseille on Saturday, but the hosts have their work cut out if they hope to join them. looks back at the major events from another day of action on Prado beach.

The result
Senegal 7-8 (aet) Uruguay
Goals - Pape Koukpaki (4), Saar Limamoulaye, Gomis Mbengue and Victore Diagne pour for Senegal; Martin (2), Parrillo, Miguel, Ricar (2), Matias and Pampero for Uruguay

Many saw this second Group A outing for both teams as a Round of 16 tie in all but name, and the quality of play on view certainly backed up that impression. Senegal and Uruguay served up a match high on drama, spectacle and suspense that represented beach soccer at its very best. The Celeste ultimately took the points to earn themselves a place in the quarter-finals, and for that they had Matias and Pampero to thank above all, with both players returning from suspension to hit crucial goals - the former equalising before the latter fired in the winner. For their part, the Senegalese contested extra-time for the second time in two games, having previously beaten France on penalties, and that could well prove significant when they line up against Iran for a match they absolutely have to win.

The other games
Portugal made light work of Solomon Islands to seal their passage to the knockout phase, racking up 13 goals to their opponents' four. Together they netted 17 times in 36 minutes, a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup record greatly appreciated by the fans in attendance. Elsewhere in Group B, Italy ended any lingering suspense by grabbing their own quarter-final ticket courtesy of a 4-1 triumph over El Salvador, although the Azzurri's final group encounter with Portugal will prove significant in deciding who takes top spot. The locals had their minds on other matters, though, as they waited to see how their own team would fare in the day's final contest. The atmosphere grew steadily more intense in Marseille until Eric Cantona's men finally got going against Iran, and with the stadium buzzing the hosts raced impressively into a 5-1 lead, before letting their opponents draw level at 6-6. Despite the excellent form of Jeremy Basquaise, Les Bleus required a penalty shootout to prevail and took only two points from the game, meaning they must now beat Uruguay within the regular 36 minutes if they want to proceed to the last eight.

The player
Madjer (POR)
After a disappointing first showing against El Salvador, the Portuguese star gave spectators a genuine treat on Saturday, scoring five goals past Solomon Islands. Putting together a stunning portfolio of long-range set-pieces, volleys and bicycle kicks, the No7 tried his hand at - and pulled off - all the most spectacular staples of beach soccer.

The stat
2 - The number of Solomon Islands fans in the stands on Saturday afternoon. Further inspection revealed the duo to be a New Zealand couple on holiday in the Marseille region.

What they said
"It was a very difficult match. It's rare to see a team leading 5-1 only to lose their advantage, but I'm afraid we were just too confident. We missed a lot of chances. I'd like to thank the supporters and also Jean-Marie [Aubry] for his save." Jeremy Basquaise, France captain

All the results
Senegal 7-8 (aet) Uruguay
Solomon Islands 4-13 Portugal
El Salvador 1-4 Italy
Iran 6-6 France (1-2 on penalties)