Last year's losing finalists were all smiles as they took their Group C bow at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Rio de Janeiro 2007, edging out Italy 3-2 after extra time.
Both sides made a cautious start with Uruguay camped in the Italian half and their opponents happy to pull back and defend. The match suddenly kicked into life when Roberto Pasquali powered home a free kick to put the Azzurri ahead. The Celeste almost hit back immediately only for Daniele Gigli to deny Ricar with two fine stops.
Italy continued in the same vein in the second period, putting the Uruguayans under pressure with every free kick, pressure that finally told when Paolo Palmacci drove home after another foul. Unbelievably, though, two Ricar strikes in a matter of seconds saw the South Americans level at an unlikely 2-2 just before the final break.
In the final 12 minutes the two teams stuck to their original game plans and there were chances at both ends. But it was Uruguay who struck in the extra period when Matias rounded off a speedy move to snatch the points.