France edge into quarters
© Foto-net

France qualified for the quarter-finals of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup when they squeezed past Argentina (2-2, 2-1 pso) in the first match of the day.

France were the first team to go on the attack but Marcelo Salgueiro in the Argentina goal was never in any real danger. Facundo Minici then went close for the South Americans but it was France's Jeremy Basquaise who opened the scoring with a shot from a narrow angle. The Argentinians hit the bar a minute later, but this merely set up France for a counter attack which Stephane Francois finished off by chipping Salgueiro. The South Americans created a number of chances through Ezequiel Hilaire, Agustin Dallera and Federico Andrade but the score remained 2-0 to Les Bleus at the first break.

In the second period, the Argentinians had almost all of the possession but the French defence was up to the task. Minici tried an athletic volley which had the crowd gasping but the ball flew inches over Jean-Marie Aubry's goal. Argentina finally opened their account two minutes later, captain Hilaire scoring from a free kick and getting the Albiceleste right back into the game.

The equaliser came two minutes into the final period when Minici pulled off a text-book control and volley. The two teams then suddenly seemed to become aware of the stakes and decided to sit back in defence rather than open themselves up to a counter attack. Basquaise was shown the red card in the final minute, leaving his team-mates down to four men for the beginning of extra time, but the three added minutes remained goalless and it came down to penalties. Aubry saved Gustavo Casado's effort and that was enough to send Les Bleus into the knock-out phase.