Mexico's unlikely dream is still alive. Morgan Plata's quicksilver finishing helped them to a 5-2 defeat of Uruguay and into the final of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Rio de Janeiro 2007 at the first time of asking.
Charrúas attempted to dictate a slow pace right from the
kick-off, moving the ball around patiently and taking little - if
any - risks. The alert
Aztecas picked up the gauntlet immediately, however, and
were rewarded for their greater ambition inside a minute when
Morgan Plata fired in a left-foot drive to put the underdogs ahead.
A little over two minutes later Ricar made himself enough space to level things up, the pace of the game then slowing down as both sides probed away. Even so, keepers Diego and Miguel Estrada had to be alert on a couple of occasions each to keep the score at 1-1 going into the first interval.
The cat-and-mouse game continued after the restart. Mexico controlled possession but with Ricardo Villalobos well shackled they were unable to convert their superiority into goals. Instead it was his sidekick Plata who eventually restored the Mexican lead, his seemingly innocuous free kick taking a vicious bounce off the sand. Uruguay are nothing if not efficient, though, and Ricar made the most of slack marking to tie the game up again just before the second break.
The CONCACAF outfit kept their composure, stuck to their game plan and just as Uruguay began to exert some pressure, Plata played a one-two with Villalobos and coolly slid the ball past the advancing Diego. With just four minutes left on the clock the Celeste had no option but to attack. But after Estrada had denied them another equaliser, Plata and Villalobos put the outcome beyond doubt with late goals to spark yet more celebrations for the miracle-working Mexicans.