Brazil and Spain make it through
THE DAY REPLAYED - Brazil and Spain became the first two names to clinch quarter-final berths at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Rio de Janeiro 2007 when they overcame Mexico and Portugal respectively. Russia and USA stayed in the hunt by knocking out Solomon Islands and Iran.
Group A: Brazil squeeze through, Russia rouse themselves
In one of the games of the tournament to date, the reigning champions had to dig deep to see off a spirited challenge from a feisty Mexico side, a 6-4 win helping the hosts into the next round. The Mexicans made all the running in the first two periods, exploiting the holders' shortcomings down the left flank and forcing them to come from behind. With Bruno leading the way, the hosts eventually took the lead a minute into the third period and held on to complete an unexpectedly hard-fought win.
In the other game in the section, Russia regained their poise and shape to defeat Solomon Islands 5-2. Sixteen seconds was all it took for Ilya Leonov to score the first of his three goals and settle Russian nerves. The welcome victory lifted the eastern Europeans into second place in the group and ended the islanders' hopes of extending their stay.
Group B: Spain through, USA hit back
Solid in defence, Spain made the most of their free-kick opportunities to dispose of Portugal 4-2 and move into the last eight. The talismanic Amarelle shrugged off a troublesome back injury to lead the way with his side's first goal, although the burden was shared around equally with three of his team-mates also getting on the scoresheet. Portugal's standard bearer Madjer finally opened his goalscoring account but is still some way off peak form. Until he rediscovers that, his side seemed destined to struggle.
The closing game of the day proved to be another cracker as USA edged out Iran in a 13-goal thriller, with Joshua Nolz and Mario Chimenti both grabbing braces for the victors. The win means the Americans have every chance of progressing when they face Portugal in their final match. Despite trailing for most the game, the Iranians almost snatched an equaliser at the death and can be rightly proud of their contribution to the tournament.
The numbers game
Two - the number of goakleepers that scored a goal on the third day of play at Rio de Janeiro 2007: Solomon Islands' Fred Hale and Hamed Ghorbanpour of Iran.
What they said
Today we won our first final - Nico, Spain player.
There are two top-of-the-section showdowns in store on Monday: Senegal v Uruguay in Group C, and France v Nigeria in Group D.