Steely nerves send last two through
THE DAY REPLAYED - France and Uruguay were the
seventh and eighth teams to make it through to the quarter-finals
of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2007, though both of them had to
keep their nerve as they came perilously close to being knocked
Group C:Uruguaydo it the hard way
The match between Uruguay and Japan would have been academic if Italy had won earlier in the day. Senegal's Modou Thioume scored the equaliser against the Azzurri 90 seconds before the final hooter however, before Pape Koukpaki scored his seventh goal of the tournament in extra time to give Uruguay hope.
Celeste thus had their fate in their own hands when they
stepped out to face a Japanese team who were already out of the
tournament. Though there were some nervous moments, Parrillo, Ricar
and Pampero cancelled out Japan's two goals to send last
year's runners-up through to the quarter-finals.
Group D:Francefine asNigeriacoast
France and Argentina knew that their match was winner-takes-all and in the end, it took penalties to separate them. Jean-Marie Aubry was the man of the moment, saving Gustavo Casado's spot-kick.
The group's other match saw Nigeria, already assured of first place, play a UAE team with nothing but pride to play for. Again it took a shoot-out to decide the winner, with the Beach Eagles winning the test of nerves to secure their third victory in as many matches.
Player of the day
With his goal two minutes from time, Pampero gave Uruguay three points and a place in the quarter-finals.
The numbers game
7 - the number of seconds between the kick-off and Parrillo's goal for Uruguay, making it the fastest goal in the tournament so far.
What they said
This is our World Cup and I can see it now - I'm going to celebrate my birthday by lifting the trophy. Isiaka Olawale, Nigeria player
The quarter-finals are being played on Thursday, with Brazil facing Portugal in a match worthy of gracing the Final.