Uruguay take bronze
Uruguay took third place at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup after beating France on penalties following their 2-2 draw. The Celeste finished runners-up last year and this performance confirms their status as a global power.
It was the French who started strongest, however, and not for
the first time. It took them just four seconds to open the scoring
in their semi-final and after ten seconds of this match Jeremy
Basquaise had found a way past Leandro. Starting in place of Diego,
the Uruguayan goalkeeper was then forced out of the game through
injury on four minutes, but there was better news for the
Celeste when Pampero equalised with a half-volley. France
soon went back in front, though, with Basquaise firing in from the
The second period was a quieter affair, and a shot from Uruguay's Coto against Samir Belamri's post was about as exciting as it got for the spectators. Capable goalkeeping and clumsy finishing ensured that the game would still be tight at the start of the third stanza.
Matias came close to bringing Uruguay level after Belamri lost possession, but the Charrua striker somehow conspired to blast the ball over an empty net. Luckily for the South Americans, Pampero put matters straight a minute later, burying his effort to restore parity. Belamri's day turned even more sour when he was sent off almost immediately after, and his counterpart Diego just missed out on winning the match for Uruguay when he hit a post with 20 seconds left. Three minutes of extra-time failed to yield a goal, so it was left to penalties to produce a winner and Ricar stepped up to see the Uruguayans home.