Islanders start strong
Oceania representatives Tahiti opened their FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup account with a comprehensive 5-2 win over Venezuela, who qualified for Ravenna 2011 with a fourth-place finish in the South American qualifiers.
The Tahitians, the lone standard bearers from the OFC region at the 2011 Beach Soccer finals, started strong from the opening whistle and always looked the better side with a cohesive attacking approach and ability to the possess the ball. However, the first period ended with the teams tangled at 1-1, Teva Zaveroni opening the scoring for Tahiti and Edgar Quintero levelling the scores after taking advantage of a goalkeeping error.
The islanders began to uncoil their springs in the second period and amassed a 4-2 lead with goals coming from Nea Bennet, Marama Amau and Teva Zaveroni. They put the cap on the impressive opening win with a stunning free-kick from Tearli Labaste that left the Venezuelan keeper with no chance.
Group C will next see action on Sunday 4 September when the Venezuelans take on Nigeria, who lost earlier in the day, and Tahiti meet Russia in a table-topping clash.