Germany overcomes Saudi Arabia 5-3 in NEOM Beach Soccer Cup

Germany overcomes Saudi Arabia 5-3 in NEOM Beach Soccer Cup
Germany overcomes Saudi Arabia 5-3 in NEOM Beach Soccer Cup

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - NEOM: The second day of the NEOM Beach Soccer Cup 2023 saw hosts Saudi Arabia go down 5-3 to Germany at Gayal Beach.

The result follows the host nation’s opening day 4-3 loss to England in Group A.

Thursday’s schedule included the second round of matches from the men’s NEOM Beach Soccer Cup group stage, with Japan, UAE, Brazil and England looking to build on their opening-day victories, while Germany, Spain, Turkiye and Saudi Arabia were looking for their first points of the tournament.

A noisy home crowd armed with drums, flares and flags did their best to lift Saudi Arabia, but despite an overall solid performance on the sand, the Green Falcons could not overcome a strong German team in a fast-paced and exciting game.

A tight opening 12 minutes ended with German goalkeeper Marius Ebener scoring the only goal of the first period, hitting the back of the net with only 22 seconds left on the clock.

The Saudi team equalized in the opening minutes of the second period through Ahmed Al-Hamami, but another German goalkeeper, Hannes Knuppel, got his name on the scoresheet, with a wonderful finish to leave the score 2-1 after 24 minutes of action.

The early moments of the third period saw Al-Hamami leveling the score again, but Ebener was on target once again for the Germans to make it 3-2.

Khalid Mudhaya equalized for the Saudis to make it 3-3 to the delight of the home crowd, but late goals from Oliver Romrig and Christoph Thurk meant Germany took all three points in the fixture.

Following the loss, Saudi Arabia’s striker Majed Shamhani told Arab News that the team had done their best, but luck was not on their side.

“We dominated possession and created several chances (but) unfortunately, we could not win against a tough team such as Germany. Hope we can win in our next game against Japan to make our fans happy,” he said.

The next game for the Saudi national team will be against Group A leaders Japan at 9 p.m. (KSA) on Friday.

In Group A’s other match on Thursday, Japan thrashed England 7-0 to maintain their perfect start to the competition.

After both securing Day 1 victories in Group A, the teams took to the sand to decide who would lead the group heading into third and final group stage matches.

Takaaki Oba gave the Japanese team the lead inside two minutes of the opening period, before Ozu Moreira’s deflected effort and Ryunosuke Miyama’s strike both found the back of the net to make it 3-0 with two periods to play.

With less than three minutes played in the second period, the Japanese lead was extended through Takahito Yamada. Goalkeeper Shinya Shibamoto netted from distance and Ryunosuke scored Japan’s sixth with 30 seconds remaining in the period.

Only one goal was scored in the final period and it went the way of Japan once again, as Takuya Akaguma sealed the win with a powerful shot.

In Group B, Spain bounced back from opening-day defeat to the UAE to beat Turkiye 7-2, while Brazil maintained their 100 percent record with an 8-3 win over the Emiratis.

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