Brazil were given stern examination of their credentials by Iran in the Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup before eventually progressing to Saturday’s final with a 6-4 win.
The world champions will take on Portugal on the final day, having been given a real scare by Marco Octavio’s Iran who recovered from 5-2 down to get within a goal of the holders thanks to the impressive Mostafa Kiani.
However, Brazil gathered themselves and will seek to claim a third Dubai title against Portugal at the Marasi Business Bay vene.
Datinha got the ball rolling for Brazil with a goal three minutes in and, after Mohamad Ahmadzadeh saw his header clip the crossbar, Iran levelled courtesy of Seyed Ali Name’s cool finish after a lapse at the back from the holders.
Brazil restored their advantage before the break when Bokinha finished high into the roof of the net from close range after good work from Rodrigo and Fernando DDI.
Filipe Silva struck 10 seconds after the interval with Datinha’s outrageous long-range free-kick beating Peyman Hosseini to keep momentum firmly with Brazil.
Mostafa’s free-kick brought Iran within two but Bruno Xavier provided Brazil’s response by hammering a free-kick high into the roof of the net to put the holders in a comfortable position with 12 minutes to play.
Amid a tightly contested finale, a handling error from Mao allowed Mostafa to grab his second set-piece of the evening before the defender dragged Iran within a goal of parity to ask further questions of Brazil.
However, as is often the case with the world champions, Brazil responded with a wonderful goal – Mauricinho chesting in a cross from Datinha to ease the pressure.
The sixth goal took the wind out of Iran sails somewhat, although Mao was still required to make two magnificent stops to keep his side in control and avoid any late scares.
Goals: 1-0: Datinha min. 9 (1); 1-1: Nazem, min. 1 (1); 2-1: Boquinha, min. 0 (1); 3-1: Filipe Silva, min. 10 (2); 4-1: Datinha. min. 8 (2); 4-2: Mostafa, min. 4 (2); 5-2: Bruno Xavier, min. 1 (2); 5-3: Mostafa, min. 6 (3); 5-4: Mostafa, min. 3 (3); 6-4: Mauricinho, min. 2 (3)
Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup 2017
16:15 – Egypt 6-5 Mexico (Fifth-place play-off) (AET)
17:30 – Paraguay 1-4 UAE (Fifth-place play-off)
18:45 – Russia 2-3 Portugal (Semi-final)
20:00 – Iran 4-6 Brazil (Semi-final)
16:15 – Mexico v Paraguay (Seventh-place play-off)
17:30 – Egypt v UAE (Fifth-place play-off)
18:45 – Russia v Iran (Third-place play-off)
20:00 – Portugal v Brazil (Final)