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each soccer is now a truly global game, played in all four corners of the globe, and August saw the sport land close to Mongolia for the first time for the Continental Beach Soccer Tournament. The inaugural competition took place in Ordos, Northern China, alongside a host of other sports and activities as part of the hugely prestigious Naadam Fair. Alongside hosts China, the national teams of Bahrain, Japan, Oman, Iran, Thailand, Lebanon and Vietnam put on a show for locals in Ordos, with the quarter-finals witnessing 37 goals, including one thriller that went to extra time. Oman needed an extra three minutes to see off Lebanon, hosts China eased past Vietnam, while Iran and Japan saw off Bahrain and Thailand respectively with big wins. Iran and Oman were able to negotiate their semi-final tasks with relative comfort to set up a final that again demonstrated just how entertaining our sport can be. Amir Akbari was the star of the show for Iran, as he turned in another impressive display that helped him land the MVP and Top Goalscorer prizes while Peyman Hosseini earned himself Best Goalkeeper honours. It ensured Iran a place in the history books as winners of the first Continental Beach Soccer Tournament with the remainder of the standings also ironed out on the final day. Japan salvaged something from their campaign by beating Vietnam 8-4 and securing third place although hosts China were unable to finish on a high - slipping 5-1 against fifthplace Thailand. Bahrain condemned Lebanon to eighth spot after edging a seven-goal thriller, as beach soccer’s first foray into Mongolia proved a roaring success. After three days of top-drawer beach soccer, played in front of healthy crowds, it surely won’t be long before the sport returns to Ordos.


BAREFOOT: The Beach Soccer Mag