Brazil were on Saturday crowned winner of the NEOM Beach Soccer Cup 2023 for the second year in a row.
They went undefeated in each of their games to lift their second NEOM Beach Soccer Championship title.
Brazil won 5-2 against Japan in the final at Gayal Beach in NEOM in front of a large crowd.
Both sides battled to take the lead in the opening period, but it took more than 11 minutes for the opening goal to arrive.
After a fantastic swivel under pressure from his opponents, Yamauchi blasted his shot into the top-right corner from close range to send Japan ahead in the fixture.
Brazil were determined to make their way back into the match and with less than four minutes played in the second period, Mauricinho added to his goal tally to even up the score. Japan found themselves in front once again, however, as Kibune converted from a penalty, but the match provided another twist as Brendo struck for the Brazilians and Catarino’s extraordinary strike from distance rippled the back of the Japanese net.
With Brazil taking a one-goal advantage into the final period, the match was still very much on a knife edge.
Following a perfectly weighted lofted pass, Brendo slammed home for his brace to widen the gap between the nations, and the match was put to bed when Edson Hulk capitalized on a defensive error.
After the match, three individual awards were given out. Mauricinho was named the most valuable player of the tournament, as well as joint top scorer with teammate Hulk on seven goals. Japan’s Kawai was named best goalkeeper.
In the third and fourth-place match, the UAE defeated Germany 3-2, while England won 3-2 against Spain to take fifth spot in the tournament.
Saudi Arabia came out 5-3 winners against Turkiye, confirming a seventh-place finish.
In the women’s competition, Spain had a chance to avenge their defeat in the Women’s NEOM Beach Soccer Cup final, after losing to Brazil the previous day.
Sara Tui scored her brace in the final period to give Spain some breathing room, but the goal was cancelled out by a Dani Barbosa free kick which nestled in the right side of the goal.
Tense moments followed at both sides of the pitch, but the Spaniards confirmed their title triumph as Manau calmly picked out the bottom left corner with 90 seconds to play.
Spain’s Andrea Miron was the MVP of the tournament, as well as joint top scorer with teammate Tui. The best goalkeeper title went to Spain.