The national Iranian men's beach soccer team has failed to clinch a berth in the final showdown of the 2017 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Beach Soccer World Cup in the Bahamas, and has to assess its chances in the third-place play-off.
On Saturday, the Iranian team slumped to a 2-3 defeat against the Tahitian squad in a dramatic penalty shoot-out at National Beach Soccer Arena of Malcolm Park in Nassau, and could not advance to the title game.
The match got off to a very tentative start with both teams analyzing each other's tactics. Iranian goalkeeper Peyman Hosseini saved Li Raimana Li Fung Kuee's penalty in the first minute.
Moments later, the 25-year-old Tahitian beach soccer player Charles Tearii Labaste hit the crossbar with a free-kick from distance, but did not open the scoring for the South Pacific team.
The opening goal finally came midway through the second period, when Iranian forward Ali Nazem jabbed home a shot from close range after a failed clearance by Heiarii Tavanae from Tahiti.
Tahiti’s captain Naea Bennett eventually found teammate Patrick Tepa with a calm cross, and the midfielder scored with four and a half minutes left to send the match to extra time.
Neither side could net the decisive winner in the additional period, so the game went to penalties.
It took 12 attempts to decide the winner in the shoot-out but it was Raimoana Bennett in the end, who sealed Tahitians’ victory.
The national Iranian men's beach soccer team will play Italy in the bronze medal match.