Laos made a grand start to the AFC Beach Soccer Championship yesterday when they beat hosts Qatar 6-5 at the Katara beach in Doha.
The Laotians, who were semi-finalists at the AFF Beach Soccer Championship last year, pulled off the shock of the day when they came back from being 5-3 down to edge the home team.
QATAR 5-6 LAOS
Laos pulled off the shock of Matchday 1 as the tournament newcomers defeated the AFC Beach Soccer Championship hosts 6-5 to hand the ASEAN nation a winning debut in their first ever FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup qualifier.
Chiu Nonmay put Laos on the front foot after three minutes with the first of his hat-trick but the Laotians lead would last just 120 seconds, with Hamad Al Sharqi drawing the home side level.
Parity lasted only two minutes with Souksakhone Bountathip giving Laos a 2-1 lead which Chiu extended with his second four minutes into the second period.
Qatar hit back immediately through evergreen skipper Jafal Al Kuwari, who retired from the 11-aside game in 2009 before going becoming Team Manager of 2011 AFC Champions League winners Al Sadd, before Mohamed Hashim Idress (19th), Al Sharqi (20th) and a 21st minute Nanthal Savatdy own goal put the Group A hosts 5-3 up going into the third and final period.
But after Laos had levelled with two goals in the 29th minute from skipper Tona Bounmalay and a second from Bountathip, Chiu completed his hat-trick and sealed the historic victory with the last goal of the game a minute from the final buzzer.
CHINA 5-5 VIETNAM (3-2 pens)
China, who have participated in every edition of Asia’s qualifying tournament’s for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, needed penalties to pick up their first point of the 2015 AFC Beach Soccer Championship, needed a 3-2 penalty shootout victory to see off a resilient Vietnam, after the two sides were locked a 5-5 at the end of overtime.
A virtuoso display from Bui Tran Tuan Anh looked to have given Vietnam all three points when he netted his fifth of the match, with his 26th minute penalty making it 5-4 to the ASEAN side after he traded goals with Liu Yisi (1st and 24th), Chen Xiaowei (7th) and Wan Chao (25th).
But Wan’s second of the match four minutes after Anh had scored for the fifth time, following his goals in the 3rd, 4th 11th and 23rd minutes, sent the match into overtime and with neither side able to add to the tally the game went into penalties, which the Chinese won after Nguyen Thanh Dat had missed the sixth spot kick.
UAE 7-5 IRAQ
OMAN 3-2 BAHRAIN
JAPAN 5-3 KUWAIT
IRAN 3-2 LEBANON