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Beach soccer tournament kicks off in Ordos


Updated: 2016-08-24

The First Asia Beach Soccer Tournament kicked off at the sports center in Ordos, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on Aug 23. Eight teams from around Asia qualified for the quarter finals.

On the first day, Oman beat Lebanon 2-1 in overtime after a tough draw in regulation time to enter the semi-finals. However, the following matches had much larger margins; Japan scored 12-4 over Thailand and Bahrain was defeated 1-10 by Iran. Vietnam bested the tourney’s host, China, 5-2. The finals will commence on Aug 25.

Beach soccer tournament kicks off in Ordos

Hani Dahabart (second from the right), crosses over two defenders and scores the winning goal for Oman during the quarter finals against Lebanon at the Ordos Sports Center, on Aug 23. [Photo by Deng Hua/Xinhua]

Beach soccer originates from Praia de Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and has been rapidly growing in popularity across the globe. These highly-anticipated matches include not only the biennial FIFA Beach Soccer Cup but many intercontinental championships.

As a new continental contest, the Asia Beach Soccer Tournament was approved by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), sponsored by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and China Football Association (CFA). China will continue to host the event until 2020.

One director of Cherry Sports, the operating agency for this tournament, explained why Ordos was chosen as the host city, defeating ten popular cities like Qingdao, Xiamen, Guangzhou, and many others. He mentioned the trend of beach soccer is transferring from the coast toward inland areas. Moreover, Ordos has pleasant weather in summer, well-equipped sports facilities and limitless deserts to provide sand.

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