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U.S. Wins Second Group Match vs. Iran at 2007 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup

RIO DE JANEIRO (November 4, 2007) – The U.S. Beach Soccer Team defeated Iran, 7-6, on Sunday, Nov. 4, in their second Group B match at the 2007 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

It was a must-win match for both teams as the U.S. had fallen to Spain in their first game and Iran tied with Portugal. The atmosphere was quite hostile, with the U.S. being booed every time the team took a free kick by the pro-Iranian crowd.

John Nolz scored the USA’s first goal on a penalty kick after being fouled by Hassan Abdollahi. It was Abdollahi’s second yellow after receiving on for diving simulation early in the game. Nolz sent his penalty right down the middle as Iranian goalkeeper, Hamed Ghorbanpour, dove to his right.

A five-second gall on Ghorbanpour led to a free kick from midfield which resulted in the team’s second goal. Jevin Albuquerque hit a low, bouncing shot on the ground. The rebound went to Benyam Astorga, who had his shot blocked, but Chimienti slid in to poke the rebound into the net.

Iran came back to take the lead in the second period with three goals early on. The U.S. came back with three of their own from Yuri Morales, who poked it in after Ronnie Silva flicked on a throw-in from Astorga; Astorga, who scored on a low and bouncy free kick from the defensive third; and Nolz, who put in a free kick from the left side to give the USA a 5-3 lead at the end of the period.

Iran scored two goals in the beginning of the third period to tie it up but after their second goal, Chimienti immediately answered with a shot from the right side off a pass from Albuquerque on the kick off.

The final U.S. goal was the best one of the game as the goalkeeper was caught up near midfield off a failed corner kick play by Iran. Nolz controlled the ball on the side and lifted it in the air for Zak Ibsen, who hit a first time volley that dipped over the retreating Iranian goalkeeper.

Silva received a red card with just over two minutes to go after his second yellow card and the U.S. defense of Farberoff, Ibsen, and Astorga was able to withstand the pressure, allowing only one goal as Iran pushed everyone up. The best chance for Iran came with a couple seconds left when the goalkeeper had pushed up and found an open shot but hit it well over the crossbar as time expired.

Goalkeeper Luis Montanez kept the U.S. in the game when he made a one-on-one save as the U.S. was caught in a counterattack after scoring their seventh goal.

The team now faces another must-win match on Tuesday, Nov. 6, against Portugal, who lost, 4-2, against Spain. The match will be televised on a same-day delay at 7 p.m. ET on Galavision.