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Tahiti no easy challenge for champions

The last time these two teams met was at the 2011 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Italy in a match which the Russians dominated to win 5-0.
This time, despite eventually going down 4-2, it was the Tiki Toa’s Naea Bennett who opened the scoring with a nod past Russian goalkeeper Danila Ippolitov.
However, the Tiki Toa’s advantage lasted no longer than a few seconds as Russia’s captain Ilya Leonov fired one in from the halfway line to equalise.
Wanting no more surprises the world champions increased the pressure on Tahiti’s defence, adding a further three goals to their tally before the first break.
Led valiantly by player-coach Teva Zaveroni, the Tiki Toa were not about to give up and continued to play their game, shoring up their defence while continuing to press forward against the beach soccer giants.
The technique soon paid off for the Tahitians with Heimanu Taiarui slotting one in and closing the gap to 4-2.
Unfortunately for the Tiki Toa, this caused the Russians to close ranks and make it impossible for Zaveroni’s side to find a way through despite trying some brilliant moves.
With the score line refusing to budge, the Russians now remain in the running to defend their 2011 Intercontinental Cup title while, having recorded two losses, the Tiki Toa will not be joining them in the semi-finals.
The team’s objective now is to notch a victory against the United States of America, who went down 5-3 to hosts United Arab Emirates in the night’s other Pool A match.
The Tiki Toa play the USA tonight at 6pm local time in their final match at the 2012 edition of the Intercontinental Cup in Dubai.


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