Portugal have won their first FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, delighting the home crowd in Espinho with a 5-3 win over Tahiti.
It was a result that saw a golden generation of beach soccer players for the Seleção finally reach the pinnacle of the game. The talismanic trio of Madjer, Belchior and Alan – who featured in their last final back in 2005 – all got on the scoresheet in a historic victory.
The win ended Tahiti's fairytale run, reaching their first final in just their third appearance at the tournament, and they were on the back foot from basically the first kick of the game. It couldn't have been a better start for the hosts, with Madjer firing in straight from kick-off – not for the first time this past ten days – to register the fastest goal of the tournament in just three seconds.
With the likes of goalkeeper Andrade keeping Tahiti at bay in the opening period, Belchior managed to double their advantage ahead of the first break. While Coimbra made it three once they returned, Tahiti rediscovered their goalscoring form which had been a feature of the tournament thus far. Tearii Labaste and Raimana Li Fung Kuee both fired in to send a ripple of tension throughout the arena.
They pushed for an equaliser but Bruno Novo was on hand to calm nerves and reinstate the two-goal advantage with a rifled long-distance free-kick ahead of the decisive final 12 minutes. Fung Kuee struck again but, with the goal gaping, missed a gilt-edged chance to bring them level for the first time since kick off and, with just 48 seconds remaining, Alan was on hand to start the party for the hosts and wrap up the game.