Iran won a nervy penalty shootout against Nigeria to progress to the quarter-finals of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in The Bahamas today.
They defeated their African opponents 2-1 on penalties after a thrilling 4-4 draw to claim the runners-up spot in Group B and reach the last eight at the National Beach Soccer Arena in Nassau.
Mohammad Ahmadzadeh and Mohammad Mokhtari each scored two goals for the 2017 Asian Beach Soccer Championship winners while Victor Tale, Emmanuel Ohwoferia, Godspower Igudia, and Bartholomew Ibenegbu were on target for the Africans.
After both teams failed to score in extra time, it was Iran that held their nerve in the penalty shootout.
Nigeria's Ogodo missed the decisive penalty to send Iran through where they will play Switzerland for a place in the semi-finals on Thursday (May 4).
In the second match in Group B today, Italy continued their emphatic start with a third win from three games.
Gabriele Gori scored a hat-trick and Paolo Palmacci scored a brace in the Azzurri's dominant 8-1 victory over Mexico.
Gori is now well clear as the tournament's top scorer with a staggering 11 goals.
The result was Italy's biggest margin of victory at the World Cup and they will now face Senegal on Thursday in the last eight.
Switzerland also claimed a win on penalties as they beat Senegal after a thrilling 6-6 draw in Group A today.
Dejan Stankovic scored a hat-trick for the Europeans as they clawed their way back into the match after Senegal led for the majority of the contest.
Senegal's captain and goalkeeper Al Seyni Ndiaye was shown a red card after denying a clear goal scoring opportunity for Stankovic, which means he will miss his side's quarter-final against Italy.
Senegal thought they had done enough when Papa Ndour scored with a minute left in extra time, but the experienced Sandro Spaccarotella scored an equaliser with 20 seconds remaining.
Manuel Bruder saved Mamour Diagne's spot-kick and Stankovic then scored the winning penalty to give Switzerland the victory and top spot in the group.
Hosts The Bahamas then managed to secure a win on home soil in their final match of the competition as they claimed a 4-1 victory over fellow debutants Ecuador.
The home side went ahead when Jean Francois and Lesly St Fleur both scored before Segundo Moreira pulled one back for the South Americans.
Francois added a second of the match at the start of the third period, while Kyle Williams added a fourth barely 30 seconds later to the delight of the crowd.
The result sees Bahamas finish third in Group A, behind Switzerland and second-placed Senegal.
Groups C and D are set to conclude tomorrow.