Japan saw off Argentina 4-3 to leave FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Group A wide open going into the final round of pool matches in Espinho.
Federico Hilaire's opening goal in the first period seemed set to send Argentina on their way to another win after their hard-fought opening victory against Senegal. However, Japan’s pace in the second period undid the South Americans, with the Samurai Blue grabbing four goals, through a Takasuke Goto brace, Naoya Matuso and Takaaki Oba.
Despite having briefly leveled in that second period, it was not until five minutes before the end of the third that Argentina showed any further fight, reducing the deficit to just one goal courtesy of Rodrigo Lopez. This turned the tension up for the last few minutes, with the Albiceleste pressing forwards for a goal to send the game into extra-time, and the Asian side counter-attacking at will.
Marcelo Mendes's side held on for the victory in normal time though, meaning all four teams have three points going into Monday's Group A finale. Portugal face Argentina and Japan will come up against Senegal, both effectively knockout games with each winner claiming a place in the quarter-finals.