USA Defeats Argentina to Place 3rd in Qualification for Beach Soccer World Cup

RIO DE JANEIRO Brazil - Associated Press - Brazil defeated Uruguay 5-2 Sunday to win the qualifying tournament for FIFA's first Beach Soccer World Cup.

The United States finished third by beating Argentina 4-2 on the famed Copacabana beach.

Brazil and Uruguay are guaranteed berths in the Cup which will be held in May in Rio de Janeiro. The United States and Argentina also qualified.

The inaugural World Cup will feature 12 nations divided in four groups. The tournament is part of FIFA's effort to promote all forms of soccer worldwide. Although the soccer's governing body has endorsed beach soccer competitions since 1994 it had never been directly involved.

In beach soccer five-player teams compete on a sand field about 120 feet long and 90 feet wide. There are three 12-minute periods and unlimited substitutions.

Romario has confirmed he will play for Brazil in the World Cup. The 39-year-old striker played a few minutes in Brazil's opener in the qualifying tournament but had to sit out the rest of the competition because of injury.