Reigning FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup holders Russia were forced to battle hard to get the latest defence of their title off to a perfect start, beating Paraguay 7-5.

The game brought back memories of their group stage meeting two years ago when the South Americans took the champions to extra-time, only to end up on the losing side again.

Now at their second-ever Beach Soccer World Cup, Paraguay started with a bang. They found themselves stunningly two up inside 150 seconds, as Juan Lopez and Pedro Moran struck with an early pair of blows.

They could not hold that lead in place though, as one the favourites in Portugal roared back into contention, swinging the pendulum back into their favour as they went 3-2 up early in the second period.

By the end of it though it looked like there was an absolute thriller on the cards. With the scores tied at 4-4 it was anybody's game but the boys in burgundy really found top gear in the final stages, pulling clear in part thanks to a brace from Tahiti 2013 adidas Golden Ball winner Dmitri Shishin.