Hosts advance to the final
© Foto-net

Brazil will face off against either Spain or Italy for the title of 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup champions after the hosts emerged with a 4-2 victory from their semi-final against Russia.

The Auriverde have been a revelation at this tournament, thrilling the home fans with their performances en route to the last four, and they once again rose to the occasion against formidable European opponents.

Goals rarely take long to arrive in futsal and this match certainly proved no different, with Brazil storming into a fourth-minute lead courtesy of a routine strike from the talismanic Schumacher. This was just the kind of start Russia had hoped to avoid and their task was made all the more imposing four minutes later when a calamitous error from Pavel Kobzar allowed Falcao to double the hosts' lead.

The Russians were dominating possession, but with Brazil seemingly comfortable in repelling their attacks, it took until two minutes from half-time for Pula to finally haul the underdogs back into contention with a well-taken finish. Unfortunately for Russia, they were up against a side that always looked capable of stepping up a gear and, within a minute, the two-goal cushion had been re-established, Cico setting up Vinicius to slot the ball home.

The Eastern Europeans were not ready to give up yet, however, and six minutes into the second half they halved the deficit for a second time, Damir Khamadiev collecting an incisive pass Vladislav Shayakhmetov and leaving Tiago with no chance. This sparked a thrilling, nervy conclusion to this match until all doubt was removed with two minutes remaining when Lenisio robbed Pula before threading the ball through for the unmarked Gabriel to beat Zuev from point-blank range.

Brazil will now await the outcome of the second semi-final between European giants Spain and Italy to see who they will face in Sunday's eagerly-awaited final.