Russia back to winning ways
Russia notched their first victory at the FIFA Beach Soccer
World Cup in their second Group A match, defeating Solomon Islands
5-2. The Russians now have genuine hopes of making the
quarter-finals, while their beaten opponents are now all but out of
There were only 15 seconds on the clock when Russian captain Ilya Leonov opened the scoring, and less than a minute later, Dmitry Shishin had doubled their lead. The Pacific Islanders were struggling to get into the game and star Russian keeper Andrey Bukhlitskiy was reduced to the role of a mere spectator.
The Islanders came into their own in the second period, but, with their strikers having an off day, it was up to goalkeeper Fred Hale to reduce the deficit. The served as a wake-up call for Nikolai Pisarev's men, with Leonov restoring the two-goal advantage right from the restart and then Rustan Shakmelyan making it 4-1 a minute before the hooter sounded.
More of the same was to come in the third and final period. Richard Anisua gave the Solomons a ray of hope, but captain Leonov completed his hat-trick to give Russia a precious three-point haul and push the Pacific Islanders a little closer to the exit.