Hosts make Russia pay the penalty
Brazil, already through to the quarter-finals, recorded their third win in a row by squeezing past Russia (2-2, 5-4 PSO), securing top spot in Group A in the process. The Russians put up a brave fight against the defending champions and will also make it through to the knock-out stage if Solomon Islands can beat Mexico.
It was clear that Brazil had no intention of taking their foot off the pedal when they sent out their usual starting five for the kick-off. Russia were certainly not going to roll over and die and took the game to the title-holders, Egor Shaykov and Alexey Makarov giving goalkeeper Mao some early practice. Sidney and Duda attempted to reply in kind for the host country but their strikes were off target. Benjamin then thrilled the crowd with some silky skills but could not find a way past Andrey Bukhlitskiy, and the first third ended goalless.
The second period was a blood and thunder affair. Bukhlitskiy
turned away almost everything that was thrown at him and played to
the gallery in his own inimitable style, shouting and slapping
himself around the face. An Andre free kick finally got past him,
Seleçao the slenderest of leads to take into the final
With nothing to lose, Russia threw men forward and made the all-important breakthrough. Dmitry Shishin equalised from a set piece and then gave his team the lead with an audacious bicycle kick a mere five minutes from time. It took Sidney less than two of them, however, to get the hosts back on level terms and send the match into extra time.
The three added minutes saw chances at either end but no goals, and so it was on to penalties. Russia had two chances to secure the points but could not take them, and when Rustan Shakmelyan failed to beat Mao, their titanic struggle came to a dissapointing end.