Russia dethrone Brazil as beach kings
Russia put an end to Brazilian dominance at the FIFA Beach World Cup as they clinched a convincing 12-8 victory to become world champions at Ravenna/Italy 2011.
The Russians came out fires blazing as they quickly had the four-time world champions on their heels. And despite a late fightback attempt, Brazil were unable to draw level with the Europeans and thus missed out on a fifth piece of silverware, while Russia were crowned kings on the sand in their first-ever appearance at the Final.
The Russians had cruised into the final contest, suffering little throughout the early stages in Ravenna, while Brazil scraped by Nigeria in the quarter-finals and had yet to log a consistent three periods. Russia took the lead right out the gate through Egor Shaykov, who was at it again just four minutes later, chipping home before Ilya Leonov put Brazil three goals behind from a free-kick.
Russia stole the show in the second period, however, as they leapt on to nine goals compared to Brazil’s four. Egor Eremeev opened things with a brilliant over-head kick, while Alexey Makarov scored from a free-kick before Betinho found the roof of the net with a superb right-footed shot.
Russia then scored an incredible four goals in two minutes through Eremeev, Makarov, an own-goal from Betinho, and Dmitry Shishin. Sidney had the final say in the period, though, as he scored Brazil's fourth.
The Eastern Europeans appeared unstoppable as Ilya Leonov immediately netted in the third period. However, Andre kept Brazilian hopes alive as he hammered in four goals either side of a Shishin brace in the final period. The individual spark was not enough, though, as the Russians clung on for victory.
It was a sweet finish for Russia, the only team to complete a perfect run at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Ravenna/Italy 2011.