Four-time world champions Brazil were given a scare by Ukraine, finishing their match 3-3 in normal time before finally taking a 2-1 edge on penalties at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
It was only the second time in history a team thwarted Brazil through extra time on to a penalty shoot-out. And although Ukraine seemed headed toward clinching a upset, they too were unable to bring the South Americans’ 25-match unbeaten run at the tournament to an end.
Brazil dominated possession from the first whistle, but a stingy Ukrainian defence denied them any strong chances throughout the first period. The South Americans were still able to snatch a one-goal lead through Benjamin, though, with the captain coolly chipping over goalkeeper Vitalii Sydorenko.
The floodgates finally opened in the second period, with Sidney slotting home before Ukraine took a stunning 3-2 lead much to the their fans' delight with quickfire strikes from Andrii Borsuk, Oleg Zborovskyi, and Oleksandr Korniichuk.
Brazil did not take long to level the score, however, as they found an equaliser immediately in the third period. Sidney received a through pass from Benjamin to bag a brace and lock the score at 3-3.
In a nervy finish, neither side was able to break the deadlock in extra time, leaving the match to be settled on penalties. And although in unfamiliar territory, goalkeeper Mao saved the day as he denied Korniichuk from spot before Bruno stepped up to seal the late victory. The win moved Brazil onto two points, second behind Mexico in Group D.