Tahiti surprised reigning FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup champions Russia with a 7-6 win which saw them top Group D. In a topsy-turvy game that saw its fair share of spectacular finishes, and a goal each from the sides' goalkeepers, the Pacific island nation triumphed to make it three wins out of three.
Raimana Li Fung Kuee got the goal glut started under two minutes into the match with a slide rule finish, before Andrey Bukhlitskiy became only the second goalkeeper to score in Espinho with a rather fortuitous finish. Heimanu Taiarui pushed the Tahitians ahead from close range before Dmitrii Shishin spectacularly equalised seconds later. Li Fung Kuee grabbed his second from long range to leave the Toa Aito ahead at the first interval.
Tahiti's No7 completed his hat-trick to put his side further ahead just after the opening break and the crowd had to wait a full six minutes before Artur Paporotnyi reduced the deficit from a free-kick. Li Fung Kuee hit the post from a penalty kick, and was made to pay minutes later when Yury 'Krash' Krasheninnikov tapped home an equaliser. Just ten seconds later, Tainui Lehartel put the underdogs ahead before Anatoliy Peremitin missed a chance to level from the penalty spot.
In the third period, further goals from Li Fung Kuee and Tahiti's substitute goalkeeper Jonathon 'Jo' Torohia seemed to have the game wrapped up, but an acrobatic Kirill Romanov effort and Alexey Makarov's sidefooted finish made it a tense finale, with Torohia saving a last gasp Russian chance.
Tahiti will play Group C runners-up Iran in the quarter-finals, while Russia will take on Brazil in the last eight.