Russia triumph in clash of champions
Russia dramatically triumphed 6-5 after extra time in a thrilling battle between the holders and four-time champions Brazil in the first of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Portugal 2015™ quarter-finals.
The game was locked at 5-5 following three periods where both sides had their spells, but a header with nine seconds on the clock by captain Egor Shaikov condemned Brazil to missing out on the final four for the first time.
It was a topsy-turvy opening period as the current champions looked the more in tune in the initial phases. They struck inside three minutes from a corner, before doubling their lead with a second header, this time from a throw-in.
Brazilian keeper Mao will not want to see the replay of the latter, but it took just 20 seconds to redeem himself, striking a superb volley to set off an impressive turnaround - his first in 40 appearances at the competition, with Datinha and Mauricinho putting them on top. Dmitri Shishin's stupendous low free-kick from inside his own half levelled proceedings again after the break, as the game suddenly got much tighter following an explosive few minutes.
It took until the middle of the final period for that parity to be broken, as two pairs of quick goals each were exchanged before a series of excellent saves by Ivan Ostroskii took the game to an extra three minutes. Alexey Makarov's overhead kick rattled the bar early on and everything looked to be heading for penalties, only for Shaikov to give the game a fitting climax. Russia will face hosts Portugal in the semi-final.