Belarus, Ukraine, Spain and Portugal secure tickets for Russia 2021
Belarus, Ukraine, Spain and Portugal are headed to the Beach Soccer World Cup
16 European teams competed in Nazare for four World Cup places
The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup begins in Russia on 19 August
Europe's top beach soccer teams are competing in the qualifying tournament for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Russia 2021™ from 17-27 June in Nazare, Portugal. Sixteen teams battled for just four World Cup spots. Today, Friday 25 June, Belarus, Ukraine, Spain and Portugal won their quarter-final matches therefore booking their places at the World Cup finals in Russia, which will begin on 19 August.
The decisive quarter-finals
Belarus 5-1 Germany Although the Germans took the lead, Belarus won comfortably in the end and thus secured their participation in the World Cup in Russia. The opening goal from German Biermann was quickly equalised by Belarus through Hardzetski. Kanstantsinau scored twice and put the result beyond any doubt. Belarus booked a second consecutive qualification spot, after they made their World Cup debut at Paraguay 2019.
Switzerland 5-6 Ukraine Ukraine have not participated in a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup since 2013, which also happened to be the last time Switzerland failed to make it to the World Cup. The cries of jubilation from the men in yellow could not be ignored after the final whistle and the joy of a World Cup ticket was immense. Man of the match Shcherytsia scored a hat-trick and played a big part in securing his nation's first World Cup qualification since 2013.
Spain 5-4 Italy La Roja secured a place at the Beach Soccer World Cup with a dramatic penalty in extra time. For Spain, it's their first World Cup appearance since 2015, while 2019 runners-up Italy will shockingly miss out on the world finals. It was a dramatic match and the tension was high between the old beach soccer rivals. When Chiky was brought down in the box, the hulking striker held his nerve and converted the penalty with just seven seconds left in extra time.
Portugal 6-1 Azerbaijan
Portugal left no stone unturned in their quarter-final against Azerbaijan, claiming a deserved and unchallenged victory. The reigning world champions scored goals in every period of the game and were able to book their ticket to the Beach Soccer World Cup to defend their title in Russia in 54 days. For Azerbaijan, on the other hand, the dream of a first World Cup appearance ended.