Dani Barboza hit a brace for Brazil while Bychkova snatched two points for the hosts
Tight contests marked the beginning of a new era in women’s beach soccer, as the Women’s Intercontinental Cup got underway at the Luzhniki Park in Moscow.
After Day 1, Dani Barboza leads the scoring charts with two and Brazil also sit top of the table on three points.
Spain 2-3 Brazil
The first ever goal of the Women’s Intercontinental Cup came after just two minutes of play when Adriele, twice named among the world’s top three players, flicked an overhead assist into the path of Dani Barboza, who tucked away the opener.
The number 10 soon had two though, as she bounced a long-range freekick over the already-committed Laia in the Spanish net, and the world’s top-ranked team trailed at the first whistle.
Period two saw the Brazilians relax a little but there was little response from La Roja. They eventually pulled one back when Carol, 2019’s Best Player, slotted away a dead ball in the final period.
Just when Spain needed a little luck to draw level, it came as Andrea Miron hit a hopeful effort towards goal which bobbled through the confused Brazilian backline.
However, a comeback was denied the players in red, as Captain Colodetti repeated her counterpart’s trick and bagged a third for Brazil, wrapping up three historic points for the Canarinho
Goals: 0-1: Dani, min. 10 (1); 0-2: Dani, min. 5 (1); 1-2: Carol, min. 9 (3); 2-2: Andrea Miron, min. 9 (3); 2-3: Colodetti, min. 5 (3);
Russia 2-1 USA *AET
The hosts kicked off their home tournament in the stunning Luzhniki Beach Soccer Stadium against one of the world’s up-and-coming beach soccer nations, USA.
The two-time European champions struggled to break through the American backline but a delightful backheel from Petrova set up Anna Cherniakova for the opening goal.
Although Russia threatened to double the lead, they were unable to find the second goal and the better of the chances fell to the United States for a section of the middle period.
With the slimmest of leads, Russia went into the final period until suddenly the Stars and Stripes struck. Sunseri-Warp hit a long-range freekick which was parried right into the path of the lurking Lauren Leslie who calmly put away the USA’s first goal of the tournament.
With the match level, the minutes became seconds and the game eventually spilled over into extra time with the stalemate unbroken…
A hero came with just 17 seconds to go though, as Bychkova smashed in the winner to gift a relieved Russia two points in their first match. However, their dropped point against the stubborn USA means that Brazil sit top of the table on three points.
Goals: 1-0: Cherniakova, min. 5 (1); 1-1: Leslie, min. 9 (1); 2-1: Bychkova, min. 0 (ET);
Attendance at the Women’s Intercontinental Cup matches at the Luzhniki Park is free, and you can register for tickets here.
All matches will also be streamed live on beachsoccer.com.