The hosts struck late to down previous winners Vasco as Braga put six past Dinamo Minsk
Another day of tightly-fought and dramatic matches saw four clubs cut to just two: BSC Lokomotiv and SC Braga.
Each have reached two finals before, and each has won them both. Today that run will come to an end for one…
Vasco da Gama 3-4 BSC Lokomotiv
Vasco and Lokomotiv earned their places in today’s semi-final after seeing off a stubborn Nacional and Levante on Tuesday, but the place in the final proved hard to decide…
The opening period was almost over before the match saw its first goal, as Zemskov converted to take the lead for the Moscow hosts. A spectacular Nikonorov strike doubled the lead but Brazilians Jordan Soares and Bokinha levelled up.
Zemskov again, however, managed to snatch the lead just before the second whistle.
Catarino found some space to drive home a bouncing shot to equalise for the former champions, and with just minutes to go it looked as if the Mundialito de Clubes 2021 might see its first period of extra time.
But the man of the hour was Swiss recruit Borer, who was recently named in the final three of the Best Players of the Year, as he pounced on a defensive error to smash in the winner with a minute of time left to play.
Lokomotiv held on for the remaining time and celebrated wildly, making their third Mundialito final, and in search of their third title.
Goals: 0-1: Zemskov, min. 0 (1); 0-2: Nikonorov, min. 11 (2); 1-2: Jordan, min. 11 (2); 2-2: Bokinha, min. 9 (2); 2-3: Zemskov, min. 1 (2); 3-3: Catarino, min. 5 (3); 3-4: Borer, min. 1 (3);
FK Dinamo Minsk 2-6 SC Braga
For many it was a shock that the Minsk club managed to down their Spartak hosts in the match on Tuesday, but they had earned their place in semi-final against the defending champions…
The match didn’t get off to the best start for Alvarado’s men, as keeper Mahaletski hit an attempted shot against the encroaching Be Martins who inadvertently opened the scoring as his block deflected into the Minsk net.
Lucao and Ruben then pushed the advantage to three before the break, but a glimmer of hope came when Ryabko converted a penalty toward the end of the second period.
An own goal at either end of the pitch kept the difference at just two and the Belarussian side pushed hard but couldn’t cut the gap.
Brazilian international Filipe nodded in from close range and then Leo Martins, recently named in the final three of the race for 2021’s Best Player, put away a penalty to put the game to bed, wrapping up a third successive place in the Mundialito final for Braga – only their Lokomotiv hosts now stand in their way…
Goals: 0-1: Be Martins, min. 8 (1); 0-2: Lucao, min. 2 (1); 0-3: Ruben, min. 2 (1); 1-3: Ryabko, min. 0 (2); 1-4: Hardzetski (OG), min. 8 (3); 2-4: Be Martins (OG), min. 8 (3); 2-5: Filipe, min. 3 (3); 2-6: Leo Martins, min. 0 (3);
Club Nacional 11-4 Levante UD
After being cruelly and narrowly knocked out by previous Mundialito champions Vasco da Gama yesterday, Paraguay’s Club Nacional took on Spain’s Levante for a go at a fifth-place finish.
No less than seven goals flew in in the opening period, and the lion’s share went to Club Nacional as the Medina brothers and captain Carballo scored for consecutive games. The second period began at 5-2, but the pace refused to slow and Nacional continued to push their advantage.
Carballo caught La Roja legend Dona off his line with a stunning shot from distance, while Cantero, Benitez and Ojeda joined the scoring for the South Americans. Antonio and Fernando pulled two back for Levante, but they trailed by nine goals to four entering the final period.
Jhovanny Benitez stormed through the Levante defence juggling the ball on his knee to smash in number 10 in spectacular style, and Escobar polished the match off with a late 11th. Levante will now battle for seventh, while Nacional will contend fifth later in the day.
Goals: 0-1: Pablo, min. 11 (1); 1-1: M. Medina, min. 9 (1); 2-1: Carballo, min. 6 (1); 3-1: N. Medina, min. 6 (1); 3-2: Antonio, min. 5 (1); 4-2: Cantero, min. 2 (1); 5-2: V. Benitez, min. 1 (1); 6-2: M. Medina, min. 11 (2); 7-2: Carballo, min. 9 (2); 7-3: Pablo, min. 7 (2); 8-3: Ojeda, min. 6 (2); 9-3: J. Benitez, min. 5 (2); 9-4: Fernando, min. 2 (2); 10-4: J. Benitez, min. 6 (3); 11-4: Escobar, min. 4 (3);
BSC Spartak 5-6 Tokyo Verdy
Two sides dripping with international beach soccer talent tightly missed out on places in the semi-finals on Tuesday, but a fierce battle ensued in the fight for fifth place.
Swiss keeper Eliott, winner of the FIFA Golden Glove here in Moscow just months ago, was in inspired form to keep out the dangerous duo of Datinha and Rodrigo. A different Brazilian, Mateusinho, eventually got past him though, with an unstoppable freekick.
Spartak hit back immediately through Kotenev, a brilliantly struck bicycle kick which couldn’t have been more in the top corner. A Rodrigo double had the Japanese club leading at the break, but in the second period, Kotenev, Hapon and Raskin turned the match around to lead 5-4.
However, the Brazilian recruits made all the difference, as Mateusinho levelled in the final period and then, with just 18 seconds left, Rodrigo tapped in the winner to make it 6-5. Tokyo Verdy will now face Club Nacional for fifth place, while Spartak will take on Levante to contend seventh.
Goals: 0-1: Mateusinho, min. 7 (1); 1-1: Kotenev, min. 7 (1); 1-2: Rodrigo, min. 4 (1); 1-3: Rodrigo, min. 3 (1); 2-3: Ahmadzadeh, min. 2 (1); 2-4: Rodrigo, min. 10 (2); 3-4: Kotenev, min. 9 (2); 4-4: Hapon, min. 9 (2); 5-4: Raskin, min. 3 (2); 5-5: Mateusinho, min. 3 (3); 5-6: Rodrigo, min. 0 (3);
For full details on the Mundialito de Clubes, head to beachsoccer.com.