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15 Feb 2020
Braga and Spartak to square off in Mundialito final
Defending champions bent Tokyo Verdy, as the Muscovite derby fell on the side of the Krasno-Belye
Day 4 of the seventh Mundialito de Clubes was divided into two play-off matches and two semi-finals as this year’s tournament draws unerringly to a close.
After three days of group games, the destination of the big prize became a lot clearer today with Braga progressing particularly comfortably to the Final against the ‘home’ team, Spartak Moscow, after the Russians dispensed with city rivals Lokomotiv in their semi-final. Braga will be looking to retain the trophy they won in 2019 against the hosts on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Levante, with Edu Suarez to the fore, set up a date with Flamengo for the 5th place play off tomorrow after thrashing Grasshoppers. Flamengo themselves sneaked past Alanya in the dying seconds of their match.
Tokyo Verdy and Lokomotiv will contest the third place play-off after both falling at the penultimate hurdle.
Braga bruise Tokyo Verdy on their warpath to the final
Braga are the holders of this competition and played with the seamless self-assurance only winning trophies can provide. With players the calibre of Jordan and Bruno Xavier on the sand, Braga were largely untroubled throughout despite consolations for Verdy from their Brazilian pair, Mateusinho and Catarino. Filipe had the last word as he scored the seventh and the Portuguese appear in rude health ahead of tomorrow’s final.
Goals: 0-1: Leo Martins, min. 10 (1); 0-2: Bruno Xavier, min. 7 (1); 0-3: Torres, min. 6 (1); 1-3: Mateusinho, min. 5 (1); 1-4: Be Martins, min. 4 (1); 1-5: Be Martins, min. 8 (2); 1-6: Bokinha, min. 1 (2); 2-6: Catarino, min. 1 (2); 2-7: Filipe, min. 0 (3)
Spartak squeeze past rivals to the showpiece
Beach soccer is not renowned for tense encounters where defence triumphs, but for most of this Moscow derby of a semi-final, that was exactly the prevailing feeling for any observer.
That said, in this sport, defensive success is all relative and often based on strokes of good fortune. Jordan hit the goal frame no fewer than four times on his own before the deadlock was finally broken in the third period by Spartak’s Ahmadzadeh, a second followed shortly thereafter before Loko’s ‘keeper put the result in some jeopardy only for Makarov to confirm his side’s participation against the Portuguese of Braga in the showpiece on Sunday
Goals: 1-0: Ahmadzadeh, min. 6 (3); 2-0: Zemskov, min. 4 (3); 2-1: Hamid, min. 2 (3); 3-1: Makarov, min. 0 (3)
Levante stay on the fairway to keep Grasshoppers at arm’s length
Levante started with a purpose and won comfortably, with Edu Suarez and Sanfilippo, in particular, scoring sumptuous goals in a game full of them. Voitok and Remizov responded for Grasshoppers but the result seemed seldom in danger for the spanish champions.
Goals: 1-0: Edu Suarez, min. 9 (1); 2-0: Edu Suarez, min. 5 (1); 3-0: Edu Suarez, min. 2 (1); 3-1: Voitok, min. 5 (2); 4-1: Sanfilippo, min. 3 (2); 5-1: Dmais, min. 9 (3); 5-2: Remizov, min. 8 (3); 6-2: Edu Suarez, min. 6 (3); 7-2: Javi Torres, min. 3 (3)
Flamengo steal it at the death
An even game which was left undecided until the very last as the two teams traded goals without ever losing sight of each other. Thanger made the difference with two crucial headers after Alanya seemed to have a hand on victory. Despite the late drama, inarguably the individual highlight came at the start. Brendo’s outrageous chipped free kick to open the scoring was a moment of ingenious inspiration though proved too little to secure victory for the Turks.
Goals: 0-1: Brendo, min. 10 (1); 1-1: Igor, min. 10 (1); 2-1: Rodrigo, min. 7 (1); 2-2: Cem, min. 7 (1); 3-2: Paulinho, min. 3 (1); 4-2: Rodrigo, min. 0 (1); 4-3: Stankovic, min. 5 (2); 4-4: Hosseini, min. 0 (2); 4-5: Baris, min. 4 (3); 5-5: Thanger, min. 3 (3); 6-5: Thanger, min. 0 (3)