Russia win Moscow Qualifier as Portugal snatch last World Cup place

The hosts lift the Qualifier trophy while tense fifth-place scrap sees Portugal overcome Spain to clinch final World Cup berth

Russia won the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2019 – Europe Qualifier on home sand while Portugal saw off Spain from nine-meters to clinch the final ticket to Paraguay on penalties.

It’s not often that the fifth-place play-off in the main story of the last day of a beach soccer event, but the final games of the European Qualifier Moscow for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup was different.

Russia beat Italy decisively to finish the European Qualifier in first place, but all eyes were on the scrap to finish fifth between Portugal and Spain, as only one of these side would make the cut, while the other would fall short…

Belarus beat Switzerland to the third-place finish, after both teams had already qualified for the World Cup in Paraguay, and Poland took seventh, netting 13 in the process, against Azerbaijan.

As for the individual awards, the MVP trophy went to Krash (RUS), while a total of 14 goals saw Gabriele Gori (ITA) pick up yet another Top Scorer award. The Best Goalkeeper was Chuzhkov from Russia.

But let’s kick off with an Iberian derby, where the 16th and final place at the World Cup in Paraguay was won and lost…


Portugal seal final spot at FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup

Penalties were required to choose the victors, but Andrade proved Portugal’s hero, with two fine saves to clinch the final place at the World Cup.

It took a while for the deadlock to be broken in such a tight match-up, but Chiky eventually put away a freekick for Spain and just a minute later, Cintas found himself on the goalline with the ball at his feet, which he rolled over the line.

The European Gold Medallists were trailing by two, but Leo Martins pounded in Portugal’s opener to pull the deficit back to just one. Tensions were high as the Iberian rivals fought desperately to not be left out of the World Cup running, but no more goals came until the last period…

Edu Suarez rifled home a sublime signature overhead to extend the Spanish advantage to two goals once more and Narciso’s men became more frantic in their play as the minutes ticked by.

But just when they needed it, a stroke of luck came, as Leo Martins’ shot, which was heading wide, hit a mound of sand to redirect the ball over the outstretch Dona and into the net. 

The Portuguese striker then made it three with a low freekick and suddenly the sides were level with just six minutes remaining. In a cruel twist of fate, Portugal’s number 11, after having dragged his team back into the match with a hat-trick, saw an unfortunate deflection rebound off his body and into his own net, handing the lead back to the Spanish.

As if to make up for his own goal, Leo Martins then went on a blistering run through the whole Spain team, which was capped off when Von managed to apply the finishing touch and bring the score to 4-4.

The match went to extra time, but no sooner had they kicked off than Edu rattled in number five for La Roja with an unstoppable strike, but within the minute Coimbra had headed in an equaliser. 

It was from the penalty spot that the final place at the World Cup would be decided, and Andrade proved the hero of the day, saving penalties from Llorenç and Chiky to confirm Portugal as the victors. 

As a result, Spain will miss a second consecutive FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, while Portugal have the chance to relive the glory of 2015 edition. Can the go all the way?

Goals: 0-1: Chiky, min. 7 (1); 0-2: Cintas, min. 5 (1); 1-2: Leo Martins, min. 3 (1); 1-3: Eduard, min. 8 (3); 2-3: Leo Martins, min. 7 (3); 3-3: Leo Martins, min. 6 (3); 3-4: Leo Martins (OG), min. 6 (3); 4-4: Von, min. 5 (3); 4-5: Eduard, min. 2 (ET); 5-5: Coimbra, min. 2 (ET);

PSO: 0-0: Llorenç, saved; 1-0: Madjer, scored; 1-1: Eduard, scored; 1-2: Andre Lourenço, scored; 1-2: Chiky, saved;


Russia claim the Qualifier crown in Moscow! 

Another clear victory saw the hosts sweep aside the Azzurri on the final day in Moscow to finish the World Cup Qualifier in first place.

After just 20 seconds, Krash burst into space to drive a powerful shot into the roof of the net, opening the scoring for the hosts.

Italy looked likely to equalise but then Ramacciotti got an involuntary foot to a Paporotnyi shot, sending it past his own goalkeeper, Del Mestre. With just a second of the first period left, the captain Shkarin headed in number three and Italy were falling way behind their hosts.

Keeper Chuzhkov sent a rocket past his opposite number early in the second period to make it four, then Zemskov and Paporotnyi took the score to six. The Russian shot stopper then miss-queued a header to allow Gabriele Gori to slot into an open net, and the Azzurri were finally off the mark.

A final period volley from Zemskov wrapped up the first-place finish once and for all, and the invincible Russians claimed a well-deserved European Qualifier crown, much to the joy of the packed stadium.

Goals: 0-1: Krash, min. 11 (1); 0-2: Ramacciotti (OG), min. 4 (1); 0-3: Shkarin, min. 0 (1); 0-4: Chuzhkov, min. 10 (2); 0-5: Zemskov, min. 6 (2); 0-6: Paporotnyi, min. 4 (2); 1-6: Gori, min. 2 (2); 1-7: Zemskov, min. 7 (3);


Belarus take third with comfortable win over Switzerland

Spots at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup securely in the bag, the small matter of the third-place finish was still to be resolved between Switzerland and Belarus.

Almost immediately, Ryabko set himself up for a sweet volley from a long way out, but Borer repeated the same trick he had many times in the tournament, pounding in a low shot directly from the restart, and the teams were level again.

But Belarus nudged themselves ahead just before the first whistle as Samsonov headed in from close range. After the break, Ryabko netted his second when he pounced on a saved freekick. 

Bokach then put away number four for Belarus and just when the Swiss looked to be floundering, Steinemann poached a crucial goal at the far post to make it 4-2. At the match’s midway point, Swiss keeper Stucki was caught dawdling on the ball and Hapon dispossessed him to poke into an open net.

He scored again to make it 6-2 going into the last 12 minutes and that is how the score ended after a goalless final period. Even without their star player, the prolific Bryshtel, Belarus comfortably finish in third place and will be a force to be reckoned with in Paraguay. 

Goals: 1-0: Ryabko, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Borer, min. 11 (1); 2-1: Samsonov, min. 0 (1); 3-1: Ryabko, min. 11 (2); 4-1: Bokach, min. 10 (2); 4-2: Steinemann, min. 10 (2); 5-2: Hapon, min. 6 (2); 6-2: Hapon, min. 1 (2);


Poland put 13 past Azerbaijan to finish in seventh

The chance of obtaining a second consecutive appearance at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup may have slipped through Polish fingers, but they did not hold back against their rivals for seventh place at the qualifier in Moscow.

An unfortunate own goal from Ilkin saw Poland in front midway through the first period. Jesionowski and Baran extended the lead to three, but Asif got Azerbaijan off the mark seconds later. A Kubiak double saw the sides go into the first break at 5-1.

Orkan got the Azeri’s second and Asif completed his brace but that was the last that the men from the Land of Fire could muster. Poland, however, were just getting started, as Jesionowski scored four and Baran eventually took a hat-trick

In the dying minutes, the Polish kept coming at the disheartened Azerbaijanis, and took their final tally to 13, finishing the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2019 – Europe Qualifier Moscow in seventh place.

Goals: 1-0: Ilkin (OG), min. 6 (1); 2-0: Jesionowski, min. 5 (1); 3-0: Baran, min. 4 (1); 3-1: Asif, min. 4 (1); 4-1: Kubiak, min. 0 (1); 5-1: Kubiak, min. 0 (1); 5-2: Orkhan, min. 1 (2); 6-2: Pozniak, min. 1 (2); 6-3: Asif, min. 1 (2); 7-3: Jesionowski, min. 0 (2); 8-3: Kubiak, min. 11 (3); 9-3: Jesionowski, min. 11 (3); 10-3: Daniluk, min. 5 (3); 11-3: Baran, min. 1 (3); 12-3: Jesionowski, min. 0 (3); 13-3: Baran, min. 0 (3);


Final Standings:

1st – Russia (Qualify for FBSWC)

2nd – Italy (Qualify for FBSWC) 

3rd – Belarus (Qualify for FBSWC)

4th – Switzerland (Qualify for FBSWC)

5th – Portugal (Qualify for FBSWC)

6th – Spain

7th – Poland

8th – Azerbaijan


Individual Awards:

MVP – Yury Krasheninnikov (RUS)

Top Scorer – Gabriele Gori (ITA) *14 goals

Best Goalkeeper – Maksim Chuzhkov (RUS)


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