WFC Zvezda claim their fifth Russian league title

The 2020 Russian women’s beach soccer championship was held in Moscow from August 12 to 16

WFC Zvezda, made up of mainly Russian national team players, won their fifth Russian championship this weekend. Ivan Kanaev’s team confidently won all three matches in the group stage, reaching the playoffs after finishing top of Group A. The other semi-finalist from Group A was the Kaliningrad club WFC Alfa-09.

The Group B participants in the semi-final were WFC LEX and WFC Strogino who won their first two matches, and then met each in the final group match where WFC LEX won to come out on top in Group B.

In the first semi-final, WFC Zvezda and WFC Strogino were tied after the first two periods, but the experience of the team from Saint-Petersburg made the difference in the final third where a sudden flurry of five goals from Zvezda opened the door to the final for the defending champions.

The other finalist was determined in the game between WFC LEX and WFC Alfa-09. The club from Kaliningrad resisted for a long time, but the individual skill of the WFC LEX players meant that the final would be a St. Petersburg derby.

In the match for the third place, Strogino won 6-1 against WFC Alfa-09 thanks to no less than five goals from Varvara Bychkova, who later was named as the Top Scorer of the tournament.

The final of the championship became the decoration of the entire tournament. Many people’s favourites, WFC Zvezda, faced fierce resistance from WFC LEX. The thrilling match continued until the final seconds, but WFC Zvezda managed to hang on to their slim advantage of 4-3 and take the fifth championship in the club’s history.

“There is a lot of selection, management, and coaching work that goes on almost all year round. I wish that all teams would work like this and then the results will definitely come. Those who put in the effort reap the benefits”, commented the head coach of the champions Ivan Kanaev after the match.

Zvezda’s Anna Akylbaeva won the Best Goalkeeper award, while Varvara Bychkova (WFC Strogino) was named as the Top Scorer and the MVP was Russian international star Anastasiya Gorshkova from WFC LEX. There was also a FairPlay Award which went to SGSPU-EKOVOZ.

 

MATCH RESULTS

 

Group A

Round 1

Alfa-09 1-6 WFC Zvezda

SGSPU-EKOVOZ 2-3 Zadornye

 

Round 2

WFC Zvezda 7-1 SGSPU-EKOVOZ

Zadornye 4-5 Alfa-09

 

Round 3 

SGSPU-EKOVOZ 2-1 Alfa-09

WFC Zvezda 8-0 Zadornye

 

Group B

Round 1

WFC Groza 1-2 WFC LEX 

Drive32-BGUOR 4-5 WFC Strogino

 

Round 2

WFC LEX 8-2 Drive32-BGUOR 

WFC Strogino 5-2 WFC Groza

 

Round 3

Drive32-BGUOR 2-5 WFC Groza

WFC LEX 6-1 WFC Strogino 

 

Playoffs for 5-8 places

Zadornye 2-4 Drive32-BGUOR 

WFC Groza 5-5 SGSPU-EKOVOZ (0-2 on penalties)

 

Match for the 7th place

Zadornye 2-8 WFC Groza

 

Match for 5th place

Drive32-BGUOR 6-3 SGSPU-EKOVOZ

 

Semi-finals

WFC Zvezda 9-4 WFC Strogino

WFC LEX 6-3 WFC Alfa-09

 

Third-place playoff

WFC Strogino 6-1 WFC Alfa-09

 

Final

WFC Zvezda 4-3 WFC LEX 

 

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

Top Scorer – Varvara Bychkova (WFC Strogino)

Best Goalkeeper – Anna Akylbaeva (WFC Zvezda)

MVP – Anastasiya Gorshkova (WFC LEX)

FairPlay Award – SGSPU-EKOVOZ

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