Wednesday, September 11, 2013

11 September 2011 - Beating The Brazilians At Their Own Game

On 11 September 2011, Russia won the Beach Soccer World Cup, beating thirteen-time champions Brazil by the score of 12-8.

Started in 1995 as the Beach Soccer World Championship, the tournament was contested every year up through 2009, when it switched to a two-year schedule. Brazil, who hosted it every year through 2007, won it thirteen times and reached the final once more, finishing as runners-up to France in 2005. The only time they failed to reach the final was in 2001, when Portugal won the title and Brazil finished fourth.

Russia, meanwhile, were in their first final. They had participated in only four previous tournaments, exiting in the group stage in 1996 and 2007, then reaching back-to-back quarterfinals in 2008 and 2009 (where they were eliminated by Brazil and Switzerland, respectively).

Meeting at the Stadio del Mare in Ravenna, Italy, Russia opened the scoring in the second minute. By the 32nd minute, with only four left to play, they were up 12-5 and looked to have the trophy secured. But Brazil made a late challenge, getting three goals from André to close the gap to 12-8 (he was the final's top scorer with six).

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