Russian beach soccer squad through to World Cup
With Euro 2012 still a painful memory for Russian football fans beach soccer is little relief. The country's national team are current World Cup holders and considered favorites at any event.
The European selection for the 2013 World Cup was held in the Russian capital with only the top four out of 24 teams privileged to represent the Continent in Tahiti next year.
Russia fulfilled their task with confidence, and made it to the final to take on Spain. However, it was also important for the home side to win the event in front of the home crowd.
With Spain feeling no pressure facing the world number one team it was the visitors who opened the scoring four minutes in.
The Russians were quick to turn things upside down as the hosts were 2-1 ahead by the first intermission. But it was far from decided.
In the second leg La Roja fought back with three goals in a row, each one better than the next.
Yury Gorchinsky cashed in one more goal for Russia to show the hosts would not give it up that easy.
But it was Spain, who proved to be the stronger side on the day claiming victory with the final score of 5-3.
The Russian coach didn’t make trouble of the result though.
“It was just a selection with no titles at stake, and the main thing is that we have qualified for the World Cup finals.And you know what… those who win qualifiers never succeed at the main events. This is how beach soccer has it,” Mikhail Likhachev said.