Thursday 28 November 2019, 15:51

Four remain as holders pack their bags

  • Russia come from behind to stun reigning champions

  • Italy defeat Switzerland thanks to Zurlo's last-second winner

  • Portugal and Japan beat Senegal and Uruguay to set up semi

REVIEW OF THE DAY – There will be a new champion crowned in Asuncion at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019 after 2017 winners Brazil were felled by Russia.

Portugal went behind early to Senegal but regrouped and ultimately won what felt like the most comfortable victory on the evening. Italy and Switzerland's quarter-final had the most dramatic finish of the day with hat-trick hero Emmanuele Zurlo scoring with the very last kick of the game.

The night wrapped up with Japan and Uruguay with the Asian champions holding on despite a late Uruguayan fightback.

Quarter-finals Brazil 3-4 Russia 🎥 Senegal 2-4 Portugal 🎥 Italy 5-4 Switzerland 🎥 Japan 3-2 Uruguay 🎥

Moments of the day 📌

Buz-Zurlo beater Italy were down 3-1 to Switzerland in the second period and in need of someone to step up, especially after star forward Gabriele Gori had to be stretchered off with an injury (he later returned to the sand to play). Emmanuele Zurlo was ready for his moment and the Catania forward stole the show, scoring two eye-catching, acrobatic goals before putting in the winner at the buzzer to raise the roof in Asuncion.

Emmanuele Zurlo of Italy celebrates his match-winning goal

Romanov's Russian momentum-shifter The second period of Russia's 4-3 win over Brazil proved to be the most decisive. Mikhail Likhachev's side found a way back in the match, first through veteran Dmitry Shishin, before Kirill Romanov finished off a brilliant team move with a confident bicycle kick past the helpless Mao. That goal gave the Russians the platform to then go and complete the mission of dethroning the beach soccer kings.

Kirill Romanov of Russia celebrates after scoring

Fair play at its finest Losing in a major knockout match at a World Cup is never an easy emotion to deal with, and professional players understand the difficulty of it. There were two standout moments of fair play today. Portugal's Madjer and Jordan both consoled Senegal keeper Al Seyni Ndiaye, who was visibly dejected, at the end of their 4-2 victory. At the conclusion of the following quarter-final between Italy and Switzerland, goalkeeper Simone Del Mestre went over to his opposite number Eliott Mounoud and consoled him after the dramatic finish.

Simone del Mestre of Italy consoles Eliott Mounoud of Switzerland

Mao's milestone The first quarter-final of the day saw a significant personal milestone achieved as Brazil goalkeeper Mao made his 50th appearance in Beach Soccer World Cup history, the most of any player. To mark the occasion, he scored with a sweetly-hit volley into the far corner in the first period of Brazil's 4-3 defeat by Russia.

Shots of the day 📸

What's next 🗓

Semi-finals - 30 November

Italy - Russia (16:15 local time) Japan - Portugal (18:00 local time)

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