Thursday 28 November 2019, 22:23

Russia’s Romanov delights in repeat of 2015 heroics

  • Kirill Romanov scored winning goal in Russia’s 4-3 quarter-final win over Brazil

  • He also scored in Russia’s quarter-final victory against Brazil in 2015

  • “The main goal was not to give them a centimetre of freedom”

It tells you everything you need to know about Kirill Romanov that when he ended his chat with, moments after scoring the winning goal to defeat reigning champions Brazil 4-3 in the quarter-finals, he wanted any story written about it to be about Russia’s team performance and not just about him.

Spirits were understandably high among the Russian team. Outside their dressing room, two players tried helping translate the interview with Romanov; first it was goalkeeper Pavel Bazhenov, who raised his flip-flop towards Romanov’s face to mimic a microphone and then Fedor Zemskov graciously attempted to translate before the team’s press officer came to the rescue.

“I’m overwhelmed with emotions,” Romanov said, hands still shaking. “It was a very good match and I’m more satisfied with the performance than the result. It was a brilliant game.”

Romanov, who turns 30 at the beginning of next year, scored his first two goals of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019 in the shock win.

“The main goal was to play as close as possible to the Brazilian players and not to give them a centimetre of freedom.”

Russia met Brazil just last month in the ANOC World Beach Games Qatar 2019 final where they lost 9-3, and further underlines the shock value of today’s result.

“After that Brazil defeat we were able to analyse their tactics well,” Romanov said. “We still remember our defeat in Qatar and they are current world champions, so this is a great step forward and we should not stop.”

There was a case of deja vu at play as well. Romanov, who was a member of the 2013 Beach Soccer World Cup-winning Russian side, also scored against Brazil in Russia 6-5 win after extra time in the 2015 quarter-finals.

Both of his goals in Asuncion were quite special: the first a bicycle kick to round off a superb team move, and the second a deft flick to beat Brazil keeper Rafa Padilha.

“[The winning goal] was a piece of luck after the shot made by Dmitry Shishin. I didn’t have much to do, I just needed to redirect it a little bit.” Again, a humble interpretation of what was a wonderful piece of improvisation. Romanov went on to say that he had never scored a goal like that before.

And asked if he prepared any differently for this World Cup compared to the others, his response was consistent.

“No nothing special. And you should not mention me alone. Everyone has done something to achieve this.”