Russian beach soccer team tops in Europe

Russia has won the beach soccer Euroleague Super Final for the second time in its history, coming from three goals down to beat Switzerland 6-4 in Moscow.

­Russia has already established itself as one of the world’s beach soccer powerhouses, alongside giants like Brazil, Spain and Portugal.

The Euroleague Superfinal, which was being held in Moscow for the first time, proved once again that this team is a force to be reckoned with come the World Cup.

However, the home team started the Superfinal slow, and that’s putting it lightly.
The Swiss side, who were the Euroleague runners up in last year’s tournament, managed to upset the sold-out improvised beach arena three times by the end of the first period.

Their star player and Lokomotiv Moscow striker, Dejan Stankovic, scored a brace and his teammate Borer added the third.

“It was obvious that we weren’t in top form in the opening minutes,” said Russia’s Ilya Leonov. “We couldn’t hold on to the ball and eventually conceded some pretty easy goals. But thanks to our coach, we were by far more calm from the second period onward, and achieved the result.”

The Russians finally brought some joy to the fans in the first minute of the second period after scoring a penalty.

Switzerland replied with a goal of its own a minute later, but despite the disadvantage, the home side managed to build on that first goal and equalized at the end of the second period.

The score remained 4-4 until the clock showed 3 minutes before the final whistle. And it was then that Russia took the lead for the first time in this Superfinal through Dmitry Shishin.

Two minutes later, the same player put the Euroleague crown beyond any doubt for Russia after scoring his second for the team.

Russia is now champion of the continent for the second time, while Switzerland lost the Euroleague Superfinal for the second year in a row.

The teams will have another chance at squaring off again at the upcoming beach soccer World Cup in September.

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