Russia came from behind to defeat Japan 5-4 to finish in third place at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019.
Japan’ captain Ozu, fresh off semi-final heartbreak where he missed his penalty kick, showed tremendous strength in the build-up to their first goal, beating Dmitry Shishin to a loose ball before setting Takuya Akaguma up to score. Russia responded with a pair of goals from Fedor Zemskov and Andrei Novikov before Akaguma headed in his second and Ozu scored from a close-range set piece to put Japan in front by the first interval.
Takaaki Oba and Zemskov scored goals at the end of the second period—Zemsvok’s acrobatic overhead kick was the game’s best.
Alexey Makarov pulled off a nice piece of skill, flicking the ball over Oba before hitting the top corner to equalise for Russia early in the final period.
Zemskov completed his hat-trick, finishing from close range after Shingo Terukina spilled a shot, to lead Russia to a podium finish at Paraguay 2019, a repeat of their performance at their last World Cup at Portugal 2015.