- Italy, Russia and Switzerland qualify for Beach Soccer World Cup
- The three European sides will join Belarus at Paraguay 2019
- Iberian showdown looms for final World Cup place from Europe
Italy, Russia and Switzerland became the latest three European teams to solidify spots at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019 on the penultimate day of European qualifiers in Moscow.
The three countries join Belarus – who secured their place in Paraguay the day prior – as the top four finishers at the qualifying event. Italy and Russia are due to face off for continental supremacy on Saturday 27 July, while Belarus and Switzerland will battle for bronze.
With five World Cup places allotted to European aspirants, just one berth remains undecided. Iberian rivals Portugal and Spain will settle that in their fifth-place contest, as two decorated programs vie to reach another global finals.
Two-time Beach Soccer World Cup winners Russia return to the big stage with aplomb, having won every qualifying match thus far while outscoring their last three opponents by 15 goals.
Italy’s lone defeat in qualification came on penalties to Belarus after a 3-3 end to regulation. The Italians will eye a podium spot in Paraguay after finishing fourth at the previous two World Cups.
Switzerland scored crucial back-to-back wins over Spain and Azerbaijan at the Moscow qualifiers to ensure their advancement to the world finals.