Russia are out of the FIFA Futsal World Cup after a semi-final defeat by hosts Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil had beaten Russia 7-0 in the first group stage and although they led by two after eight minutes today, this was a much tighter affair. However, both times Russia reduced arrears, Brazil acted swiftly to restore their cushion and they will aim for a fourth title in Sunday's final against holders Spain. The day before, Russia will attempt to improve on their previous best finish of fourth in 1996 when they meet Italy for third place.
Interviú Madrid player Schumacher shot Brazil ahead in the fourth minute, and Falcão soon doubled the advantage. Russia were unbowed, however, and deserved to pull one back on 18 minutes through Brazilian-born Pula – his 16th goal of the competition moving him above Falcão in the tournament rankings. But within 41 seconds, ElPozo Murcia FS's Vinicius Elías had made it 3-1.
Damir Khamadiev renewed Russian hope six minutes into the second half after being set up by Vladislav Shayakhmetov, and now Brazil were under serious pressure. However, they ensured their reached their fifth final in six editions of the competition late on when Lenisio tackled Pula and sent Interviú's Gabriel clear to score. Russia coach Oleg Ivanov said: "My players gave it their best shot, but unfortunately it's ended 4-2 to Brazil. We've lost, but I'm still very pleased with my team."
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