Defending champions Russia will meet the Netherlands in the semi-finals of the Cerebral Palsy Football 7-a-side World Championships on Friday (26 June) at St. George’s Park, Great Britain, whilst European champions Ukraine will meet Rio 2016 hosts Brazil.
In Wednesday’s (24 June) quarter-finals, Russia hammered hosts England 5-0.
The pre-tournament favourites started strongly and after six minutes took the lead through Dmitrii Pestretsov. Russia then piled on the pressure and would have scored more had it not been for England’s goalkeeper Giles Moore pulling off a string of fine saves.
In the 25th minute Russia doubled their lead after James Blackwell brought down Pestretsov in the penalty area. Gerogiy Albegov converted from the spot.
On the stroke of half time, Russia added a third through Eduard Ramonov.
England started the second half brightly and Michael Barker almost pulled one back, but he saw his header spectacularly saved.
Minutes later Russia put the game beyond doubt; Ivan Potekhin adding a fourth, before a fifth followed through Alexander Kuligin with nine minutes to go.
Russia’s semi-finals opponents the Netherlands did not have it as easy and needed extra time to beat the USA.
After a goalless first half, Jeroen Schuitert edged the European silver medallists ahead after 39 minutes. The defender latched onto a loose ball which he despatched into the top corner.
The Netherlands’ lead only lasted eight minutes. Despite the loss of talismanic forward Kevin Hensley through injury, USA levelled through a David Garza penalty after Dutch goalkeeper George Van Altena had felled Jordan Weise in the area.
Extra-time beckoned and the game looked to be going to penalties until a left footed strike from substitute Peter Krooij with two minutes to go decided the contest.
Two goals within the first seven minutes from Monteiro Guimaraes and Jan Francisco Brito da Costa gave Brazil a sensational start in their tie against South American rivals Argentina.
In game that the Rio 2016 hosts dominated, da Costa added a third just before half-time with possibly the goal of the tournament. After picking the ball up on halfway, the player widely regarded as the best in the world, looked up and lobbed the goalkeeper from just inside Argentina’s half.
A deserved fourth goal came for Brazil in the 54th minute; Guimaraes adding his second.
So far this tournament, Brazil have scored 22 goals and are yet to concede. They will face a stiff challenge however on Friday when they face Ukraine in the semi-finals after they ran out 4-0 winners over the Republic of Ireland.
The European champions made a strong start and led 2-0 after just six minutes; Yevhen Zinoviev and Vitali Romanchuk the scorers.
A brace of goals from Volodymyr Antoniuk in the 22nd and 47th minutes put the tie beyond doubt.