Russia retained their Cerebral Palsy Football 7-a-side world title on Sunday (28 June) with a 1-0 win over rivals Ukraine in the final at St. George’s Park, Great Britain.
In front of a near capacity crowd, both sides started brightly and both goalkeepers were forced into good saves.
As the first half progressed Russia started to get on top, and 10 minutes before half-time Viacheslav Larionov should have opened the scoring, however his effort from a well worked free kick hit the crossbar.
Ukraine’s Kostyantyn Symashko, was the busier of the two goalkeepers, and before half-time he saved well from Alexander Kuligin, Eduard Ramanov and Lasha Murvanadze to keep the scores 0-0 at the break.
Russia continued to dominate in the second half and their pressure finally told in the 44th minute. Ramanov delivered a ball that fell to the feet of Dimitrii Pestretsov who had an effort well blocked. The rebound fell to Kuligin who had the easiest of tasks to tap home and give his side the decisive lead.
The goal kick-started Ukraine into action, and had it not been for saves from Vladislav Raretckii in the Russian goal, the game would have gone to extra time. He first saved an effort from Artem Krasylnykov that was destined for the top corner, before seeing an Oleh Len effort hit his post with five minutes to go.
After two minutes of injury time, referee Keith Stroud blew the final whistle, crowning Russia world champions for a second successive time.
In the day’s earlier game, Brazil secured third spot with a 6-0 hammering of the Netherlands. Wanderson Silva de Oliveira bagged a hat-trick, whilst Fernandes Celso Aleves Viera grabbed a brace. Evandro de Oliveira Gomes de Souza scored Brazil’s sixth and final goal.
4. The Netherlands
6. Republic of Ireland
14. Northern Ireland