BEACH SOCCER: NIGERIA FACE VENEZUELA
Russia's Yuri Gorchinskiy (centre) competing with Nigeria's Victor Tale (right) and Ogbonnaya Okemiri during their FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Ravenna, Italy … on Friday. Russia won 8-4
Nigeria's Beach Eagles will hope to put their campaign back on track today after losing their first game against Russia in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Ravenna, Italy on Friday. Nigeria went down 8-4 to Russia in the first Group C game.
The Russians controlled the game by making use of their quick passing skills to establish a 4-1 lead in the first period, which helped them to control the rest of the game.
Goals from Isiaka Olawale, Victor Tale, Musa Najare and Ogbonnaya Okemmiri could not help the team as the Russians kept them at bay most of the time to maintain the lead.
Venezuela also lost their first game against Tahiti 5-2, thus making their second match with Nigeria a must-win to remain in the competition.
The Tahitians, the lone standard bearers from the Oceanic Football Confederation region at the 2011 Beach Soccer finals, started strong from the opening whistle and always looked the better side with a cohesive attacking approach and ability to the possess the ball. However, the first period ended with the teams tangled at 1-1, Teva Zaveroni opening the scoring for Tahiti and Edgar Quintero levelling the scores after taking advantage of a goalkeeping error.
The islanders began to uncoil their springs in the second period and amassed a 4-2 lead with goals coming from Nea Bennet, Marama Amau and Teva Zaveroni. They put the cap on the impressive opening win with a stunning free-kick from Tearli Labaste that left the Venezuelan keeper with no chance.