By Gary Anderson

August 6 - sevens footballReigning Paralympic seven-a-side football champions Russia eased through to the semi-finals of the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA) Intercontinental Cup in Barcelona, where they will be joined by London 2012 runners-up Ukraine, along with Ireland and Brazil.

The Russians, who were also crowned world champions in 2011, negotiated Group B with a minimum of fuss, racking up 19 goals and conceding only one, following victories of Ireland, England and Venezuela.

Second place in Group B went down to the wire and saw the Irish team come from behind to beat rivals England 3-2 to secure a quarter-final spot.

The defeat saw the elimination of the English side, meaning Lyndon Lynch's team miss out on qualification for the 2015 World Championships, as the top eight teams in Barcelona qualify automatically.

The Ukrainians also made light work of their opposition in Group C winning their three matches and scoring 17 goals in the process, while second spot was claimed by the United States who defeated Portugal 3-2 and overcame Australia in their final group game.

Group A was topped by the Netherlands who breezed past Canada 5-0 and hosts Spain 8-0 following a tight opening game which saw them just scrape past Scotland 2-1.

The Scots made it to the quarter-finals with victories over Canada and Spain.

Goals were also in abundance in Group D as South American rivals Brazil and Argentina made it through to the knockout stages.

London 2012 semi-finalists Brazil signalled their intent right from the start with an emphatic 7-0 win over old enemies Argentina, which they followed up with comfortable wins over Northern Ireland and Japan.

Argentina also overcame the Northern Ireland before trouncing Japan 13-0 to secure second spot.

The Ukraine and Russia will be looking to renew their rivalries from London 2012 in this weekends 2013 Intercontinental Cup finalThe Ukraine and Russia will be looking to renew their rivalries from London 2012 in this weekends 2013 Intercontinental Cup final

Three of the four quarter-finals proved to be one-sided affairs, with the only close contest coming between Ireland and the Netherlands, which eventually saw the men in green prevail 3-2.

Russia cruised past the Scots 5-0, while Brazil continued their hot streak in front of goal with a 6-0 win over the US, and the Samba Boys are yet to concede a goal.

Meanwhile, another team in yellow also ran up a big score as the Ukraine easily saw off the challenge of Argentina 7-1.

The semi-final match-ups will see Brazil and Russia face each other in a real heavyweight clash and the Brazilians will be looking for some revenge following their 1-3 defeat to the Russians at the same stage in London last year.

In the other semi-final, the Ukraine will be expected to book their place in the final as they come up against Ireland.

The final is due to take place at the ZEM Jaume Tubau stadium in Barcelona on Saturday August 10.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related Stories
July 2013: 
Australia Pararoos football squad announced for cerebral palsy Intercontinental Cup
May 2012:
 Exclusive - England team gave us boost to beat US, says GB manager Lynch at World Cup football event
March 2011: Ireland claim dramatic victory in first St Patrick's Day football tournament
September 2010: Ukraine lift European football title