Belarus followed up their defeat of European champions France by beating Portugal, the highest-ranked team at the UEFA qualifier in Moscow for this year's FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
A day after making the last eight with a 4-1 win to end France's chances of reaching the World Cup in Paraguay from November 21 to December 1, Belarus shocked Portugal, ranked second in the world, by beating them 3-2.
Two goals in the fifth minute by Vadzim Bokach and Ivan Konstantinov put Portugal on the back foot and Anatoliy Ryabko made it 3-0 in the 19th minute.
⏱️FINAL WHISTLE: @sefutbol 🇪🇸 take comfortable victory after initial scare from @AffaAzerbaijan 🇦🇿— BeachSoccerWorldwide (@BeachSoccer_WW) July 24, 2019
FIFA #BeachSoccer World Cup - Europe #QualifierMoscow
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The Portuguese, twice world champions and winners of the European Games title in Minsk last month, pulled two goals back through João Gonçalves, but could do no more.
In the other Group One match at Luzhniki Park, Italy – third seed in this event with a world ranking of six – earned a 3-1 win over Poland and now top the group on goal difference.
In Group Two, Russia, world-ranked three, beat Switzerland 9-3 and Spain, world-ranked seven, saw off Azerbaijan by the same score.
The best two teams in each of those groups will qualify for Paraguay 2019.
The third-ranked sides in those groups will meet in a playoff for the final position.