Russia are through to the semi-finals of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup ©Getty Images

Russia came from behind to beat defending champions Brazil and advance to the semi-finals of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay.

The Russians fought back from 3-1 down to triumph 4-3 at Los Pynandi Stadium in Luque.

Brazil's Rodrigo opened the scoring with the second-fastest goal of the tournament before Fedor Zemskov equalised with a looping header from a corner.

The moment of the match came when Brazil goalkeeper Mão, making his FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup-leading 50th appearance, hit a volley into the top corner from distance to regain the lead for his side.

Rodrigo scored his second of the game with a tap-in after Bruno Xavier’s low shot trickled underneath Russia stopper Maksim Chuzhkov. 

But Russia struck back with a vengeance thanks to a scissor kick from the experienced Dmitrii Shishin and a superb team goal finished off emphatically with a bicycle kick by Kirill Romanov, bringing the teams level heading into the final period.

Romanov doubled his tally with a wonderful piece of skill, flicking in a shot past Rafa Padilha to clinch the shock victory.

Standing between Russia and a place in the final are Italy, who defeated Switzerland 5-4 after Emmanuele Zurlo scored with the very last kick of the game.

Italy were down 3-1 to Switzerland in the second period and in need of someone to step up, especially after star forward Gabriele Gori had to be stretchered off with an injury.

And it was forward Zurlo who stole the show, scoring two eye-catching, acrobatic goals before putting in the winner at the buzzer.

The other last-four encounter will see Japan face Portugal after both came through their last-eight ties, against Uruguay and Senegal, respectively.

Portugal went behind early to Senegal but regrouped and ultimately secured a comfortable 4-2 victory.

The night ended with Japan overcoming Uruguay 3-2, with the Asian champions holding on despite a late Uruguayan fightback.

Both semi-finals are due to take place on Saturday (November 30).

The final and third-place play-off are scheduled for Sunday (December 1).

Out of the four remaining teams, only Portugal and Russia have previously won the event.