Former World Champion Russia qualified for the quarter-finals with a narrow 5: 3 win over Belarus in a thrilling encounter in Group C, which had the drama and feel of a knockout round of six.
After Belarus’s Aleh Hapon and the Russian Boris Nikonorov met early, Belarus took the lead in the opening heat by two goals, thanks to Ihar Bryshtsel’s fast wheel drive and Ivan Konstantin’s low-speed drive
The second period was all Russia. Fedor Zemskov scored a special goal after a corner kick. Nikonorov then headed in his second at night to bring the team level into the second break.
Nikonorov completed his hat-trick as he headed for the back post with Vadzim Bokach’s kick. Dimitrii Shishin added a fifth and sealed the victory, keeping Paraguay’s dream of Russia alive in 2019. Now they prepare for the quarterfinals with defending champions Brazil.