Portugal
Euro Beach Soccer League Nazaré 2017
08 Jul 2017

Portugal, Ukraine pick up second Nazaré wins

The hosts and the holders were among the victors on day two of the EBSL stage.


Holders Ukraine survive Poland fightback

Euro Beach Soccer League champions Ukraine stayed on course to claim the competition’s second stage as they survived a fightback to beat Poland 4-3 in Saturday's opening game.

In the battle between the holders and the European champions, Poland battled back from 2-0 down to lead with the help of a brace from Witold Ziober, only to fall short.

In-form striker Ivan Glutskyi’s late brace sent momentum back in Ukraine’s direction as they moved further clear at the top of Group One.

Andrey Yevdokymov struck the post inside the opening minute for Ukraine before Dmytro Voitenko opened the scoring when he tapped into an empty net after a fortuitous deflection.

Voitenko almost had a second before the break when he saw a lofted effort clip the crossbar, with Ukraine’s second coming from Maksym Nazarenko shortly before the whistle.

Poland came out an improved side after the interval with Piotr Klepczarek going close before Filip Gac was denied by Volodymr Hladchenko.

Poland got their reward when Ziober halved the deficit and they were level when Konrad Kubiak equalised early in the final frame. It made for a thrilling finale period with chances flowing freely at both ends before Ziober gave Poland the lead for the first time with a wonderful overhead kick into the far corner.

The lead lasted a matter of seconds however as Glutskyi headed his fourth of the tournament low past Dariusz Slowinski from a corner.

Glutskyi’s fifth soon followed from a set-piece as Ukraine wrestled back control and ultimately ensured the points in a win that sets them up nicely for the final part of their bid for the title.

Matchwinner Gori claims the spoils for Italy

Gabriele Gori’s first-period strike ensured Italy the points against France as the Azzurri got off the mark in Nazare with a 1-0 win.

The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Golden Boot winner struck late in the opening frame to ultimately settle the contest and help Italy bounce back from their opening-day loss to Switzerland - keeping their title hopes alive.

With both sides eager to get off the mark after defeats on day one, the first period was keenly contested although clearcut chances remained at a premium.

Gori crucially managed to convert one of the few early opportunities on offer to ensure Italy a slender lead at the break.

Andrea Carpeta was the busier of the goalkeepers in the second frame - the Italian at full stretch to deny Julien Soares before watching Bryan Maison glance a header just wide.

In a finely poised final frame, neither side wanted to commit too much too soon but eventually France were required to throw everything at Italy.

But, the Azzurri stood up to all France had to offer, surviving late chances from Maison and Jeremy Basquaise to collect three hard-earned points.

Improved Spain put nine past Greece

Spain kept alive their hopes of a second Euro Beach Soccer League stage in 2017 with a 9-1 win against Greece on Saturday.

Like in their successful Belgrade campaign, the Spanish lost out on day one - this time to Greece on penalties - but Joaquin Alonso’s men appear to be finding their feet again as Salvador Ardil and Eduard Suarez helped inspire a dominant victory.

After Spain’s penalty heartbreak on Friday, it was somewhat ironic that their breakthrough a day later came from the spot, with Eduard opening the scoring with an emphatic strike.

At the other end, a reaction save from Dona denied Stratis Papaefstratiou an equaliser while opposite number Dimitrios Nikolaou kept out Chiky’s free-kick.

There was nothing the Greece goalkeeper could do about Llorenc Gomez’s strike to double the advantage however as the Spain forward maintained his impressive recent goalscoring form.

Spain were set further on their way when goalkeeper Cristian Mendez found the target midway through the second frame and, with confidence flowing, Daniel Pajon made it four with a long-range strike.

Riduan Dris was next on the scoresheet while Greece continued to be frustrated - Georgios Karakasis seeing his strike deflect up, onto the crossbar and over.

Javi Torres and Chiky compounded that frustration with a goal and a brace respectively in the final minute of the frame before Eduard grabbed his second early in the third.

With the damage done, and the result essentially beyond doubt, Greece grabbed a consolation through captain Triantafyllidis, Spain staying in with a chance of clinching their second Euro Beach Soccer League 2017 stage.

Portugal clinch extra-time thriller against Switzerland 

Portugal then came out on top in a thrilling contest with Switzerland to bolster their hopes of claiming Euro Beach Soccer League silverware on home sand in Nazare courtesy of a 7-6 win in extra time.

In a clash full of twists and turns, Portugal denied Switzerland top spot in the group when Leo Martins grabbed two goals in less than a minute to take the contest to extra time before Dejan Stankovic appeared to have won the game for the Swiss.

However, Madjer’s third goal was followed by Joao Goncalves’ winner two seconds from time as Mario Narciso’s men pulled clear at the top of the group.

Portugal endured a nightmare start as a buoyant Switzerland led after just over a minute through Tobias Steinemann although it failed to dampen a vibrant atmosphere inside the Estadio do Viveiro.

That one-goal lead remained intact until the break and it was doubled when Steinemann converted a penalty low to Elinton Andrade’s left early in the second.

Amid intense Portugal pressure, Bruno Torres eventually reduced the arrears when he rounded Valentin Jaeggy and finished.

The hosts continued to grow in confidence from there and, after Jose Maria sent a free-kick narrowly wide, Joao Goncalves almost levelled when he followed in on a free-kick only to send it just wide of the post.

Seconds later, against the run of play, Portugal were stunned when Valentin found the target to extend Switzerland’s lead.

Their fourth came from a more usual source as Dejan Stankovic found the top corner in acrobatic fashion before Madjer crashed in a set-piece, having been upended by the Swiss forward.

The Portugal skipper brought his side closer to parity with another precise set-piece five minutes from time but Stankovic responded to halt the hosts’ momentum. But, despite losing a man due to Jose Maria’s dismissal, Leo Martins struck twice inside 20 seconds to bring Portugal level again and take the game to extra time.

After Madjer first went close to a hat-trick with another drilled set-piece, Stankovic produced another expert overhead kick to find the top corner, only for the contest to take another turn when the Portugal skipper volleyed into the left hand corner.

And then, with just two seconds to play, Joao Goncalves grabbed the winner in dramatic fashion to settle a pulsating contest.

Saturday results 

14:15 - Ukraine 4-3 Poland (Division A, Group One)

15:30 - Italy 1-0 France (Division A, Group Two)

16:45 - Spain 9-1 Greece (Division A, Group One)

18:15 - Portugal 7-6 Switzerland (AET) (Division A, Group Two)

Sunday fixtures

14:15 -Poland v Greece (Division A, Group One)

15:30 - Switzerland v France (Division A, Group Two)

16:45 - Ukraine v Spain (Division A, Group One)

18:15 - Portugal v Italy (Division A, Group Two)

RESULTS & SCHEDULE
December 08, 2017 - December 10, 2017
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Group Stage - Division A
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Spain ESP 3 3 0 0 21 13 8 9
Nigeria NIG 3 2 0 1 21 20 1 6
Morocco MAR 3 1 0 2 13 15 -2 3
Lebanon LEB 3 0 0 3 11 18 -7 0
Group Stage - Division B
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Arsenal ARS 3 2 0 1 22 17 5 6
Kebbi KBSC 3 2 0 1 26 18 8 6
Web GS 3 1 0 2 15 20 -5 3
Pepsiok1 PAC 3 1 0 2 8 16 -8 3
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