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Cosimo SibiliaPresident of Lega Nazionale DilettantiFifteen years of beach soccer in Italy
Dick WhalenNASSC Tournament DirectorThe North American Sand Soccer Championships turn “Silver”
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27 May 2011
Full-throttle opening in the EBSL Bern 2011
27 goals seen in this first day of the season, with Spain and Switzerland heading table in Division A, and Israel in División B
Spain and Switzerland end up the opening matchday of the European season topping the table in the Euro Beach Soccer League – Bern 2011. Whereas the Spaniards have ofreced a brilliant performance to bend current EBSL runner-ups, Italy, the Swiss were almost caught by surprise by newcomers Turkey, and could only avoid the early defeat thanks to their huge quality as a team, and their great individualities. In Division B, Israel needed a comeback against Norway to earn first three points in the summer.
Israel wakes up in the second period (6-3)
Israel needed to overcome a two-goal advantage by Norway to open with the points at their hands this Euro Beach Soccer League 2011 taking off in Bern. Thanks to a brilliant second 12 minutes, the Israeli got in command of a match and once ahead in the score, they would not let the Vikings back on the race, and momentarily head Division B’s chart.
Norway gave a really early begin to this 2011 edition of the Euro Beach Soccer League. Sorens inaugurated this Division B in the opening game of the year, the one facing Israel and Norway. The Norse have reached this new season in a better shape, and proving to be more competitive than last year. The Israelis, after being unable to equalize the score during first period, thought to be experienced a déjà vu when Sorens, in almost the same exact second than he had done in the first half with his first hit, scored the second for the Nordic side.
But that period beginning that bitter for Lam’s team ended in a much more sweet way, after neutralizing two advantages by Norway to end 5-3 up. Iloz closed that leg with an amazing overhead kick to complete a hat-trick for a 5-1 run, that changed things around. In the last stage of the game, having already fulfilled the most difficult task, Israel managed to control the game, trying to widen the gap. Yatim did so thanks to a free kick with only one minute to go, and left the final score in 6-3, placing his team in top of Division B chart, a position they’ll need to certify in Sunday’s game against Ukraine. Norway, in turn, will need a victory in their match against the Ukrainians tomorrow to keep chances to get in the EBSL Promotion Final in August.
Goals: 01: Sorens, min. 11 (1); 0-2: Sorens, min. 12 (2); 1-2: own goal, min. 10 (2); 2-2: Iloz, min. 10 (2); 2-3: Salvesen, min. 5 (2); 3-3: Iloz, min. 4 (3); 4-3: Yatim, min. 2 (3); 5-3: Iloz, min. 0 (2); 6-3: Yatim, min. 1 (3)
Spanish knocks Italy down in Division A opener
A brilliant and hard-fought battle was the opening Division A game in this brand new Euro Beach Soccer League 2011 pulling its curtains in the Swiss city of Bern. Although the early stage of the competition, more than three points were at stake in the match between Spain and Italy. Whereas the transalpine could not afford losing a bit of prestige after their second place brilliantly achieved EBSL 2010 Superfinal, the Spaniards urgently need to get their place back amongst the most feared sides in the Old Continent.
Spain, who could not count on legend captain Ramiro Amarelle nor Javi Torres, brought a strong pace in the first minutes of the match. Together with Portugal, they are the most awarded side in the Euro Beach Soccer League, and they wanted to keep this record untouched. With that idea on mind, debutant Aceiton sent a powerful header in to sweep the Spaniards ahead by the end of the first period, and Cristian Torres achieved the 2-0.
But that was obviously not enough to erase the current EBSL Superfinal runner ups out of the field, and Feudi began the chase minutes afterwards. It was the time for Esposito’s side to rush up front, and a free kick by Ramacciotti finally leveled things for the Azzurri (playing in white today), but the Spaniards knew how to react after the stroke, and taking advantage of a fuzzy play in after a crash between Nico and Spada, Juanma raised the 3-2 to sweep Spain ahead again.
Everything could happen in the third time, with both of the teams keeping their chances despite the light advantage by La Roja. Not much happened in the first minutes of this last leg, but things changed a lot in the last four, in which Spain decided the game. First, Kuman sent a low shot right to the net for the 4-2 for his team, and, although Palmacci cut the distance with an amazing bicycle kick, Nico’s personal move ended the Italian chances with the 5-3 that secured the first three points in this Euro Beach Soccer League 2011 opening in Bern for Joaquin’s side.
Goals: 1-0: Aceitón, min. 2 (1); 2-0: Cristian T., min. 10 (2); 2-1: Feudi, min. 5 (2); 2-2: Ramacciotti, min. 4 (2); 3-2: Juanma, min. 1 (2); 4-2: Kuman, min. 4 (3); 4-3: Palmacci, min. 3 (3); 5-3: Nico, min. 3 (3)
Turkey close to surprise Switzerland
Things proved far more difficult than expected for Switzerland in their first match of the Euro Beach Soccer League 2011 stage they are hosting. Turkey have come to Division A to stay, they want to set it clear the sooner the better, and fought with all their heart in this difficult debut they had in front of the Swiss. The surprise was really close, indeed. The Ottoman side went even two goals ahead in the second period, and only the Alpine expertise and excellence could stop the heavy blow.
The hosts came into the game rather solidly, with two goals by Spacca and Stankovic in the first minutes that let everyone know who the current FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup runner-ups are. That may have made some think the match was to become a leisure stroll for Switzerland, but things were not, by far, that way. Turkey not only neutralized the advantage but even managed to turn that 2-0 into a scary 2-4 for the Stankovic and co. with just two minutes before the last break.
The Swiss mechanism, though, began working quickly, before it was too late for the hosts. Just one minute after Kerem’s double hit, Rodrigues cut a distance Meier finally leveled before the horn signaled the end of the period. With that, the big fright was somehow solved, but there was still much to fight for Schirinzi’s side if they wanted the points to fall on their side.
By mid third period, a flashing volley by Kaspar restored the advantage for Switzerland, and Spacca secured the points with a brilliant attempt from the kick-off line. Tomorrow, Switzerland will battle Spain to see who the ones to stay in top of the group are.
Goals: 1-0: Spacca, min. 10 (1); 2-0: Stankovic, min. 8 (1); 2-1: Tamer, min. 8 (1); 2-2: Erhan, min. 10 (2); 2-3: Kerem, min. 3 (2); 2-4: Kerem, min. 3 (2); 3-4: Rodrigues, min. 1 (2); 4-4: Meier, min. 0 (2); 5-4: Kaspar, min. 7 (3); 6-4: Spacca, min. 0 (3)
EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE – BERN 2011
Israel 6 – 3 Norway
Spain 5 – 3 Italy
Switzerland 6 – 4 Turkey
Norway – Ukraine
Italy – Turkey
Switzerland – Spain