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Joaquín AlonsoSpain National Coach and FIFA InstructorWomen’s beach soccer has evolved greatly
08 Aug 2013
Slim margin of victory dictates points
Only one-goal-difference wins send Greece, Czech Rep., Israel and France ahead in Promotion Final
Greece earns 3 points in tight match
In the first official match of the EBSL Torredembarra Promotion final Greece prevailed 3-2 over Hungary. It was a match that saw defense dominate in the first and third periods but the second period proved to be the most important. Both teams scored in the period but Greece scored one more to make sure they stayed ahead the entire match even after a late push by Hungary created for some late drama.
Hungary and Greece made very few mistakes early on and were very well prepared for their first match in the competition. Play was very clean and crisp though no goals were scored in the first period as the defenses did not disappoint. Any and all good offensive chances stalled at the hands of the opposing teams´ defense. The stalemate was seemingly broken early in the second period by Greece with a thunderous shot, but it was disallowed due to an offensive foul and the score remained the same, 0-0.
Things changed midway through the second as Greece scored two quick goals in the sixth minute to go up 2-0. Hungary knew they had to score to keep the game from getting away from them and as the period was winding down they scored to pull within 1. That is how the second frame ended, Greece leading 2-1. The final period was very exciting as both squads had no intention of losing. Hungary began to play with urgency late in the third as they still found themselves down by one. Their offensive attacks went unrewarded and Greece countered with an insurance goal of their own which is exactly what they needed as Hungary scored in the final minute to pull within one but it was not enough, Hungary fell to the Greeks 3-2.
The 2-3 win gives Greece, a favourite to win the Promotion final, a crucial three points for their quest to charge into Division A next season. Hungary hung with one of the best teams in Division B and still have a chance to move to Division A as well.
Goals: 0-1: Papeastratiou, min. 6 (2); 0-2: Amanatidis, min. 6 (2); 1-2: Sebestyen, min. 4 (2); 1-3: Karakasis, min. 2 (3); 2-3: Besenyei, min. 1 (3).
France squeaks by Estonia in final seconds
The 2-3 win for France was a solid win over a high quality Division B team and it was the first step in them staying in Division A next season. Though the Division A season did not go as planned for France, they were an energized team playing in their first match in the Promotion final. Estonia was just as prepared though and they made sure France did not get too comfortable. France needed last minute goals and spectacular saves to earn the win.
France has quite a bit more experience playing Division A teams than Estonia does and it showed early but that advantage did not translate into goals. The game remained scoreless until Estonia scored late in the first after a great save from the French keeper but the goalie could not control the rebound. The first frame ended with Estonia up 1-0. In the second, Estonia began moving the ball around more and they took a few more chances, while maintaining a one goal lead. France remained calm throughout the second period but they were unable to get past the wall that was Estonias´ defense. Late in the second period France began attacking more, sensing their one goal deficit a bit but Estonia maintained control and did not budge. The period ended with the same score as the first, 1-0, Estonia.
The third leg was the period when the goals started hitting. After two periods of tactical defense, Estonia scored again in what would seem like enough to secure the three points, but less than a minute later France scored their first goal of the game to make for an even more interesting final period. In the last minutes in the stage, France was determined to score again as it seemed like they had a limitless amount of chances but Estonia had the right defensive formula to prevent another goal. The momentum changed drastically and quickly in the final 60 seconds, as France scored two quick goals, one on a penalty shot, to go ahead 3-2. The final play of the math was a spectacular display of fortitude and desire to win. In the final seconds, Estonia was awarded a direct kick from midfield and the rocket of a shot went past the goalkeeper but it is safe to safe that Frances ´savior, Francois, stuck a leg out to reject the shot just before the buzzer sounded. Much credit to be given to the French player, indeed, as François also scored in the match.
The three points for France, in the 2-3 win over Estonia, gives them a leg up in the quest for winning the Promotion final. Estonia still can win the Promotion final and play in Division A next season but they have an even tougher road ahead of them now.
Goals: 1-0: Truusalu, min. 1 (1); 2-0: Rand, min. 7 (3); 2-1: Francois, min. 7 (3); 2-2: Pagis, min. 1 (3); 2-3: Samoun, min. 0 (3).
Czechs wins a tale of 3 periods
In a rematch of the EBSL Division B final in Valence, France, the Czech Republic came out early and dominated forcing England to fight back the entire match. England was up to the task and after losing the first period, they won the second and the deciding third period was won by the Czech Republic. The Czechs´outlasted England 4-3.
The first period was an exemplary model of sound Beach Soccer from both sides. There was excellent passing, spectacular saves, great defense and acrobatic offensive strikes, all in the first period. Neither side ceded. The score did not change until the last few minutes in the third when England ceded a goal off a strong bouncing shot by the Czech Republic. The goal seemed to inspire the Czech side as they got closer and closer to adding to their lead, and they did with just over two minutes left in the period, making it 2-0.
The platooning of goalkeepers for England worked wonders in the second period, as they changed keepers and the fiery Webb came right out with a tremendous attempt from his side of the field that seemingly altered the attitude of the English side. Shortly after the Czech Republic deflected Webbs´ attempt, the Czech keeper gifted the ball to England and Day made sure to finish. The momentum shift that the Three Lions desperately needed occurred after that. The Czech Republic, no stranger to pressure in big moments, knew this would not be a blowout and the period ended tied at 2-2 after England scored the equalizer.
The Czech Republic scored on the opening kick-off in the third period to set the stage for the final period. After that goal, neither side seemed completely in control with the teams exchanging offensive blows, but neither scoring until the Czech struck in the middle of the third frame, putting them ahead by two goals again, 4-2. England scored with 2 minutes in the period to get them within one goal. England put an absurd amount of shots on goal in the final minutes but were unable score the final equalizer.
The 4-3 win was a good revenge for the Czechs after they lost to England in the EBSL Valance 2013 Division B final. The loss for England will be tough to swallow, but they will be ready for their next run and it is still possible for them to win the rest of their games and make Division A for next year.
Goals: 0-1: Karda, min. 4 (1); 0-2: Kubice, min. 2 (1); 1-2: Day, min. 10 (2); 2-2: Blake, min. 3 (2); 2-3: Hurab, min. 11 (3); 2-4: Kovarik, min. 7 (3); 3-4: Bowes, min. 2 (3).
Israel wins defensive struggle
The 1-0 win could not have been predicted based on both teams prolific offenses but to Israel and Turkeys´ credit, they both knew they have championship-caliber defenses and in Beach Soccer that could make all the difference. Israel struck first in the third period and held off a furious late comeback attempt by Turkey.
Right from the start Turkey came out firing shots on goal. They created many attempts for their side but that also created a few opportunities for Israel to score on the counter, but their counter attacks faltered just as the Turkish attacks did. Amazing saves from both goalkeepers kept the score tied and each team was unscathed heading into the second period. Aerial kicks and diving saves were just prevalent in the second period but neither side was willing to budge, the offenses were still attacking and the defenses were just as constant and the score remained the same, tied at 0. As the game progressed, Israel began attacking more and Turkey was content staying back, in direct contrast to what happened in the first period. Israel?s defense was thin at times but but stayed strong enough to keep Turkey off the scoreboard. The second period ended just how the game began, tied at 0.
There are times when a perfect storm occurs in sports, National teams playing with their current season and future season on the line, game tied, and heading into the final period. That is what happened with Israel and Turkey in the EBSL Torredembarra 2013 Promotion final. Midway through the third period, goaltending was the star in this match but Israel showed great maturity and scored with 5 minutes remaining to break the deadlock and put them ahead for good, 1-0.
In a classic defensive battle that is rarely experienced in Beach Soccer, Israel grabbed three points in the 1-0 win over Turkey. Turkey showcased a defense almost as sturdy as Israels´ and that will serve them well going forward in this tournament.
Goals: 1-0: Danin, min. 5 (3);
EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE PROMOTION FINAL TORREDEMBARRA 2013
Thursday, 8th of August, 2013
Hungary 2-3 Greece
Estonia 2-3 France
England 3-4 Czech Republic
Israel 1-0 Turkey
Friday, 9th of August, 2013
10:15 ? Israel vs Estonia
11:30 ? England vs Hungary
12:45 ? Greece vs Czech Republic
14:00 ? France vs Turkey