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14 Aug 2014
Big goals and sound defense jolt Superfinal opening
Favourites sit atop their Groups in Division A while Division B sees surprises in Torredembarra
Azerbaijan opens Promotion Final with win
The 6-2 victory for Azerbaijan over the Czech Republic was an upset that will surely shake up the Division B standings. The Czech Republic scored the first goal but was unable to overcome the all-around dominant performance from their Division B rivals. The win gives Azerbaijan an advantageous three points as they head into their next match on Friday against Poland. The Czech Republic is a squad that is one of the favourites to make the Promotion Final and they will look to rebound against Bulgaria on Friday.
The Czech Republic started fast and strong and looked like the team determined to take the early lead, but Azerbaijan utilized an opportunistic defense to keep the game scoreless and the Azeri countered very well though the first strike came the Czech Republic’s captain, Chalupa, in the final minutes of the opening frame. The lone goal left the Czechs up 1-0 at the first break. Azerbaijan began the first period fending off Czech attacks, however, they scored the first goal of the middle frame, on a rocket of a shot, to knot the game at 1. The Azerbaijan confidence was evident as they added their second goal of the period to take their first lead of the match. Chalupa of the Czech Republic scored his second goal of the game as the second period was winding down and the period ended tied at two.
Azerbaijan did well to hamper their opponents’ defense and they once again took an early period lead, as they looked towards securing the tournaments’ first win. The lead was not safe and Azerbaijan pushed the tempo to try and hold off the Czech Republic. The insurance goal came midway through the period and Azerbaijan took a two goal lead at 2-5, heading into the final minutes. The Czech Republic tried to make the most of their chances but were unable to close the goal and after a late goal all but sealed the Azerbaijan victory, the match ended with a score of 2-6, Azerbaijan.
Goals: 1-0: Chalupa, min. 2 (1); 1-1: Amid, min. 11 (2), 1-2: Asif, min. 9 (2); 2-2: Chalupa, min. 0 (2); 2-3: Orkhan, min. 10 (3); 2-4: Asif, min. 10 (3); 2-5: Hikmat, min. 5 (3); 2-6: Sabir, min. 3 (3).
Poland rides hat-trick looking to mantain Division A place
Poland’s 6-0 win over Bulgaria was convincing but the final score does not tell the whole story. The match began both teams keeping the score level at 0, though Bulgaria showed their lack of fear of the Polish, who have been playing with the Division A sides in the Euro Beach Soccer League this season. In the second period, Poland took over and eventually got a third goal from Saganowski, to leave no doubt as to the result. Poland will need to keep their intensity as they fight against Azerbaijan on Friday. Bulgaria can still make the Promotion Final but they will need to start with a win over the Czech Republic on Friday.
Bulgaria was not intimated by the Division A side, Poland, although neither side was in an early offensive rhythm. Poland took more chances but the Bulgarian defense was able to deftly stave off a possible goal from the Polish. The first period buzzer sounded with the score still tied at 0-0, paving the way to an even more dramatic second period. The tone was set early in the middle frame as the longtime legendary White and Red striker, Saganowski, netted the second goal in less than a minute to put his side up 2-0. Bulgaria did not let the slow down their attacks but the Poles had a solid grip on matters, offensively and defensively and the middle frame ended with Poland up 4-0.
A four goal lead was not satisfactory for Poland, as they added to the problems for The Lions, with Saganowski’s second goal of the match putting his side up 5-0 and looking to maintain a clean sheet. Bulgaria continued to threaten with shots on goal but the Polish squad easily dealt with all of them. Bulgaria fixed the leaks in their defense and limited the final period goals, despite giving up a hat-trick, and when the whistle sounded, the score was 6-0 for Poland.
Goals: 0-1: Friszkemut, min. 10 (2); 0-2: Saganowski, min. 9 (2); 0-3: Ziober, min. 4 (2); 0-4: Borkowski, min. 1 (2); 0-5: Saganowski, min. 11 (3); 0-6: Saganowski, min. 2 (3).
Hungary squeaks by Estonia for 3 points
The 1-0 was filled with defensive gems and spectacular saves that show how because matches can be evenly played with 10 goals or one goal and still be just as exciting. Hungary scored in the first frame and were able to shut down the Estonian offense for the entirety of the match. Hungary will next face England on Friday, and will aim for more goals to quiet the British also. Estonia can hold their head high but they also need to find goals from their stars to defeat their next opponent, Turkey, on Friday.
Estonia and Hungary began the match with spectacular chances that unfortunately went unfilled but they set the stage for how the game would be played, fast and with the offenses taking risks. The see-saw battle did not see the first goal until the waning moments of the opening period, with Simonyi of Hungary netting the score. The period ended with The Magyar up 1-0. Estonia spend much of the opening minutes of the second frame in the Hungarian half but were unable to initially score, not from lack of opportunities. Neither side found a goal in the second period as the defenses looked like they could stop any missile thrown their way, and the one goal was all that separated the two teams heading into the final frame.
Hungary knew they could not stop The Blueshirts forever and they went on the attack to start the final frame, hoping an insurance goal or two would be enough to earn the victory. Estonia had kept the game interesting and only goal would tie the match and would be an appropriate award for their efforts but obtaining said goal was easier said than done. The two teams finished the back-and-forth match with no more goals and when the referees called the match final, the score was 1-0 to Hungary.
Goals: 1-0: Simonyi, min. 2 (1).
Turkey puts on great overall showing for win
Turkeys’ 4-2 win over England was the final Division B match of the opening day and it was both offensive and defensive minded. England fought very hard to claw back into the match, which they did, but they did not have enough firepower to get past their opponent. The Turkish side had to rely on three goals in the first two periods and very late insurance goal to secure the victory. Turkey will face a desperate Estonian side on Saturday, while England will take on a very strong Hungary side.
Turkey knew not to take England lightly and within the first few minutes, the Crescent-Stars had scored their first goal on a beautiful bicycle from Baris and held their one goal advantage heading into the last minutes of the period. The English keeper, Webb, was under fire for much of the first period but he did an extremely good job slowing Turkey and only allowing one goal. England returned the favour and leveled some shots on goal but Turkey would not be broken. Turkey added a last second goal to go into the first break up 2-0. England had close-calls fail to hit the back of the onion bag but limiting the stacked Turkish team was benefit to The Three Lions because it showed they could play with them and the lone goal kept them close enough to strike in the last final period.
Turkey was demanding to score another goal but all the pressure in the opening minutes of the final frame was picked up by the British keeper, True, who kept his team close. England then fed off the defensive energy, and scored on a penalty kick to get the English to within two goals at 3-1. England added one more goal at the midway point of the third period and the ball had officially begun bouncing their way, keeping Turkey on their heels. Turkey responded in the last minute of the match to score their fourth goal and keep England out of reach and the match ended with a score of Turkey 4-2 England.
Goals: 1-0: Baris, min. 9 (1); 2-0: Cem, min. 0 (1); 3-0: Adil, min. 10 (2); 3-1: Corbett, min. 9 (3); 3-2: Clarke, min. 6 (3); 4-2: Adil, min. 0 (3).
Switzerland begins run to Superfinal with convincing win
The 7-0 win for Switzerland over Germany was a great team effort from the Swiss as well as a magical individual performance from Ott, scoring another hat-trick on the season. Germany played tough throughout and the final does not do justice to the great saves and acrobatic moves that Germany displayed on defense. Although they could not seem to buy a goal, they were on the brink many times. Switzerland will do battle with Ukraine on Friday and will be hoping for a repeat performance of today. Germany will have the chance to rebound against Spain, in the last match of the day on Friday.
The first few minutes of the first Superfinal match of the weekend was very physical and mainly controlled by Switzerland. The scoring gates opened for Noel Ott, the Swiss striker, near the middle of the period, when he played a cross off of his chest straight to a bicycle to put his team up 1-0. The second goal of the match was also from Ott and it was struck such powerfully that the German goalie could do nothing to stop. The period ended with the Swiss up 2-0. Germany continued to play hard and looked like they would score to get back into the match but The Nati scored their third goal instead, to try and keep the Germans from gaining any momentum. A late own-goal from Germany gave Switzerland a seemingly comfortable 4-0 lead going into the final period.
Switzerland did not need any more quick goals but they got three of them to open the final period. One of the goals was the third for Ott, who is by far and away Europe’s’ leading scorer this season, and was before his hat-trick today. Shutting out Germany, which Switzerland is not normally known to do against teams, was one of their goals and going into the final minutes, it was becoming a reality, and they were still pushing the attack also. Beyond the opening flurry in the last period, there were no other goals scored, from either side and game finished with the Swiss up 7-0.
Goals: 0-1: Ott, min. 7 (1); 0-2: Ott, min. 5 (1); 0-3: Misev, min. 8 (2); 0-4: Weirauch (O.G.), min. 2 (2); 0-5: Mo, min. 11 (5); 0-6: Ott, min. 10 (3); 0-7: Stankovic, min. 9 (3).
Portugal survives scare from Belarus
The 3-1 win for Portugal over Belarus was one of the most tense beach soccer matches that you could ask for as the heavy favourites, Portugal, went down early, battled back, were stuck in a stalemate, and then finally took the lead and held off furious attacks from Belarus. It cannot be overstated how tough Belarus played Portugal, but it is now evident that no matter who they play, they should not be the underdog, and in fact they already had defeated the defending EBSL and FIFA World Cup champions, this season, Russia. Portugal will take the win and build on it for their match against Russia on Friday. Belarus will next face Italy.
Portugal, the number one overall see in the Superfinal, has been playing some of their best soccer as of late and Belarus knew this, so they tried to jump out first and surprise the Portuguese. Portugal had to rely on their keeper maybe a little more than they wanted, but Hidalgo responded and after the initial Belarusian attacks, Portugal unleashed some strikes as well. Despite the offensive determination on both sides, no goals had been scored until the Belarusian captain, Bokach, helped his teams’ hard work bear fruit, giving his team the 1-0 lead. The Portuguese had a penalty kick saved and struck the crossbar on separate attempts in the final minutes and went into the first break down 1-0. The Portuguese could not stay off the score sheet if they wanted to and scored their first, on an acute angle shot by Belchior to square things at one. The remainder of the period was played to a draw and the game headed to the final and decisive period tied at 1.
Portugal, for all of their ball control and possession, had only one goal to show for it, but were determined to remedy that in the first minutes of the third period. The attacking ways of the Portuguese paid off when Jordan scored after being fouled near the halfway line, to put his team ahead for the first time all day, at 2-1. Portugal pounced on another opportunity at the midway point of the final period and scored to go up 3-1. The Portuguese did not relinquish the lead and they were able to keep Belarus quiet en route to their hard-fought 3-1 victory.
Goals: 1-0: Bokach, min. 5 (1); 1-1: Belchior, min. 9 (2); 1-2: Jordan, min. 10 (3); 1-3: José Maria, min. 6 (3).
Russia looks ready to repeat after win
The 9-2 win for Russia over Italy was rarely in doubt, though the Italian skills and ability were never in questions, as they just came up short on too many occasions, an occurrence that will likely not happen again anytime soon. The Russians were a systematic buzz saw with their offense and a stone-wall in their defense. Russian will have a chance to showcase their talents against Portugal on Friday, hoping to earn another crucial three points. Italy will hope to turn their fortunes around against Belarus on Friday.
Russia did not finish the regular season at the top of the standings but as defending champions they were happy to make the Superfinal with the chance of defending their title. What they were not happy about was being told they had lost a step and the opening seconds of the opening period precisely showed that they had not. The Russians first scored from distance on a blast the hit the roof of the net and then they added another great goal barely a minute later to take the early 2-0 lead. Russia added another goal but gave one back late in the period, on a rare defensive mistake. The three goal lead was restored in the final minute and Russia went into the break up 4-1. The Russians knew an Italian comeback was possible so they tried to distance themselves even more, getting up to 5-1 before Italy got another back to put the score at 5-2, advantage Russia. But, the defending champions did get their goal back to put the score 6-2 going into the final break.
The Azzurri were clinging to the hope of the big comeback that they are always capable of but the Russian took a stranglehold on the match proceedings when they scored three quick goals, before the midway point, to take a 9-2 lead. Makarov earned a hat-trick in the middle period and Shishin did not want to be shown up by his teammate, so he netted his second and third goals in the final frame. Russia took their foot off the pedal and the goals slowed as the final period ended, the score was the same, Russia 9-2 Italy.
Goals: 0-1: Makarov, min. 11 (1); 0-2: Peremitin, min. 9 (1); 0-3: Marinai (O.G.), min. 8 (1); 1-3: Gori, min. 3 (1); 1-4: Makarov, min. 0 (1); 1-5: Makarov, min. 9 (2); 2-5: Ramaciotto, min. 6 (2); 2-6: Shishin, min. 3 (2); 2-7: Shishin, min. 11 (3); 2-8: Shishin, min. 10 (3); 2-9: Peremitin, min. 7 (3).
Spain in spectacular form looking for another EBSL title
Spain’s 8-6 win over Ukraine was exciting from start to finish even though at one point there was a six-goal difference between the teams. Spain did not wait to score and they let it flow once the flood gates were open. Ukraine found themselves down too much to complete the final period deficit they faced at 7-1. The Spanish will face Germany on Friday and they will make sure they do not have any late game collapses that might allow the Germans to take advantage of. Tomorrow Ukraine will face Switzerland and hope to build on their late game near heroics from today.
Spain struck gold first with a wonderful strike from Pajón and that goal spurred more energy, anger of facing a deficit for Ukraine, and joy of drawing first blood for Spain, and the shots kept flying, but both keepers were magnificent to limit the goals. The superstar from Spain, Llorenç, scored a beauty of his own in the final minute to go up 2-0 heading into the first break. Spain began spreading the wealth and added two more quick goals from two different players, before Ukraine netted their first. The fifth Spanish goal was from the fifth different player, Kuman, and after another goal each for Llorenç and Antonio, The Furia Roja, went into the final period up 7-1.
Defense and offense were both still at a premium as Ukraine slowed down the Spanish offense and scored an early one of their own to bring the score to 7-2, Spain. Ukraine was not done and were started on the long comeback trail when Borsuk scored his second of the match to put the Ukrainians only down four. Spain calmed their nerves with a Merida bicycle was slotted home, putting the score at 8-3. The Blue and Yellows found their offensive magic in the last period and scored another goal, getting back to within four goals and maintaining hope of a win, no matter how improbable. Dona, the reigning top goalkeeper at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, saved a late penalty kick that could have changed the landscape of the game, instead, Spain fended off the late Ukrainian attacks in their 8-6 victory.
Goals: 1-0: Pajon, min. 8 (1); 2-0: Llorenç, min. 0 (1); 3-0: Juanma, min. 11 (2); 4-0: Antonio, min. 9 (2); 4-1: Borsuk, min. 8 (2); 5-1: Kuman, min. 8 (2); 6-1: Llorenç, min. 7 (2); 7-1: Antonio, min. 5 (2); 7-2: Voitenko, min. 10 (3); 7-3: Borsuk, min. 9 (2); 8-3: R. Merida, min. 8 (3); 8-4: Korniichuk, min. 6 (3); 8-5: Borsuk, min 0 (3); 8-6: Zborovski, min. 0 (3).
EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE SUPERFINAL & PROMOTION FINAL TORREDEMBARRA 2014
10:15 - Czech Republic 2-6 Azerbaijan (Division B - Group 1)
11:30 - Bulgaria 0-6 Poland (Division B - Group 1)
12:45 - Hungary 1-0 Estonia (Division B - Group 2)
14:00 - Turkey 4-2 England (Division B - Group 2)
15:15 - Germany 0-7 Switzerland (Division A - Group 2)
16:30 - Belarus 1-3 Portugal (Division A - Group 1)
17:45 - Italy 2-9 Russia (Division A - Group 1)
19:00 - Spain 8-6 Ukraine (Division A - Group 2)
Matches for tomorrow:
10:15 - Czech Republic vs. Bulgaria (Division B - Group 1)
11:30 - Poland vs. Azerbaijan (Division B - Group 1)
12:45 - Turkey vs. Estonia (Division B - Group 2)
14:00 - Hungary vs. England (Division B - Group 2)
15:15 - Italy vs. Belarus (Division A - Group 1)
16:30 - Suiza vs. Ucrania (Division A - Group 2)
17:45 - Portugal vs. Russia (Division A - Group 1)
19:00 - Spain vs. Germany (Division A - Group 2)