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28 May 2018
Comebacks theme of Euro Winners Cup Day 1
A day of golazos and thrilling clashes in Nazaré
Day one of the Euro Winners Cup was just as thrilling as everyone had been hoping. The stars took to the sand to strut their stuff and give the spectators a spectacle they came for. Llorenç smashed in five against Boca Gdansk for Falfala Kfar Qassem, and Kristall and Artur Music went to extra time in a tantalising battle for the first set of points.
Group A kicked off with hosts ACD O Sótão (Portugal) against Kreiss (Latvia). ACD O Sótão opened the scoring through Flavio within the first minute of the match and it would take Kreiss until late into the second period to pull themselves back on level terms through Alexandre. The game stayed at one goal apiece until the Latvian team snatched the three points in the dying moments of the game to avoid extra time and go top of Group A.
The reigning champions, SC Braga, looked to kick off the Group B action by dealing out a defeat on the Czech side, SK BO EU Teplice. Going six up in the first period, they were cruising and creating too big of a deficit for Teplice to overcome. It soon became about damage limitation for the Czech side once it was clear that the three points were out of their reach. The Portuguese international, Leo Martins, grabbed a hat-trick. Braga will be eyeing a second consecutive title this year, setting themselves in good stead for the remainder of the tournament from day one.
MFC Spartak against Marseille BS promised to be a close match and sure enough the first period finished with just a single goal from the French number nine, Jeremy, separating the Bulgarian and French sides. Jeremy finished the game with two but it wasn’t enough to cope with the sudden onslaught of goals from Spartak in the final period. The Bulgarian team scored five in quick succession, blasting Marseille aside to go level on points with SC Braga.
Group C got underway in a showdown between Copenhagen BSC and Sporting CP. Sporting’s stars did what they do best and smashed in seven goals before the start of the final period. Copenhagen never really looked like threatening to take the three points but they created some good chances. After clocking up a total of 12 goals, and conceding one Copenhagen consolation goal, Sporting will be confident for their face-off with BS Egmond tomorrow for the chance to make it six points out of six.
The day’s second Group C match saw Estonian side Nõmme BSC Olybet take on BS Egmond, from the Netherlands, for the chance to go level on points with Sporting CP who won earlier in the day. Nõmme started the tie well, scoring twice to lead at the first break and then extending their lead to four while Egmond were unable to find the net. But they suddenly burst into life in the third period and hammered home four goals in quick succession in what would have been a heroic comeback, were it not for a fifth for the Estonia side to seal the points.
In Group D, the day got underway on pitch two, where GR Amigos da Paz went head to head with ACS West Deva from Romania. The Portuguese took control early on, ending the first period with a 3-1 advantage. But as more goals flew in, West Deva managed to keep pace with their opponents, maintaining just a two-goal deficit at the second pause in play. But in the third period, West Deva mounted an amazing comeback to force the Amigos da Paz into extra time and then – after trailing for almost the whole game - go on to steal two hard-won points.
This is the first year that a team from Norway has played in the Euro Winners Cup, so Oslo BSC were keen to make an impression against BSC Vybor of the Ukraine. A tight first period saw the Norwegians trailing by a single goal at the first break. The game was still anyone’s for the taking at this point but Vybor found the back of the net twice during the second period to make a comeback less likely. With Oslo unable to get on the scoresheet, the game finished after a goalless third period confirming the three points for Vybor.
Group E started with a clash between the Turkish side Alanyabelediye Spor and BLC Vamos from Belgium. The first period finished with everything still to play for as Alanyabelediye lead two goals to one. However, as the game went on they would kick into a superior gear and leave the Belgians in the dust, finishing the game having scored eight, including a hat-trick from Keskin.
The Russian titans BSC Lokomotiv were looking for their first victim of this year’s Euro Winners Cup but the Lithuanian team, Igol BSC, were also looking to start the campaign with some giant slaying. After Lokomotiv opened the scoring through Krutikov, there was a defiant reply from Igol as they equalised six minutes from the end of the first period. But the level pegging didn’t last, as Nikonorov completed his hat-trick three seconds before the end of the second period and the game ended in a comfortable win for the Russians, who netted ten times to claim their first victory of the tournament.
FC Bate Borisov began the battle for the Group F title by breezing aside an AO Kefallinia who struggled to convert some good chances. The Greeks trailed the Belarusian side by three goals at the close of the first period and although they managed to pull two back in the second and third periods, a hat-trick from Aksenov sealed the points for FC Bate Borisov.
CD Melistar Melilla were looking to begin their campaign in Group F with a win against CS Djocker of Moldova, but throughout the first period they struggled to break through the defensive lines until late in the first period. They started the second period with a two-goal lead thanks to a brace from Christian Biermann and went on to extend their lead to an unassailable 11 goals. Two consolation goals deep into the third period weren’t enough to earn Djocker any points and they will have to wait until Tuesday for their next chance of victory against FC Bate Borisov.
The day’s first match on pitch one saw Italian side, Happy Car Sambenedettese BS, take on Rostocker Robben from Germany. Eager to get off on the front foot, each side fought hard to clinch the first points in Group G, but it was Happy Car who went into the first break leading. They maintained a two-goal lead, both converted by Pablo Perez, into the third period but piled on the pressure and added three more to their final tally, securing three points in the process.
On the back of three wins in three days, both Viareggio and Artur Music had every right to feel confident ahead of this matching of heavyweights. After the teams had scored two goals each by the end of the third period, the game went to extra time. But when the pressure was on, the Italians showed why they have won so many titles over the last few years, slotting away two goals for two fiercely fought points.
After totally dominating their groups in the Nazaré Cup, this game between Catania BS and BSC Kristall promised to be a real clash of beach soccer titans. The game started evenly with the first period ending with a one goal advantage for Kristall. Always just one goal behind, the Italians kept up with the Russian side until they grabbed an equaliser late into the third period. This only made it all the more bitter when Kristall slotted home a few moments later to steal the points and deny the Italians extra time.
Two more teams who topped their groups in the Nazaré Cup were Casa Benfica de Loures and Playas de Mazarrón. Both arrived to today’s clash with an unbeaten record to maintain. Casa Benfica found themselves three down at the end of the first period, but they dragged themselves back into the game dramatically when Fabricio and Formiga squeezed onto the scoresheet in the final seconds of the second period. Incredibly they kept the momentum going and went on to win the game in an impressive comeback.
Following decisive toppings of their Nazaré Cup groups to qualify for the Euro Winners Cup, both Boca Gdansk and Falfala Kfar Qassem would fancy themselves to walk away with the points, but, as always in beach soccer, there could only be one winner. A hat-trick in the first period from Llorenç put the Israeli team very much on the front foot early on and they managed to maintain this dominance, totting up a grand total of 9 goals, with Boca Gdansk unable to get on the scoresheet.
For complete results and standings click here