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10 Sep 2014
Group leaders now own upperhand for qualifying
Overtime and penalties along with hat-tricks leave teams one step closer to World Cup after day 1 of Group Phase II
England opens second stage with amazing overtime win
The 5-4 overtime win for England over Azerbaijan had its ups and downs as the two teams scored and put pressure on the others’ defense. The English took the lead first but Azerbaijan turned up the pressure on took multiple two goal leads late in the match. England’s never say die mentality came through as they scored in the final seconds of regulation to force overtime and then scored in the opening seconds of the extra period, then held off the Azerbaijan attacks to hold on for the win. The win gives England two points and a big confidence boost as they go into their next match against Hungary on Thursday. Azerbaijan has the opportunity to rebound against Switzerland on Thursday.
England and Azerbaijan were both very evenly matched and the first period was a display of that with the two teams using clever passing and air-tight defense to keep the other side from scoring. Azerbaijan looked to be in control for much of the period but England’s Day saw an opening and countered late in the period to give his side the 1-0 lead going into the first break. Azerbaijan was winning the ball control battle and though it had not delivered a goal until near the midway point of the match, they were rewarded with a direct kick just outside the penalty area, but that opportunity also went unfilled as England maintained the one goal advantage heading into the last minutes of the frame. As the Three Lions’ confidence grew, so did their chances, but the Azerbaijani flipped the script and scored their first in the last minutes of the period to tie the score at 1 going into the final period.
The opening minute of the last frame is when Azerbaijan took their first lead at 2-1, after a beautiful bicycle from Sabir that struck the English goalie but still got through. That goal looked to be a game changer as Azerbaijan scored again to take the two goal lead, and how goals were at a premium, it looked daunting for England to get back into the match. That did not stop England’s attack or Clarke who scored his teams’ second goal to make the score 3-2 for Azerbaijan. Sabir was doing everything he could to carry his team on his back and he scored again, late in the period to make the score 4-2, but England quickly responded again to move to within one after the second goal for Clarke. The drama was far from over as the English scored again in the last minute, on a penalty kick from Clarke, his third of the game, to knot the score at 4 and send the game into overtime. The opening seconds of the extra frame were basically an extension of the final seconds of the third period as both team were physical, tackles were flying, and shots were fired, but the first dagger was from England and Corbett, who struck a great shot that was saved, but he followed up his own miss and reacted with a bicycle to give the English the lead once again.
Goals: 1-0: Day, min. 1 (1); 1-1: Sabir, min. 1 (2); 1-2: Sabir, min. 11 (3); 1-3: Amid, min. 9 (3); 2-3: Clarke, min. 8 (3); 2-4: Sabir, min. 4 (3); 3-4: Clarke, min. 3 (3); 4-4: Clarke, min. 0 (3); 5-4: Corbett, min. 2 (et).
Belarus cruises to first Group Phase II win over Poland
The 8-2 victory for Belarus over Poland was very thorough and showed how formidable a side that the Belarusians are. Poland scored first but that was the only time they would sniff the lead as Belarus rebounded to take the lead and despite a little scare in the middle of the match, when Poland came back to within one goal, but a flurry of goals to end the second period would put Belarus comfortably ahead. Belarus will face Estonia in their next Group Phase II match on Thursday. Poland will look to make some noise against the hosts, Italy, on Thursday.
Poland played the aggressor early and it paid off in the form of the first goal of the match from the speedster, Ziober. The lead was short lived aas Belarus used a rocket strike from Kanstantsinau to level things at 1. The score did not change going into the final minutes of the period but in the very last second, Kanstantsinau scored his second goal to put the Belarusians up 2-1 at the first break. Belarus continues their scoring trend and scored first in the middle frame to go up by two goals. Poland inched closer with a goal from Piechnik to pull back to within one goal at 3-2. The score remained the same until the closing minutes of the frame when Bryshtsel scored two quick goals in less than a minute to go up 5-2 heading into the final break.
Bryshtsel scored his third goal of the match early into the final period to push the Belarusian lead to 4 goals. Poland was frustrated by the Belarus defense all day and going into the final minutes they had yet to make any real noise while Belarus was still pumping out the goals. Parpau and Ilyin scored one each to put the game far out of reach for the Polish side at 8-2. The Red and Whites made their push to score more goals but were unable to capitalize and when the final buzzer sounded, Belarus was up 8-2.
Goals: 0-1: Ziober, min. 7 (1); 1-1: Kanstantsinau, min. 5 (1); 2-1: Kanstantsinau, min. 0 (1); 3-1: Slavutsin, min. 7 (2); 3-2: Piechnik, min. 5 (2); 4-2: Bryshtel, min. 1 (2); 5-2: Bryshtsel, min. 0 (2); 6-2: Bryshtsel, min. 7 (3); 7-2: Karpau, min. 5 (3); 8-2: Ilyin, min. 1 (3).
Romania comes up clutch in penalties win
The 3(2)-3(0) penalties win for Romania over Germany was an entertaining battle royale between two determined sides that want nothing more than to qualify for the next World Cup. Germany pushed the matters first with two goals but Romania came back with three unanswered scored, only to see Germany tie the match and force overtime. Overtime was just as thrilling but without a goal so the match went into penalties where Romania connected on their two shots in comparison to the two misses that Germany had. The win starts the second group stage off with a bang for Romania, as they secured one point and will next face Greece on Thursday. Germany will regroup and take on Russia on Thursday.
The early going of the match was emotional and energetic as the crowds were excited to see all the goals and two top-notch teams compete for a chance to play in the World Cup. Germany waited their time and drew first blood with back-to-back goals from Lobsch and Weirauch, to take the early two goal lead. Romania did not back down from the early deficit and scored late to put the score at 2-1 for Germany. The shots flew in the second period as Romania scored their third unanswered goal to take the 3-2 lead late in the period. Germany still saw many set pieces and good opportunities but in the middle period, their shots were not falling. Ollie changed that trend in the last seconds when he tied the match at 3, which is how the score stood going into the final period.
The drama increased with each passing moment in the final period as the score remained tied and the knowledge that a win this early in the second stage would be crucial to getting into the World Cup. Romania possessed the ball for long stretches of time but could not score early in the period and Germany was much more opportunistic, finding quality shots on goal but not being able to hit the back of the net. The final minutes of the period were played from end to end as both squads wanted the three points that come along with a win in regulation. The deciding goal did not come and the match headed to overtime. The shots were coming from all directions and sides in the final seconds of the extra period but no goals came and the match went into penalties.
Goals: 0-1: Lobsch, min. 6 (1); 0-2: Weirauch, min. 5 (1); 1-2: Dobre, min. 4 (1); 2-2: I. Poste, min. 10 (2); 3-2: Dobre, min. 2 (2); 3-3: Olli, min. 0 (2).
Penalties: Weirauch: saved; Maci: goal; Olli: miss; Dobre; goal.
Ukraine looks comfortable in win over France
The 5-1 victory over France for Ukraine was as complete a beach soccer performance that you could ask for as Ukraine began slower than they would have liked, not scoring until late in the first period, but at that point they took off and were able to keep the French from finding their offensive rhythm. The win puts Ukraine atop the group with three points and they will need all the momentum they can get going into their next match on Thursday against Turkey. France will need to rebound and take advantage of all their opportunities in their next match against Spain on Thursday.
The Group Phase II stage began very well for Ukraine against France as they knew that jumping on top early and securing the highly coveted first points would go a long way in determining the top and bottom the group. Ukraine used two goals late in the opening frame from Budzko and Andrieiev to take a 2-0 lead into the middle frame. Ukraine looked like the hungrier team as they pressed and attacked the French defense with terrific runs and doubled their lead in the opening minutes of the middle frame, scoring twice to go up 4-0 heading into the final minutes of the period. France was on their heels for much of the period but always had their eyes on the attack and as they have shown, they are always capable of big comebacks. Les Bleus were not able to score in the middle period either, as they went into the final 12 minutes down 4-0.
The Ukrainians did not sit back and let the French side come to them, they still went on the attack, however, France tightened their defense evidenced by the fact that they had not given up a goal since the halfway mark of the second period. Ukraine also had a stranglehold on the French offense, keeping them off the scoreboard until the final seconds of the match when Pagis scored a consolation goal, which frustrated the Blue and Yellows more than it excited the French. The score did not change as the Ukrainian side had prevailed 5-1 when the match had ended.
Goals: 1-0: Budzko, min. 4 (1); 2-0: Andrieiev, min. 3 (1); 3-0: Zborvskyi, min. 8 (2); 4-0: Borsuk A., min. 6 (2); 4-1: Pagis, min. 0 (3); 5-1; Budzko, min. 0 (3).
Switzerland looks nearly flawless in win over Hungary
The 6-3 win for Switzerland over Hungary was a great start to the second stage as Switzerland stayed hot and positioned themselves to advance to the next round and qualify for the next World Cup. Switzerland built an early lead and then were sweating from nervousness as the Hungarians charged back, but never far enough to get the best of the Swiss and Switzerland finished the match by scoring the last goal. The win put Switzerland alone atop the group, as England won in overtime, and ready for their next match against Azerbaijan on Thursday. Hungary will face a surprising England squad as both teams will be wanting a victory, and badly.
Switzerland is always a threat to score from anywhere and the opening minutes were an example of that as Mo scored first, but the goal spurred on the Hungarian defense as they remained solid and did not give up another goal until the final minute in the period when Ott nailed a long distance free kick that set the score at 2-0 going into the first break. The second period began how the first period did, with a string of great goals from the Nati, as Stankovic and Mo doubled the Swiss lead to 4-0. Hungary was fed up with the Swiss goals and decided to score one of their own on an absolute rocket from Fekete, that was initially saved, but it was hit so cleanly that Stalder, Switzerland’s keeper, could not keep it out. The Hungarian goal put the score at 4-1 going into the heart of the period and match. Fekete scored his second of the match, just past the midway point to bring the Golden Team to within two goals at 4-2. Switzerland was sitting a little uneasy after giving up their second goal so they went on the offensive again, using Mo’s hat-trick goal to balloon their lead back to three goals with a score of 5-2. Hungary snagged all the momentum back when they scored at the last possible second to end the period on a bomb from Ughy, which put the score at 5-3 for Switzerland going into the final period.
The Swiss team knew that they had to expand their lead if they wanted to be sure of a victory because as the Hungarians have continually showed that they can score at will, so Stankovic took it upon himself to restore his teams’ three goal lead at 3-6. The scoring would stop there but the action did not as both teams were not settled on the score and wanted to prove points. Switzerland began to impose their will and stop the Hungarians from going on the offensive and that helped to eliminate the scoring. When the final buzzer sounded, Switzerland was up 6-3.
Goals: 0-1: Mo, min. 8 (1); 0-2: Ott, min. 1 (1); 0-3: Stankovic, min. 10 (2); 0-4: Mo, min. 9 (2); 1-4: Fekete, min. 9 (2); 2-4: Fekete, min. 5 (2); 2-5: Mo, min. 2 (2); 3-5: Ughy, min. 0 (2); 3-6: Stankovic, min. 9 (3).
Spain withstands Turkish rally for tough win
Spain’s 6-3 win over Turkey was not supposed to be this close on paper but as we all know, beach soccer is not played on paper, but on sand. Spain led big early in the match but little by little the Crescent Stars chipped away and trimmed a four goal deficit into two goals, but they were not able to get any closer than that. Spain’s back end held up just enough to secure the win. Their first match in the Group Phase II stage was a resounding success for Spain as they captured the three points and stayed on pace with Ukraine at the top of the group, going into their match against France on Thursday. Turkey will hope to rebound and not face such a big and early deficit against Ukraine on Thursday.
Spain started like a freight train in the opening frame and did not let the Turkish side breathe as they jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead and then scored two more late goals to go up 4-0, but that’s when Turkey’s star, Cem, put his magic on display and scored on one of his signature overheads to get back to within three goals at 4-1, which is how the period would end. Spain responded quickly in the middle frame as Pajon was given a direct kick which he slotted home for the fifth goal for Spain. Turkey bought a ticket to the lottery by throwing a long range shot towards the keeper and it just so happened to slip past Dona for the goal, putting the score at 5-2, for Spain. The teams exchanged shots on goal but the second period ended without any more goals and Spain up 5-2.
Turkey still believed that a comeback was possible and halfway through the final frame Adil cut the Spanish deficit to only two goals with a great strike to put the score at 5-3 for La Furia Roja. Spain regained their composure and scored again, the second goal from Antonio, to go back up by three goals with a score of 6-3. The six goals would prove to be enough as Turkey could not and did not get any close and when the fat lady had sung, the score was 6-3 for Spain.
Goals: 0-1: Antonio, min. 10 (1); 0-2: R. Merida, min. 8 (1); 0-3: Llorenç, min. 5 (1); 0-4: Kuman, min. 2 (1); 1-4: Cem, min. 2 (1); 1-5: Pajon, min. 10 (2); 2-5: Erkan, min. 10 (2); 3-5: Adil, min. 6 (3); 3-6: Antonio, min. 1 (3).
Russia shuts down Greece to take control of group
The 3-0 victory for Russia over Greece was very sound on all fronts, as the Russians scored when they needed to and played stubborn defense from start to finish. The two-time defending Euro Beach Soccer League and World Cup champions scored twice in the opening frame and ceded no goals to build a comfortable lead, to which they added in the second period. The Greek offense could not find a groove and ended up being shut out. The win puts Russia in sole possession of first place in the group because the Romanian win earlier in the day was in a penalty shoot-out, so the Romanians only earned one point. Russia will next face Germany on Thursday in their second Group Phase II match. Greece will face Romania in hopes of getting back on track on Wednesday.
Russia let the Greeks know exactly how the match would go when they scored within 15 seconds, on a missile from Shkarin, to take the early lead. Greece found their footing and did not allow another goal until late in the opening period on a defensive error that Romanov pounced on to give the Russian squad a 2-0 advantage going into the first break. The Pirate Ship allowed another early goal in the middle frame, to Peremitin, which put the Russians up 3-0 going into the halfway point in the match. The Sbornaya held all the momentum after their third goal and still were in control heading into the final minutes, as the score had not changed and in fact, it did not going into the final period.
If you expected the Russians to sit back and take what they had in the final period, you would have been wrong as Russia pressed the issues and nearly scored on a number of occasions but unlike the first and second periods, the Greeks stopped most of the threats. Stopping all of the attacks from Russia meant that Greece could not go on the attack as much as they would have like and the attacks they did mount were not all that dangerous. A late change in Russians keepers created a buzz as the Greeks put together more quality attacks but the hopes of multiple late goals were soon dashed and the Russians wound up winning by the score of 3-0.
Goals: 0-1: Shkarin, min. 11 (1); 0-2: Romanov, min. 1 (1); 0-3: Peremitin, min. 8 (2).
Italy and Gori kick their way to victory over Estonia
The 8-3 win for Italy over Estonia was never in doubt though Estonia fought and stayed close in the opening period, exchanging a goal for a goal, until the Italians piled on and took Estonia by storm. Italy scored three first period goals and three seconds period goals while only giving up one goal in the same span. Gori scored four of Italy’s goals to lead his team in their opening match of the second stage of the qualifier. The win gives Italy three points and keeps them on pace with Belarus in Group I, who big against Poland earlier in the day. Italy next faces Poland on Thursday. Estonia will take on Belarus in their next match on Thursday with the hopes of an upset.
Italy needed no motivation to come out strong and push the Estonian side with all they had and it showed in the first minute when Gori struck a shot sweetly off of a direct kick to give his team the supremely early 1-0 lead. Only two minutes passed before Estonia found the equalizer, turning the momentum around and back to their team with the score sitting at 1-1. Italy did not falter after the Estonian goal and stuck to their strengths, with Palmacci scoring on another free kick that put the score at 2-1 for Italy going into the periods’ final minutes. The Azzurri added a goal from Zurlo to their tally and took a 3-1 lead into the first break. The Italians stared at another goal when they were given another dead ball kick, but the Blueshirts saved the kick, only to have Gori follow his own miss to score his second of the match and Italy’s fourth. If there was anyone else on the pitch that wanted to score as much as Gori, they had yet to make themselves known, as Gori scored his third goal of the day in the closing minutes of the middle period to put his team up 5-1. 6-1 soon rolled around with another goal from Gori, a tap-in from close range, to give him four goals and his team a five-goal lead going into the final frame.
The Italians had no desire to slow their offense and began the period by picking their way through the Estonian defense, however no early final period goals came. Estonia used a goal from Saharov to pull to within four goals but Italy quickly stomped out the idea of a comeback with two more quick goals, both from Ramacciotti, to push the score to 8-2. The Estonians scored another late goal that cut the deficit to five goals, but even for the most prolific offense, that is too big a deficit to overcome, which proved to be true as the game ended with Italy up 8-3.
Goals: 0-1: Gori, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Marmor, min. 9 (1); 1-2: Palmacci, min. 7 (1); 1-3: Zurlo, min. 4 (1); 1-4: Gori, min. 9 (2); 1-5: Gori, min. 3 (2); 1-6: Gori, min. 0 (2); 2-6: Saharov, min. 6 (3); 2-7: Ramacciotti, min. 6 (3); 2-8: Ramacciotti, min. 3 (3); 3-8: Marmor, min. 2 (3).
FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP 2015 - EUROPE QUALIFIER JESOLO-ITALY
09:00 - England 5-4 (aet) Azerbaijan (Group IV)
10:15 - Belarus 8-2 Poland (Group I)
11:30 - Romania 3(2)-3(0) (pen) Germany (Group III)
12:45 - Ukraine 5-1 France (Group II)
14:00 - Hungary 3-6 Switzerland (Group IV)
15:15 - Turkey 3-6 Spain (Group II)
16:30 - Greece 0-3 Russia (Group III)
17:45 - Estonia 3-8 Italy (Group I)
09:00 - England vs. Hungary (Group IV)
10:15 - Ukraine vs. Turkey (Group II)
11:30 - Romania vs. Greece (Group III)
12:45 - Belarus vs. Estonia (Group I)
14:00 - Switzerland vs. Azerbaijan (Group IV)
15:15 - Spain vs. France (Group II)
16:30 - Russia vs. Germany (Group III)
17:45 - Italy vs. Poland (Group I)