Euro Beach Soccer League Nazaré 2017
07 Jul 2017

Hosts Portugal hit the goal trail in Nazaré

Ukraine, Poland and Switzerland also claimed wins on day one.

Holders Ukraine off the mark in Nazare

Ukraine were given a stern test by Greece en route to opening their Euro Beach Soccer League title defence in Nazare with a 6-5 win in Nazare on Friday.

In the opening game of the second stage in Portugal, the sides exchanged goals regularly and went into the final period level at 4-4.

However, a hat-trick goal from the impressive Ivan Glutskyi helped seal a narrow victory for the holders against a gutsy Greek side who came up just short.

The holders were set on their way when Yaroslav Zavorotny found the target with a set-piece but Greece captain Theofilos Triantafyllidis responded immediately from the restart.

The scores were completed turned round when Alexandros Biris angled a strike into the top corner of Volodymr Hladchenko’s net.

The Ukraine stopper almost reduced the arrears when he rattled the crossbar before Glutskyi and Andriy Yevdokymov struck in quick succession to ensure the champions a first-period lead.

In a back-and-forth contest, Greece equalised through Konstantinos Tsitaris before e the number eight registered again to restore his side’s lead.

This time Ukraine responded, again through Glutskyi, to set up a fascinating finale.

Things remained finely poised until Glutskyi wrapped up his hat-trick with a neat looping header, with Yevdokymov helping take the game away from Greece with a fine driven finish.

There was time for Georgios Karakasis to benefit from a fortuitous deflection in the final stages but it was Ukraine who would claim the first points of Division A, Group One.

Slick Swiss ease past Italy

Switzerland kicked off their Euro Beach Soccer League campaign in style as they dispatched fellow heavyweights Italy 4-0.

In the battle of sixth in the world versus seventh, it was the latter who came out on top as Dejan Stankovic, Noel Ott, Moritz Jaeggy and Sandro Spaccarotella earned a comprehensive win for the Swiss in Division A, Group Two.

In both sides’ first outing since the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in the Bahamas, it was the Swiss who led first as Stankovic broke the deadlock four minutes in.

Strike partner Ott doubled the lead with an expert close-range finish soon after and, as Switzerland continued to dominate, Ott’s lofted attempt clipped the crossbar as Italy struggled for attacking momentum.

The Azzurri enjoyed their best spell before the final period, Gabriele Gori threatening twice, but they failed to make inroads before the whistle as Angelo Schirinzi’s side went into the final frame with a solid advantage.

Captain Mo added to that lead when he buried a penalty early in the third while Gori’s frustrations mounted as he saw his overhead kick clip the outside of the post.

Ultimately, it was not to be for Italy as Spacca completed the scoring by volleying into the top corner three minutes from time.

Poland hold their nerve to edge Spain

Poland outlasted Spain in a thrilling penalty shootout by seven goals to six as they got on the board at the Euro Beach Soccer League.

After an early brace from Jakub Jesionowski, Spain needed a late equaliser from Spain’s Daniel Pajon to take the game to extra time, with penalties swiftly following on.

Goalkeeper Dona was the man to miss the crucial kick however, as an epic contest ended in Poland’s favour.

Poland - embarking on something of a new era without retired forward Boguslaw Saganowski - made a strong start thanks to an early double from Jakub Jesionowski.

Llorenc Gomez - joint top scorer in the Belgrade stage - pulled one back for Spain with a glanced effort past Szymon Gasinski before the break.

The forward was once again Spain’s focal point when he grabbed a second early shortly after the restart to restore parity, only for Filip Gac to put Poland back in front going into the final 12 minutes.

In what was becoming another thrilling Euro Beach Soccer League tussle, Daniel Pajon equalised for Spain with five minutes of normal time remaining.

Konrad Kubiak then spurned a glorious opportunity one-on-one with goalkeeper Dona in the final seconds of extra time and it was the Spain goalkeeper who would become the unfortunate party in the shootout.

After 12 successful penalties, Dona failed to convert his against opposite number Dariusz Slowinski as Poland clinched a point.

Portugal too good for Basquaise and France

Portugal held off a Jeremy Basquaise-inspired France side to claim a 10-5 win in front of their home fans at the Estadio di Viveiro.

Basquaise was a constant menace for France - who were seeking to build on an impressive display in Belgrade - but his four goals proved insufficient as Portugal found their cutting edge to send the crowds home happy on day one.

Madjer gave Portugal the ideal start when he hammered in a free-kick from kick-off to send the Nazare crowd wild, although the impressive Basquaise levelled two minutes later.

An unfortunate Bryan Maison own goal restored Portugal’s lead while a cool set-piece from Bruno Torres aided Portugal’s momentum.

When a Portugal counter broke down and the home nation lost possession, Basquaise was on target again when he calmly slotted past Elinton Andrade.

Two quick goals in Portugal’s favour - from Alan and Leo Martins - helped the hosts’ cause but Basquaise continued to prove a thorn in their side as he registered twice more in quick succession before Pierre Antoinne Darracq levelled with seconds left of the second frame to stun fans in Nazare.

However, a third-period blitz from Portugal ensured them the points and a somewhat flattering scoreline as Andrade, Leo Martins, Joao Goncalves and a Ricardinho brace earned the points.

Friday results

14:15 - Greece 5-6 Ukraine (Division A, Group One)

15:30 - Italy 0-4 Switzerland (Division A, Group Two)

16:45 - Spain (6) 3-3 (7) Poland (Division A, Group One)

18:15 France 5-10 Portugal (Division A, Group Two)

Saturday fixtures

14:15 - Ukraine v Poland (Division A, Group One)

15:30 - Italy v France (Division A, Group Two)

16:45 - Spain v Greece (Division A, Group One)

18:15 - Portugal v Switzerland (Division A, Group Two)

July 13, 2018 - July 15, 2018
Round Robin
Morocco MAR 2 1 1 0 10 7 3 5
Germany GER 2 1 0 1 15 12 3 3
Oman OMA 2 1 0 1 5 3 2 3
Ukraine UKR 2 0 0 2 14 22 -8 0
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