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26 Jul 2014
Portugal and Japan win big
Exciting second day in the XIX Mundialito makes for classic showdown on Sunday in winner-take-all finale
Japan systematically marches to win
The 5-1 win for Japan over Hungary was very surgical until the final period, when creativity took over as both teams’ offenses blossomed. The Japanese only scored one goal in the opening period and one more in the middle frame, however, after shutting out Hungary through two periods, the European side netted one to make the match interesting. Japan then unleaded their offense and scored two quick goals to take their biggest lead of the match, and they never looked back. The win sets up an exciting final match of the tournament as Japan will battle the Portuguese hosts, in what could be a winner-take-all game. Hungary will face the Americans in their final match, hoping to earn their first points in Espinho.
The Hungarians began the match with the majority of the chances but the direct kicks and other scoring opportunities did not lead to a goal. Neither team found any real offensive rhythm in the opening minutes but both teams alternated possession and had some wonderful looking strokes and the Nippon connected first, on a beautiful display of athleticism from Goto. Looking for their first goal of the tournament, Hungary let the overhead kicks fly but were stopped by the goal posts multiple times, with the help of the Japanese keeper of course. The competitive first period ended with Japan up 1-0. It did not take long for Japan to double their lead, as they needed only two minutes, some patience, and a surgical finish to earn the two-goal lead. Japan used some clever passing and shooting to give themselves a chance to further their lead but Hungary did well to deter those shots and the second period ended with just the one goal, with Japan up 2-0.
Japan knew they could have scored more goals but until the midway point in the final period, their defense was just as dominant, at which point Berkes slotted home Hungary’s first goal of the tournament. The momentum had obviously shifted and the Hungarian squad were staring at an open net when the Japanese star, Ozu, rushed back to help his keeper and deftly blocked the shot off the line and then in an instant, started an offensive charge, where he went coast to coast to score the third goal for the Asian side. Japan tacked on two more goals, one in the final seconds, to leave things final at 5-1.
Goals: 1-0: Goto, min. 6 (1); 2-0: Oda, min. 10 (2); 2-1: Berkes, min. 7 (3); 3-1: Ozu, min. 6 (3); 4-1: Goto, min. 4 (3); 5-1: Ozu, min. 0 (3).
Portugal delights crowd with offensive fireworks in win
Portugal’s consummate performance in the 14-1 victory over the USA was a lesson in how beach soccer should be played. They played great on offense and defense and made the most of every opportunity. The Americans did not look like the same team that narrowly lost to Japan on Friday, however the intensity was evident, the ball was just not bouncing their way from the opening whistle. The European squad played the best possible game that they could have and scored early and often and shut out the Red, White, and Blue until late in the second period. The hosts will play Japan on Sunday in the final match that will determine who wins the entire tournament. The US will face the other winless team, Hungary, on Sunday, in what is the de facto third place match for the XIX Mundialito.
Jordan Santos of Portugal, made sure that his team would play with the lead as much as possible, with an early opening period goal that displayed brilliant individual skill. Portugal rapidly doubled their lead on a blocked penalty shot that rebounded directly back to Jose Maria who slotted home the second attempt. The Americans were not shell-shocked as they created their own offensive chances and continued to play physical but were unable to score in the opening period and Portugal took a 5-0 lead into the first break after three more goals from the Europeans. The Portuguese did not sit back on their heels and they pushed the ball and tempo and scored again early in the middle frame to balloon their lead to six goals. Portugal was not done there and they scored their second hat-trick of the tournament, this one from Jordan Santos, which gave the Portuguese a 7-0 advantage. The Americans fought on and got their first goal of the match in the waning minutes of the second period, though that goal was sandwiched between two more Portuguese goals and the score was 9-1 going into the final period.
The Portuguese were not satisfied with their comfortable lead and added more, in the final period, with the 7th player from Portugal, Bruno Novo, scoring early in the frame, giving his team a 12-1 lead. Jose Maria added his third goal of the match, the second hat-trick for Portugal on the day, less than a minute later. The fiery play from both sides created end-to-end action and even warranted bookings, though the cards did not directly affect the score. Late in the period, the scoring had slowed though a comeback from the North Americans was out of the question, Portugal made a statement by scoring another late goal, making the score 14-1, which is where the score sat when the buzzer sounded.
Goals: 1-0: Jordan, min. 10 (1); 2-0: Jose Maria, min. 9 (1); 3-0: Belchior, min. 6 (1); 4-0: Jordan, min. 4 (1); 5-0: Coimbra, min. 0 (1); 6-0: Madjer, min. 10 (2); 7-0: Jordan, min. 8 (2); 8-0: Alan, min. 1 (2); 8-1: Canale, min. 1 (2); 9-1: Jose Maria, min. 1 (2); 10-1: Jordan, min. 9 (3); 11-1: Alan, min. 8 (3); 12-1: B. Novo, min. 7 (3); 13-1: Jose Maria, min. 6 (3); 14-1: Belchior, min. 2 (3).
BSWW MUNDIALITO FUTEBOL DE PRAIA 2014
13:05 - Japan 5-1 Hungary
14:20 - Portugal 14-1 USA
Sunday, July 27th 2014
13:05 - USA vs. Hungary
14:20 - Portugal vs. Japan