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07 Sep 2019
Portugal and Russia to contend the Superfinal
Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinalist chosen in Figueira Da Foz as only Portugal remain unbeaten
Russia could return to the throne of Europe after Spain’s victory over Belarus sent them into Sunday’s final, while a classic beach soccer clash saw Portugal overcome Italy after dramatic late goals to claim the second spot.
The 2018 Superfinal will be replayed this year as a third-place play-off, when Italy take Alonso’s Spaniards, while Turkey and Belarus will fight for fifth.
A heavily reduced Swiss side will have their last chance at victory in Portugal when they take on Ukraine.
Portugal 8-6 Italy (Group 2)
One of the classic European beach soccer match-ups would decide who made it to the Superfinal 2019, as Portugal met Italy.
Sciacca sent the defending champions on their way with a finely-struck shot after four minutes but when Leo Martins was given a freekick in a dangerous area, he was never going to miss.
The number eleven struck again, but this time Jordan Santos got a flick on it to turn it on target, claiming his first goal of the match. A sweet overhead by Von put Portugal at a 3-1 advantage and the Azzurri were looking shaken.
It looked as if the lack of Gori’s clinical finishing that they’ve been spoiled by over previous years was sorely missed, but then Zurlo pounded a penalty past Andrade.
Coimbra netted a cute back heel, but Ramacciotti went on a blistering run right through the Portuguese defense, sliding the ball past the best keeper in the world.
The final period began with the crowd willing their heroes on, and they were rewarded when Von nearly broke the net with a penalty and Jordan’s freekick wrong-footed Del Mestre to make it 6-3.
Del Duca’s reigning champions gained momentum in the final period as an incredible Palmacci strike which deserved much more than the sighs and groans from the local crowd made it 7-5 Ramacciotti completed his hat-trick with a minute on the clock to make it 7-6!
With seconds on the clock, Carpita threw a long ball but it flew right back past him as Coimbra thumped a header into the unguarded net and the final whistle announced an historic victory for Portugal.
The kings have been dethroned, and Portugal will play Russia for the 2019 Euro Beach Soccer League title.
Goals: 0-1: Sciacca, min. 8 (1); 1-1: Leo Martins, min. 7 (1); 2-1: Jordan, min. 0 (1); 3-1: Von, min. 11 (2); 3-2: Zurlo, min. 3 (2); 4-2: Coimbra, min. 1 (2); 4-3: Ramacciotti, min. 1 (2); 5-3: Von, min. 9 (3); 6-3: Jordan, min. 8 (3); 7-3: Jordan, min. 6 (3); 7-4: Ramacciotti, min. 4 (3); 7-5: Palmacci, min. 2 (3); 7-6: Ramacciotti, min. 1 (3); 8-6: Coimbra, min. 0 (3);
Russia 5-1 Switzerland (Group 1)
Russia still keep options options to qualify for the Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal thanks to a 5-1 win over Switerland today, and will now need that Spain makes the other part of the job and beat Belarus to allow Lokhachev's side fight for the European throne.
After a balanced first period, in which Switzerland managed to reply Fedorov's opener, things began taking a really Russian-red colour...
Goal chances were really scarce during the middle frame, and only Boris Nikonorov's free kick missile made the difference in the period, letting the Russian side get tightly in command. The pace of the game was low, despite the great intensity everyone put in every single action.
Actually, an excess of intensity lead to a vey dangerous free kick, right in front of Elliott's box, a chance Nikonorov would not miss, to make it 3-1 and get the way clearer for Likhachev's side.
The Swiss stamina was getting lower and lower and it was harder for them reaching Chukhov's dominion as minutes went by.
Instead, Boris Nikonorov had not had enough yet, and widened the gap with a powerful shot to make things -1, Russia. Things were getting more and more difficult for a Swiss team that was running out of strength, still with more than nine minutes to go. Toby Steinemann tried from different angles, but nothing worked out for the Alpine.
Instead, Fedorov closed the score for Russia, with the 5-1 that sealed the points for Likhachev's side
The final 5-1 gets Russia needen A win by Spain over Belarus. If this happens, they will be combatting tomorrow for their sixth European Beach Soccer League crown.
Goals: 1-0: Fedorov, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Schirinzi, min. 7(1); 2-1: Nikonorov, min. 7(2); 3-1: Nikonorov, min. 2 (2); 4-1: Nikonorov, min. 9 (3); 5-1: Fedorov, min. 2(3)
Spain 3-2 Belarus (Group 1)
Russia’s earlier defeat of Switzerland had ended Spain’s hopes of reaching a second Superfinal in as many years, but Belarus were in prime position to top the group. All they needed was a win in normal or extra time…
Chaikouski got the Belarussians off the mark midway through the opening period and they hung on to this lead, despite rising pressure, deep into the second phase.
The match was very open and the post saved both sides from conceding until late in the period but when Javi Torres was gifted a misplaced backpass, he wasn’t going to miss, smashing a bicycle kick past Makarevich.
Antonio found the net with just 18 seconds of the second period left to snatch a delicate lead going into the final straight. The ever-reliable number three netted a third the other side of the break!
Belarus were now trailing by two and were becoming more and more frantic, as the promise of a Superfinal match-up slipped further and further from their grip.
Bryshtel pulled one back but La Roja made sure they didn’t slip up again, hanging on desperately to their 3-2 lead until the final whistle went.
The journey was over for Belarus, as Spain denied them a place in the final, opening the door for Russia, who are just one win away from reclaiming the throne after a year of absence.
Goals: 0-1: Chaikouski, min. 7 (1); 1-1: Javi Torres, min. 4 (2); 2-1: Antonio, min. 0 (2); 3-1: Antonio, min. 8 (3); 3-2: Bryshtel, min. 3 (3);
Ukraine 6(1)-(3)6 Turkey (Group 2)
Having lost both of their opening games, the dream of being crowned continental champions was over for these two sides, but a final chance at picking up a win could not be passed up.
A Semih volley put Turkey ahead after just a minute of play then an incredible pair of Baris overheads tripled the lead with half of the first period gone.
Voitenko scored a fine bicycle kick of his own, but Ukraine still trailed 1-3 at the break. Semih scored a freekick to restore the Turks’ three-goal dominance but strikes from Pachev and Makeiev made it 3-4.
Shcherytsia powered in number four for Ukraine and Baris thought he’d won it in the final third when a sublime volley whistled into the top corner to make it 4-5. But, in the final minute, Zborovskyi slid in at the far post to tuck in an equalizer.
Cem Keskin put away a penalty in the added three minutes, but then, with less than a second to go, the keeper Nerush ran into the opposition box to head in a corner, forcing penalties, where, having scored in the game Voitenko skied his spotkick to gift the Turks the point.
Turkey finish Group 2 in third, while Ukraine will play for seventh-place tomorrow.
Goals: 0-1: Semih, min. 10 (1); 0-2: Baris, min. 7 (1); 0-3: Baris, min. 7 (1); 1-3: Voitenko, min. 3 (1); 1-4: Semih, min. 11 (2); 2-4: Pachev, min. 8 (2); 3-4: Makeiev, min. 3 (2); 4-4: Shcherytsia, min. 1 (2); 4-5: Baris, min. 9 (3); 5-5: Zborovskyi, min. 0 (3); 5-6: Cem Keskin, min. 1 (ET); 6-6:Nerush, min. 0 (ET);
PSO: 0-1: Cem Keskin, scored; 1-1: Glutskyi, scored; 1-2: Semih, scored; 1-2: Voitenko, missed; 1-3: Erkan, scored;
Stay up to date on the Euro Beach Soccer League - Superfinal Figueira da Foz 2019 on the Beach Soccer Worldwide website.