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24 Jun 2018
Portugal and Ukraine top groups in the EBSL Baku 2018
The final day saw the hosts unable to find a victory against a Portugal side who failed to drop a point at the event
The last showdowns of the Euro Beach Soccer League in Baku saw Portugal defeat the hosts to take nine points out of nine and Ukraine top their group with three wins.
Germany, however, were yet to pick up a point in Baku and went into their game against Ukraine with the intention of earning some…
Ukraine v Germany
Although the Ukrainian were aiming to make it three wins out of three, the first goal came from the German captain, Weirauch, who calmly converted a lovely through-ball to draw first blood. Matteo Marrucci's men had a slender lead, but with most of the game still to be played they would have to fight hard to keep a grip on it.
Two minutes before the break Roman Pachev lunged to meet a lucky ricochet and poked the Ukraine level and the teams went into the first break on level terms. Shcherytsia put Ievhen Varenytia's side in front in the eighth minute of the second period. But then, an absolute screamer from Biermann inside his own half levelled things up for the Germans, and 2-2 is how the second period ended.
With the game there for the taking, the teams burst onto the sand for the third and final period. As the tension built, a handball gifted the Ukraine a penalty which Korniichuk scored to take his tournament tally to five. But a response came quickly from - who else - Biermann, grabbing himself a brace of golazos.
But an equally impressive goal from Pachev came out of nowhere to clinch three late points for the Ukrainians. Germany will now have to wait until they play on home sand in August to see if they can secure a place in the Superfinal.
Goals: 0-1: Weirauch, min. 7 (1); 1-1: Pachev, min. 2 (1); 2-1: Shcherytsia, min. 8 (2); 2-2: Biermann, min. 7 (2); 3-2: Korniichuk, min. 9 (3); 3-3: Biermann, min. 8 (3); 4-3: Pachev, min. 2 (3);
Belarus v France
France were the only team in their group yet to pick up any points and were looking to make the most of their last chance of glory in Baku, against a Belarussian side who had comfortably beaten the hosts, Azerbaijan, yesterday.
First blood went to Belarus, as some confusion between keeper and defender gave Hapon the chance to spring onto a loose ball and poke Alvarado's men ahead. The advantage was doubled when captain Bryshtsel powered in a freekick and going into the break Belarus looked very much in control of the match.
As the second period got going, France seemed unable to create much by way of goal scoring opportunities and rather snatched at chances. That is until Blehomme, arriving at the back post, turned in a cross from captain Basquaise to pull one back and the difference between the sides suddenly didn't seem so large.
The French continued their pressure into the third period, until Maison spotted the keeper off his line and smashed a long-range effort straight over the retreating Makarevich's head, into the top corner and pulling France level in style. But being all square didn't last long, as Kanstantsinaiu's shot across the face of goal bounced in off the bar in the fourth minute to nose the Belarussians ahead once more, and this goal would be the deciding factor between the two teams.
France finish the competition in Baku with no points, but Belarus take six out of a possible nine points.
Goals: 1-0: Hapon, min. 6 (1); 2-0: Bryshtsel, min. 2 (1); 2-1: Blehomme, min. 7 (2); 2-2: Maison, min. 8 (3); 3-2: Kanstantsinaiu, min. 4 (3);
Italy v Switzerland
A heavy defeat to Switzerland today saw more heartbreak for Italy after losing on sudden death penalties yesterday to the Ukraine. But after putting ten past Germany in their previous match, Switzerland's goal-scoring form continued into today's game almost immediately. Hodel scored his third of the tournament and took the lead within three minutes of the start of the game for Angelo Schirinzi's side.
More chances were created at both ends but it took until the closing stages of the first period for Gori to fire home and draw his team level. But just before the whistle Stankovic drove in a freekick and Switzerland went into the break with a 2-1 lead.
Despite more chances being created in the second period, the scoreline remained unchanged and Italy were still chasing to reduce the deficit. However, straight from the kick-off of the third period, Stankovic made it two for him and three for Switzerland with a low shot into the bottom corner.
A few minutes later Ott claimed his sixth of the competition and when Hodel made it five to the Swiss, Italy were well beaten. But Stankovic wasn't finished for the day, and he brought his final total to four on the day, six for the whole event, with two last-minute goals.
Goals: 0-1: Hodel, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Gori, min. 4 (1); 1-2: Stankovic, min. 0 (1); 1-3: Stankovic, min. 11 (3); 1-4: Ott, min. 8 (3); 1-5: Hodel, min. 3 (3); 1-6: Stankovic, min. 1 (3); 1-7: Stankovic, min. 0 (3);
Azerbaijan v Portugal
Portugal were the only team to have won all available points going into this game, but Azerbaijan had the support of the home crowd behind them.
The match started as a close contest and the hosts gave as good as they got in the first period, creating great chances and getting behind the Portuguese defence, while at the other end, Vagif was looking like nothing was getting past him between the Azerbaijani stick. That is until Jordan broke the deadlock two minutes before the whistle.
Going into the break, the hosts, far from out of the game, went looking for a goal to cancel out the deficit. When Coimbra tapped in Portugal's second from close-range, Zeynal Zeynalov's men had twice the work to do to get back on level terms and then when Bé Martins added a third from the penalty spot in the later part of the second period, a comeback was looking less and less likely.
Narciso's Portuguese side looked increasingly comfortable as Coimbra completed his brace and the Bruno Torres also found his way onto the scoresheet. A sixth goal from Leo Martins would be the last of the afternoon and of the tournament, as Portugal clinched their third win in three days.
Goals: 0-1: Jordan, min. 2 (1); 0-2: Coimbra, min. 5 (2); 0-3: Bé Martins, min. 3 (2); 0-4: Comibra, min. 10 (3); 0-5: Torres, min. 8 (3); 0-6: Leo Martins, min. 3 (3);