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05 Jul 2019
Portugal begin EBSL 2019 with win over Poland
Ukraine, Spain, Russia and Portugal all taste victory on day one in Nazaré as Georgia and Norway win in Division B
Mario Narciso’s Portuguese side beat Poland by three goals to one in their opening match, while there were also normal time wins for Spain and Ukraine.
Russia were taken to the penalty spot to earn their point against Azerbaijan in a tight game featuring spectacular goals.
In Division B, wins for Norway against their Scandinavian rivals Denmark saw them shoot to the top of the group, and they were later joined on three points by Georgia, who held on to defeat Bulgaria in their opening match.
But first, this is what the first day of Division A action looked like in Nazaré.
Switzerland 5 - 7 Ukraine (Division A – Group 1)
Less than a week after these sides met in the battle for bronze at the European Games in Minsk, Switzerland and Ukraine came together in Nazaré to compete in the Euro Beach Soccer League.
The Swiss claimed the bronze by a single goal, and today they flew off the mark to net three in as many minutes, moving into a comfortable lead, thanks to two goals from Borer and a penalty converted by Noel Ott.
Despite starting slowly, Ukraine got themselves back into the match before the first whistle sounded, as Shcherytsia and Pachev each scored to make it 3-2. They had rescued the match before it got out of hand and went into the second period just a goal behind.
There were no more goals in the second period, despite each team having promising opportunities, but an equaliser eventually came for Ukraine when Shcherytsia netted a freekick. Another freekick put the men in yellow in the lead, as it was calmed converted by Makeiev.
With the score at 3-4, the Swiss had let a three-goal advantage slip and were now struggling to contain the Ukrainian momentum. A Stankovic double then put Angelo Shirinzi’s side ahead once more but another Makeiev freekick levelled the score again.
He then went on a bursting run to thump in his third, and with just a minute left Ukraine had the lead! Shcherytsia netted number seven with just seconds on the clock to wrap up the win and Ukraine claimed the first points in Division A.
Goals: 1-0: Borer, min. 11 (1); 2-0: Borer, min. 11 (1); 3-0: Ott, min. 9 (1); 3-1: Shcherytsia, min. 8 (1); 3-2: Pachev, min. 7 (1); 3-3: Shcherytsia, min. 10 (3); 3-4: Makeiev, min. 8 (3); 4-4: Stankovic, min. 8 (3); 5-4: Stankovic, min. 4 (3); 5-5: Makeiev, min. 3 (3); 5-6: Makeiev, min. 1 (3); 5-7: Shcherytsia, min. 0 (3);
Russia 3(3) - (2)3 Azerbaijan (Division A – Group 2)
Russia kicked off their 2019 Euro Beach Soccer League campaign against Azerbaijan, looking to repeat the heroics of 2017. But Azerbaijan struck first as Sabir curled a beautiful freekick into the top corner.
It looked as if Russia would go into the first break trailing, but Fedorov found space to pound in an equally impressive goal to level up with just a minute of play left.
In the second period it was more of the same; very attacking play from both sides but brilliant performances from each goalkeeper kept the score tied until Elshad drove in a low shot from the wing to grab the lead for Azerbaijan.
Going into the final 12 minutes, Russia were trailing again. Nikonorov rushed in to meet a cross and make it 2-2 but just two minutes later Amid looped an incredible volley over the keeper from his own half in what was surely one of the goals of the tournament.
It looked to be the winner but Stepliani managed to equalize in the final minute to push the game into extra time, and when the added minutes saw no winning goal it was penalties…
Russia netted all three of their opening shots, while Rufat saw Azerbaijan’s third penalty saved, handing Russia a hard-fought point in their opening match.
Goals: 0-1: Sabir, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Fedorov, min. 1 (1); 1-2: Elshad, min. 3 (2); 2-2: Nikonorov, min. 7 (3); 2-3: Amid, min. 5 (3); 3-3: Stepliani, min. 0 (3);
PSO: 1-0: Krash, scored; 1-1: Asif, scored; 2-1: Paporotnyi, scored; 2-2: Sabir, scored; 3-2: Nikonorov, scored; 3-2: Rufat, scored;
Turkey 2 – 6 Spain (Division A – Group 2)
After making it all the way to the final last year, La Roja came into the 2019 edition of the Euro Beach Soccer League with big ambitions.
But it was the Turkish talisman, Cem Keskin, who hit first, striking the ball over the stranded Dona. Just a minute later, Adri Frutos looped a header into the top corner to level. Antonio then scored another from close range and Llorenç set up Edu for a sublime strike.
Suddenly at 1-3, Turkey were looking a little overwhelmed and intimidated as the Spanish had clearly built momentum after falling behind, but the match was still in its early stages.
Spain went into period number two with a two-goal cushion, but they soon pushed that to three and then four as Adri Frutos and Antonio each scored their second of the game.
The Turks were being left behind in this race, and had just 12 minutes to cut a four-goal deficit. Cem Keskin found the net to pull it back to 2-5 but his side were struggling to break through the Spanish defense.
With three minutes left, Pedro netted a beautiful goal to wrap up the points for Joaquin Alonso’s side, who go clear at the top of Group 2, after Russia dropped two points when they were taken to penalties against Azerbaijan.
Goals: 1-0: Cem Keskin, min. 6 (1); 1-1: Adri Frutos, min. 5 (1); 1-2: Antonio, min. 1 (1); 1-3: Eduard, min. 0 (1); 1-4: Antonio, min. 9 (2); 1-5: Adri Frutos, min. 4 (2); 2-5: Cem Keskin, min. 7 (3); 2-6: Pedro, min. 3 (3);
Poland 1 – 3 Portugal (Division A - Group 1)
Poland’s best ever finish in the Euro Beach Soccer League had been way back in 2006 when they came sixth. Their first test of the 2019 season was a match against 2015 champions, Portugal, who came into today’s game on the back of winning a gold medal in the European Games not even a week ago.
The packed stadium in Nazaré certainly spurred on the hosts and Von got them off the mark towards the end of the first period with a fine effort
Poland would not have gone into the first break trailing if it hadn’t been for the acrobatics of Andrade between the Portuguese sticks, but trail they did as the second period got underway.
An incredible strike from Jordan Santos doubled the advantage less than two minutes after the restart. But Poland were proving difficult to break down for Narciso’s strikers.
But brilliant Be Martins found a way through, bursting into the centre of the pitch and finding enough space to squeeze in a low shot to make it three.
Marcin Stanislawski’s side had just 12 minutes to turn around a three-goal deficit. But the local defenders didn’t slip up until the very last minute when Karim Madani pulled a consolation goal back for Poland.
It was too little too late for the Polish, who fall to the might of their hosts on day one. Portugal take three points to go level with Ukraine in Group 1.
Goals: 0-1: Von, min. 4 (1); 0-2: Jordan, min. 10 (2); 0-3: Be Martins, min. 2 (2); 1-3: Madani, min. 0 (3);
Norway 4 - 1 Denmark (Division B)
The Euro Beach Soccer League 2019 Division B was kicked off by a Scandinavian battle between Norway and Denmark.
It was the Norwegians who were off the mark quicker, as Senja netted late in the first period and then Salveson made it 2-0 just minutes later.
The Danes were trailing after the opening 12 minutes, but Dorph had a response after the restart, belting in an overhead kick from the halfway line to cut the deficit to just one.
At the mid-point of the match, Senja hit his second (third for Norway) to re-establish a two-goal cushion, and this is how the second period ended. Denmark pressed for another but were wasteful with their chances and Norway defended stoutly.
Pak Ling Li then pounced to block a clearance by goalkeeper Skott and bicycle kick the ball over the stranded shot-stopper.
At 4-1, the final whistle blew and the Danes were well-beaten as Norway took three points in their opening match.
Goals: 1-0: Senja, min. 4 (1); 2-0: Salve, min. 2 (1); 2-1: Dorph, min. 11 (2); 3-1: Senja, min. 6 (2); 4-1: Li, min. 3 (3);
Georgia 4 - 3 Bulgaria (Division B)
Bulgaria came close to reaching the Promotion Final in 2018 but were pipped to it by Romania who lost to Germany. Georgia, however, didn’t pick up enough points in the previous Euro Beach Soccer League campaign to reach the promotion battle in Alghero.
Despite this, it was the Georgians who drew first blood after four minutes, when Davitadza netted. Tsvetkov found an equaliser soon after and the sides went into the first break all square.
In the second period, Georgia moved into a superior gear, as Todadze and Kokoladze hit two sweet strikes to hand the men in red a two-goal advantage.
Shamiladze then made it four at the very beginning of the third and final 12 minutes. However, Bulgaria demonstrated that they weren’t out of it yet, as Filipov smash in his side’s second, pulling the tie back to 4-2.
Bulgaria were mounting a dangerous comeback, and Gospodinov converted to make it 4-3. Just a goal behind, the men in white pushed for an equaliser while Georgia did their upmost to run down the clock.
As neither side found the net again, the Georgians held on effectively to take all three points on day one, and go level with their Norwegians groupmates.
Goals: 1-0: Davitadza, min. 8 (1); 1-1: Tsvetkov, min. 5 (1); 2-1: Todadze, min. 4 (2); 3-1: Kokoladze, min. 1 (2); 4-1: Shamiladze, min. 11 (3); 4-2: Filipov, min. 11 (3); 4-3: Gospodinov, min. 2 (3);
For all the fixtures, results and standings of the Euro Beach Soccer League Nazaré 2019, click here.