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11 Aug 2013
Russia reign in Europe again!
World Champions cruise to the championship as Switzerland used a great 3rd period to finish off a pesky Spanish team
Russia who is the current depending FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup champion wanted to add Europe´s best to their trophy case. Portugal, a champion in their own right had different ideas and wanted to add the same trophy to their already well-stocked award cupboard. Russia took care of business and prevented a Portuguese comeback in the 8-3 win. Portugal stayed closed in the match but were unable to slow down the Russian attack.
Russia opened up the championship match just as they desired, with a quick goal in the first minute. To Portugal´s credit, they responded less than 5 seconds later and netted the equalizer, making the score 1-1 with 11 minutes left in the period. The offenses looked fantastic in the opening period but the defense starting doing their job and shut down the offenses after the back-to-back goals until there were five minutes left in the period and Portugal scored on a penalty kick to go up 2-1. Russia bided their time and wanted until there were under 40 seconds left in the period to tie the game up again at 2. The up-and-down first period ended with the same score, 2-2.
The second period was reminiscent of the first period, at least early, for Russia though they scored three early goals, all before the midway point to push their lead to 5.2. Portugal is a champion and they knew how to comeback and compose themselves. The strikes for Russia were nearly flawless and it was not a error in the Portuguese defense. The Russian offense though began operating like a well-oiled machine and looking like they would not only win the Superfinal but also the next World Cup, but Portugal stayed focused and caught a break as Russia gave up and own-goal to let the Portuguese sneak back in the game. The period ended with a score of 5-3 and both teams were ready to take down the other and become ESBL Torredembarra Superfinal 2013 champion.
One of the greatest things about Beach Soccer is that fortunes and fates can change almost instantly. Portugal and Russia had both been in enough matches to feel comfortable. Portugal was excited to get the final period started and score to make things even more interesting. That moment did not come early though as Russia maintained their control and kept their 2 goal lead in the heart of the period. Near the middle of the period, Russia squeezed another goal out of the Portuguese defense and restored their 3 goal lead, 6-3. The Russian attack was relentless and while it had no scored again with a only a few minutes left, they were getting closer and closer to another goal. The Russians did add two more, one at the buzzer to finish the game up by 5 goals.
The 8-3 win gives Russia the EBSL 2013 Championship, they are now current FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Champions and current EBSL Superfinal champions, Europe?s best team. Portugal had to fight through the best teams in Europe and did so until they met the buzzsaw that is Russia. The Portuguese powerhorse will have their chance at redemption next season.
Goals: 1-0: Torres (OG), min. 11 (1); 1-1: Belchior, min. 11 (1); 1-2: Belchior, min. 5 (1); 2-2: Eremeev, min. 1 (1); 3-2: Krash, min. 9 (2); 4-2: Eremeev, min. 8 (2); 5-2: Leonov, min. 7 (2); 5-3: Makarov (OG), min. 2 (2); 6-3: Krash, min. 7 (3); 7-3: Peremitin, min. 1 (3); 8-3: Romanov, min. 1 (3).
Swiss snatch 3rd place from Spain
The 3rd place match in Division A was between two teams that both could very well have been playing for the championship in Spain and Switzerland. Switzerland had not lost since their opening day match against Portugal and they came into Torredembarra with hopes of a repeat European championship but left with a remarkable 3rd place finish after defeating Spain4-1 in the Division A 3rd place match.
The first minutes of the opening period were filled with close calls and both teams were forcing turnovers in hopes of preventing early momentum. Switzerland was the first to game momentum and they scored four minutes into the game and their shutdown defense kept Spain´s offense relatively quiet. Local and homebred talent, Llorenç specifically had a few very quality chances that brought the host country´s fans to their feet on multiple occasions but Switzerland altered their shots, forcing misses until the last 45 seconds when Cintas of Spain pounded a shot home. The period ended with Switzerland, also known for their awe-inspiring and frantic-paced offense, was held quiet, only scoring the one goal and the period ended with the game tied at 1.
The high level of play continued and the excellence of two of the world?s best teams was evident but the defenses were just outstanding and in the middle of the period, the score was the same, 1-1 with both teams looking to put the other one away with bunches of goals. The difference between this period and the first was each defense did not allow the other to penetrate their backlines as far, they both learned from their earlier mistakes. Late in the period both goalkeepers had to overcome defensive lapses by their own team to keep the score the same. Late in the 2nd period, Switzerland was awarded a penalty due to a controversial handball foul but he scored on the kick to put Switzerland up 1 by again and the period ended with Switzerland up 2-1.
The third period did not start how Spain wanted it to as they gave up another goal to put themselves in a two goal hole. The shots for Spain seemed drawn to the Swiss keeper´s hands and the goalposts. Switzerland found their offensive rhythm and added another goal, the second of the match for Borer to push their lead to 4-1. Spain could not do enough offensively to counter the bulky Swiss offense. The game ended with Spain losing by three goals.
The 4-1 victory for Switzerland is a great consolation prize as they were the EBSL champions last year and if it were not for an opening day loss to Portugal, they could have been repeating as champions. Spain played amazing in their first two matches of the weekend but their offense stalled on Saturday and Sunday, though Spain still earns a 4th place finish in Division A.
Goals: 0-1: I. Misev, min. 8 (1); 1-1: Cintas, min. 1 (1); 1-2: Borer, min. 1 (2); 1-3: Stankovic, min. 9 (3); 1-4: Borer, min. 3 (3).
Shutout gives Ukraine 7th place
The Netherlands and Ukraine went to battle with 7th place in top Division of Europe´s premier Beach Soccer league on the line Ukraine used and early goal and defensive mentality to hold on for a 4-0 win over Holland. The third period was a period full of both offense and defense and it proved to be the most important of the match.
The first period was filled top notch defensive stops and offensive strikes from two of Europe´s best teams. In the opening minutes the defenses were playing a little better and the score remained tied at 0 for more than half the period. In the waning moments of the opening period Ukraine was given a penalty and completed the play for the first goal of the match. The game speed slowed as the teams realized each other?s defenses and the period ended with a score of 1-0, Ukraine.
The pace picked up in the second but the goals did not immediately follow and the teams held the same score into the middle of the period. Beautiful passing and unique touches made for many creative shots on goal but neither team could find the back of the net. The chances on goal did not dwindle but the score did not change as direct kicks, bicycles, and volleys were off target by the slimmest of margins. When the second buzzer sounded, there had not been a change in score and Ukraine held the edge going into the final period 1-0.
With the game being so close, not only in score but talent, both sides sensed that no lead would be safe and Ukraine began putting more and more shots on goal but early in the period the Dutch held their own and began using their defensive to set up strong counter attacks. Nothing was working to even the score for the Netherlands, though the pressure was building for both teams to secure 7th place in the division. With less than 6 minutes left, though, Ukraine put themselves on the board again to go up by two goals, and in a game with such masterfully played defense, a two goal lead seemed safe. Ukraine added two more insurance goals to push their lead to 4-0 and end the game with the shutout.
The 4-0 win gives Ukraine two wins in four matches and two straight, meaning they leave Torredembarra with 7th place and a bright outlook for next season. The 4th loss for The Netherlands was not what they expected coming to the Superfinal but they take solace in the fact that they will be heading to Tahiti in September for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Goals: 0-1: Zborovskyi, min. 4 (1); 0-2: Pachev, min. 5 (3); 0-3: Zborovskyi, min. 5 (3); 0-4: Pachev, min. 2 (3).
Poland uses overtime to beat Italy, earn 5th
Italy and Poland both had fantastic victories over the weekend and the winner of this match would leave the Superfinal as the 5th best team in Europe. Poland did not score the first goal of the match but they raced to a 5-2 lead but let Italy tie the game in the last minute of regulation before taking the 5th place title in overtime, 6-5. Italy performed a heroic comeback but only to fall short in extra time.
Italy, always a threat to score, began the first period looking like they would score heaps of goals, and they very well could have, but the Polish defense is no slouch and kept the game timed until they found their opening and attacked, but the Italy defense is just as talented. The Italians eventually hit the back of the net with a great strike a little over halfway through the period and went up 1-0. The demeanor of Poland did not change and Poland responded quickly to level the score at 1 late in the period. The Poles aimed to put the early goal that they gave up behind them and scored again before the period ended, making the score 2-1, Poland, heading into the first break.
The early deficit was long forgotten by the time the second period had started but just to make sure, Poland added another goal early in the period, off a long distance deflection that sailed just over the Italian keepers head. The goal put Poland up 3-1. The azzurri had and took their chances to score their second goal and get closer to tying the game but were unable to do just that. Italy did their best to stay close, blocking close direct kicks and shoring up their defense but Poland got another goal just before Italy used their own counterattack to score, bringing the game back within 2 goals at 4-2, advantage Poland. Nothing changed the final moments of the second ticked away and Poland was up 4-2 going into the final period.
The Polish side could not rely on the Italian offense staying relatively dormant so to begin the third period, they added to their lead to make the score 5-2. If being down three in the final period of the 5th place match changed Italy?s demeanor, you could not tell as they took a close direct kick with seven minutes remaining and scored, to get within two goals again, at 5-3. Not even a minute later, Italy placed another rocket on target that got past the Polish goalkeeper and made the score 5-4, advantage Poland. Italy added another goal late, to pull within one at 4-5. The Italian captain, Corsoniti, made sure his team would not go down without a fight and he scored on a beautiful header with under a minute remaining to score the equalizer, completing the amazing comeback and sending the game to overtime. Overtime began with a goal two seconds into play, when Poland took the kick-off and netted it, giving them the early overtime lead, 6-5.
The 6-5 win gives Poland 5th place in Division A and their second win of the weekend. Italy finished with two wins this weekend, one in overtime as well but they fell short in the 5th place Division A match and end up as the 6th best team in Europe.
Goals: 1-0: Marinai, min. 5 (1); 1-1: Saganowski, min. 3 (3); 1-2: Golanski, min. 1 (1); 1-3: Widzicki, min. 9 (2); 1-4: Saganowski, min. 2 (2); 2-4: Platania, min. 1 (2); 2-5: Wydmuszek, min. 9 (3); 3-5: Gori, min. 7 (3); 4-5: Palmacci, min. 6 (3); 5-5: Corosiniti, min. 1 (3); 5-6: Friszkemut, min. 2 (ET).
EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE SUPERFINAL TORREDEMBARRA 2013
Sunday, 11th of August, 2013
The Netherlands 0-4 Ukraine
Italy 5-6(ET) Poland
Spain 1-4 Switzerland
Russia 8-3 Portugal
8. The Netherlands
Best goalkeeper: Dona (Spain)
Top scorer: Stankovic (Switzerland)
MVP: Leonov (Russia)