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Cosimo SibiliaPresident of Lega Nazionale DilettantiFifteen years of beach soccer in Italy
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07 Jul 2019
Russia retain European crown!
Last year’s final day of matches were all replayed as Russia remain firmly on the throne of Europe
In an identical final day to the 2018 edition of the Euro Beach Soccer Cup, the champions of Europe were decided once again in Nazaré, as Russia beat Spain by a single goal in the final to retain the continental crown.
Switzerland repeated last year’s play-off victory against England to seal third place, while Netherlands won against Czech Republic to finish in fifth.
The world’s best player, Marina Fedorova, claimed the MVP award, while the Top Scorer was split between five different players who each scored four Clark (ENG), Cherniakova (RUS), Fedorova (RUS), Schenk (SUI) and Bachmann (SUI). The award for the Best Goalkeeper went to Silina (RUS).
Russia 3 - 2 Spain (FINAL)
A year on, and the scene was a very recognisable one on the sands of Nazaré. Russia against Spain in the final of the Euro Beach Soccer Cup.
Spain had a second crack at claiming the title but Russia were on a mission of retention. The opening period was one of intense stalemate but, as she had last year, Marina Fedorova blasted in a goal from distance.
Russia were off the mark late in the second period but there was time for the other goal scorer of the 2018 final, Cherniakova, to get her name on the match report too, as she slid in from the flank to catch a sweet shot on the half volley.
Gorshkova netted the other side of the restart, but Spain were gifted a goal when Khutornaia turned into her own net from close range.
Time was running out but a late lunge by Russian keeper Akylbaeva saw Spain awarded a penalty with Mellado coolly slotted away.
But that was the most they could manage and Russia held on to secure their second title in two years.
They also had two players recognised in the individual awards with Fedorova picking up the MVP trophy and two of the five competition top scorers were Fedorova and Cherniakov.
Goals: 1-0: Fedorova, min. 2 (2); 2-0: Cherniakova, min. 1 (2); 3-0: Gorshkova, min. 11 (3); 3-1: Khutornaia (OG), min. 9 (3); 3-2: Mellado, min. 2 (3);
England 5 - 6 Switzerland (3rd-place play-off) *AET
It was by slim margins that neither England nor Switzerland made the final, in an especially competitive edition of the Euro Beach Soccer Cup, as they replayed the third-place play-off of the 2018 edition.
Switzerland laid an early claim to third place when Keller slid in an opener. Just a minute after the Lionesses were level when Molly Clark lifted the ball over the approaching defender to bury England’s first.
A brilliantly struck freekick from Gruter restored the Swiss lead but the English number ten was on hand to do the same at the other end, making it 2-2. Just moments later, Clark was caught in possession as Schenk picked her pocket to put Switzerland ahead once more.
In the second period Katie James drove in an overhead to equalise but Morger scored to take Switzerland into the lead as the second whistle sounded. The pattern continued as Morger scored another after the restart, intercepting an England corner to send a first time chip flying over the stranded Molly Clark, who was now playing in goal.
In the very last minute of the match, a Kempson wonder goal and a low strike from Gemma Hillier levelled the match up, forcing extra time. A winner eventually came as Eva Bachmann slid in to meet a low cross and put Switzerland in front one last time.
The final seconds ticked away and this time no equaliser came for England. Switzerland finish in third for the second year running, as England also take up last year’s fourth place.
Goals: 0-1: Keller, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Molly, min. 10 (1); 1-2: Gruter, min. 8 (1); 2-2: Clark, min. 4 (1); 2-3: Schenk, min. 2 (1); 3-3: James, min. 8 (2); 3-4: Morger, min. 2 (2); 3-5: Morger, min. 5 (3); 4-5: Kempson, min. 1 (3); 5-5: Hillier, min. 0 (3); 5-6: Bachmann, min. 0 (ET);
Netherlands 6 - 5 Czech Republic (5th-place play-off)
Despite losing their group matches, Netherlands and Czech Republic had more than held their own against the continent’s top sides, and today’s play-off for fifth promised to entertain.
Bouchra drove in a sublime volley from distance to open the scoring but went on a driving run into the box to hit an equaliser for the Czechs. They then took the lead when Pomijova tapped into an open net but before the half was over there was time for a Dutch leveller when Chelly intercepted play between keeper and defender to poke home.
The second period began with Netherlands keeper Tess belting in a screamer from her own penalty area, and the Dutch pressed the slim advantage with more attacks. Bouchra scored her second, then Celine netted and when Chelly completed her brace Maikel Schats’ side were well ahead.
However, Netherlands deemed Chelly’s goal to have been unsporting and allowed Czech Republic to score to cancel it out. Slavikova cut the difference to just two with a well taken freekick then a ridiculous first-touch bicycle volley from Pilouskova took it to 6-5.
But time ran out for the revived Czech team and Netherlands finish the 2019 edition of the Euro Beach Soccer League in fifth.
Goals: 1-0: Bouchra, min. 8 (1); 1-1: Pilouskova, min. 7 (1); 1-2: Pomijova, min. 5 (1); 2-2: Chelly, min. 4 (1); 3-2: Tess, min. 10 (2); 4-2: Bouchra, min. 7 (2); 5-2: Celine, min. 5 (2); 6-2: Chelly, min. 4 (2); 6-3: Culova, min. 4 (2); 6-4: Slavikova, min. 6 (3); 6-5: Pilouskova, min. 1 (3);
MVP: Marina Fedorova (RUS)
Top Scorer: Clark (ENG), Cherniakova (RUS), Fedorova (RUS), Schenk (SUI) and Bachmann (SUI)
Best Goalkeeper: Silina (RUS)
Champions – Russia
Runners-up – Spain
3rd – Switzerland
4th – England
5th – Netherlands
6th – Czech Republic