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01 Jun 2018
Semi-final teams decided
Big names crash out of Euro Winners Cup quarter-finals
As the final 16 had been cut in two, today was all about cutting the numbers in half again, and for the teams making the cut to reach the semi-finals.
However, the order in which the eight teams that were knocked out yesterday finished the competition still needed to be decided, so today's eight games were split into four for the 9th-16th position, and the other four were quarter-final fixtures.
Dinamo Batumi vs KP Lodz
The day's first quarter-final match kicked off between the Georgians, Dinamo Batumi and KP Lodz from Poland at 11:30. Yesterday, in the Round of 16, both teams had nervy passages into the quarter-finals after just managing to knock out their opponents by a single goal.
The game got off the mark when Bryshtsel scored a brace for the Poles to help them end the first period with a 2-1 lead. But then KP Lodz put on their shooting boots and, even though Edu grabbed himself four goals for Dinamo, it wasn't enough to catch up with the Poles, who ended the final period at the right end of a four-goal gap. KP Lodz go through to the semi-final whilst the Georgians' Euro Winners journey comes to an end.
Alanyanbelediye Spor vs BSC Kristal
Alanyanbelediye Spor and Kristall had both fought off some really tough challengers to get this far in the competition. Yesterday they both prevailed by a single goal.
It was the Turkish side who opened the scoring within seconds of the kick off. They doubled the damage two minutes later to shock their opponents into action and Mauricinho reduced the deficit by pulling one back. Kristall pulled themselves back and went on to take a narrow lead by the time the first period ended but the early scare demonstrated that the Turkish side meant business.
All this early action seemed to have warmed up the Russian side who shifted the attack up a gear to increase their lead to 6-2, including a brace from Chuzhkov. Far from being an easy win, a win is nevertheless what Kristall took from the game and will proceed to the semi-finals tomorrow.
Sporting CP vs BSC Lokomotiv
Sporting CP and BSC Lokomotiv may be two of the most well-known teams in the beach soccer world, but one of these star-studded sides had to fall today.
At the break they were neck and neck, both having netted twice. Then a kind of recurring symmetry seemed to repeat itself as both teams scored again in the second period, ending it at 2-2, and then the third, ending with a scoreline of 3-3.
Extra time would have to decide these titans, and the winning goal came with just 18 seconds to go from Nelito, sealing the Russians' place in the semi-finals much to the bitter frustrations of the local Portuguese side.
Happy Car Sambenedettese BS vs SC Braga
Despite being on an impressive run and vanquishing several sizeable opponents on their way to the quarter-finals, despatching the reigning champions would be no walk on the beach for the Italians. SC Braga were enjoying a streak of wins too and were not about to give it up without a fight. In fact, they took the lead 45 seconds before the first period ended through Rafael Bokinha, handing the responsibility of a reply to the Italians.
Respond they did as soon as the second period got underway, equalising through Jordan, only for Braga to take the lead again, and this time extend it to a 4-1 lead. A Happy Car goal in the dying minutes was not enough and the defending champions are on course for a second year of glory.
Play Offs for ninth to sixteenth position
FC Bate Borisov vs CD Melistar Melilla
With hopes of getting their hands on the Euro Winners Cup dashed for both FC Bate Borisov and CD Melistar Melilla, all that was left to fight for before they went home was a decent final finishing position.
The Belarussians took the lead within a couple of minutes but an almost immediate response from Cristian Biermann, who has been on fire this tournament, brought them back on level terms. After edging the advantage, the Spanish proved impossible to catch for FC Bate, slowly widening the gap to two and then three. A late surge of activity gave them hope but Melistar hung on to their lead to claim the three points.
ACS West Deva vs Nomme BSC Olybet
Fighting for the ninth to sixteenth finishing places, ACS West Deva and Nomme BSC Olybet were looking to regain their winning runs after both being comfortably despatched the day before by SC Braga and Happy Car, who would meet later on in the day in the quarter-finals.
But neither team could find the back of the net in the first period and had to wait until the second when Negara would open the scoring for West Deva, who finished the second period with a 2-1 lead. As both teams scored two more, the game finished in a tight 3-2 win for West Deva.
MFC Spartak vs Kreiss
After their exits yesterday from the Euro Winners Cup Round of 16, MFC Spartak and Kreiss were left to battle over the remaining positions. The teams were evenly match the throughout the game grappling for the lead and defending well.
The first period ended at one apiece, but the second saw MFC Spartak take the lead and push the scoreline to 3-1. But two goals from Novozhilov facilitated a comeback from the Latvians, forcing the game to extra time. Much to Kreiss' despair, Spartak regained the advantage through a Tsvetkov goal and the Latvian side ran out of time to find a response.
BSC Vybor vs Falfala Kfar Qassem BSC
After being excruciatingly knocked out by Kristall yesterday, Falfala were taking no prisoners in today's game against a Ukrainian side still smarting from their own 3-2 defeat in the Round of 16. But seeing Vybor off proved harder than they may have thought.
Llorenç and Amer grabbed early goals for the Israeli team before the first break, seemingly giving them a comfort zone. But Vybor gave the Israeli team a real scare by bringing the score back to three all, and just when it looked like extra time was an inevitability, Ott netted with literally one second on the clock and all of the three points went to a very relieved Falfala.
For full results, fixtures and standings, click here.