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12 Jul 2014
Spain stays perfect in Moscow
After surprising defeat to Belarus, Russia will need a wide win over the Spaniards, while Estonia secures Promotion Final
Estonia poised for Promotion Final after 2nd win
The 2-1 win for Estonia over Azerbaijan has all but given the Estonians the head of the group here in Moscow. The victory for Estonia began with them dominating though not scoring and then Azerbaijan breaking the 0-0 draw, only to have Estonia fire up their intensity and score two unanswered goals. They still have to defeat Kazakhstan on Sunday to make sure there is no doubt as to their earning a ticket to the Promotion Final. The Azeri is not eliminated from Promotion Final contention as they won on day one and still have the chance to seal their ticket to Torredembarra in their final match against Moldova on Sunday.
Estonia looked the aggressor for much of the first period but neither side scored in the opening minutes despite the chances. Azerbaijan was very opportunistic and waited for the perfect and it came in the final minutes of the frame when they scored a goal on a spectacular individual effort from Hikmat and the period would end with Azerbaijan up 1-0. The goal gave a big boost to the Azeri, as was evidenced by their relentless effort at the end of the first period and the first few minutes of the middle frame. Despite the inspired play from Ze Miguel's side, no goals were scored in the period and the second break arrived with a score of 1-0, Azerbaijan.
The consistent runs and constant pressure from Estonia finally paid off on in the opening minutes of the last frame. Azerbaijan looked content to stay back and play tactically conservative which directly led to the beautiful header from Tammo from nearly 15 meters out that leveled the score at one. Midway through the final period the Estonian squad took control of the match with their second goal of the period, taking the 2-1 lead. Azerbaijan turned up their intensity and began firing from all over the field, however the goals were not coming as Estonia held strong. The score would not change as Estonia held on to win 2-1.
Goals: 0-1: Hikmat, min. 3 (1); 1-1: Tammo, min. 10 (3); 2-1: Saharov, min. 5 (3).
Moldova earns much needed win over feisty Kazakhstan
The 5-3 win for Moldova over Kazakhstan exemplified heart and emotion as both teams faced deficits, fought back, took the lead but a big final period from Moldova was enough to stop Kazakhstan. The match was close throughout and both teams had a shot at the Promotion Final coming into this game but now only Moldova still hold that hope. Moldova will play Azerbaijan on Sunday and still have a chance at the Promotion Final. Kazakhstan played brave and competitive in both matches so far and will hope to play spoiler against Estonia on Sunday.
Blocked shots were plentiful but scoring was limited in the first few minutes of the match. The opportunities eventually created an open passing lane for Moldova and the Snow Leopards connected to open the scoring. Kazakhstan saw almost exactly the same play unfold on their side just a few minutes later but were unable to slot home the pass in front of goal. A great distribution from the keeper and a stunning finish in the final minutes of the first period equalized the score for the Kazakhs, which is how the first period would end, tied at one. The excitement in the first minutes of the middle frame was end to end and Kazakhstan managed to take a 2-1 lead. Moldova quickly responded with a rocket of a strike to level the score at two. The second period scoring did stop there with The Snow Leopards adding another on a great header to take the 3-2 lead into the final period.
The final period began with the Kazakhstan side showing urgency but not being able to score the tying goal. Moldova proceeded to take notice their opponents’ energy and flipped the script and turned a defensive play into a goal to give them a two goal cushion going into the middle of the period. Moldova saw more and more chances to seal the victory with a crushing fifth goal but were not able to until the final minutes of the last frame when they scored to give themselves a safe three goal lead with only three minutes remaining. The Moldova defense came alive in the third period and smothered nearly every effort from the Kazakh side. Kazakhstan did just enough to score a late goal to pull within two goals but it would not be enough as the matched finished with Moldova up 5-3.
Goals: 0-1: Baesu, min. 7 (1); 1-1: Bogomolov, min. 2 (1); 2-1: Abdrassilov, min. 10 (2); 2-2: Timbalist, min. 5 (2); 3-2: Baesu, min. 2 (2); 4-2: Negar, min. 8 (3); 5-2: Budigai, min. 3 (3); 5-3: Yerokhnovich, min. 1 (3).
Spain continues to impress in big win
Spain’s 6-0 win over Greece was complete and convincing. The Spanish took advantage of every opportunity they saw, turnovers, set pieces, slight openings, and even closed angled shots turned into goals for them. Spain has won both of their matches in Moscow and can boost their standings for the Superfinal with another dominate win tomorrow against Russia, who happened to defeat them in the final of the last FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Greece can still qualify for the Superfinal because of their strong opening Group Stage performance in Sopot, as long as they put in the hard work and come out with a victory against Belarus tomorrow.
Greece and Spain hit the ground running in the opening minutes using creative flicks, passes, and shots but both squads were still left wanting on goals. The first goal did come on a turnover from Greece and Spain pounced to take the 1-0 lead on the Llorenç goal. The Spanish superstar reacted quickly to force another turnover and gave The Furia Roja another goal, which gave his team the 2-0 lead going into the first break. The Greeks can score in bunches and the Spaniards knew this and began attacking even more and added to their lead, creating a bigger gag between them and the Greece side. The Spanish offense rounded into form as most of their shots were unstoppable, ones that even the best goalkeepers in the world could not stop. The period ended with Spain controlling the match, up 6-0.
The Hellenic did not look broken and continued to show their pride with smart runs and determined bicycle kicks. The Spanish also looked to add to their lead but the opening minutes of the final frame went scoreless but both teams were knocking on the door, ready to score. The Greeks did well to limit the Spanish chances on their goal while also creating their own offensive opportunities. The defensive intensity picked up for both teams and neither team scored and the period ended with Spain winning 6-0.
Goals: 1-0: Lorenç, min. 6 (1); 2-0: Llorenç, min. 1 (1); 3-0: Pajon, min. 10 (2); 4-0: Juanma, min. 8 (2); 5-0: R. Merida, min. 4 (2); 6-0: Bertsias Nek. (OG), min. 0 (2).
Belarus upset win over Russia puts them back in Superfinal picture
The 4-2 win for Belarus over Russia was just as surprising as it was amazing. There were so many chances and defensive saves that if there had been just an inch difference on most of the shots, there could have been over 20 goals. Belarus was in danger of going to the Promotion Final but the win could propel them into the Superfinal, depending on their match tomorrow against Greece. The Russians hopes of defending their EBSL title in the Superfinal took a serious blow. They will still be able to defend that title if they can beat their all-too familiar rival Spain, whom they defeated in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Tahiti 2013 final, in the final match on Sunday. Spain did defeat Russian in the European qualifier for the World Cup.
Belarus began the match on a tear and were rewarded with a quick goal on a very pretty bicycle kick that gave the Belarusians the 1-0 lead. Russia started just as fast but their possessions did not earn them a goal in the early going. Despite the great saves and defensive efforts from Belarus, Russia did not panic and leveled the score at one midway through the period. Russia, much to the chagrin of the local crowd, scored on a great long range direct kick to take the first lead late in the frame. Belarus would not let that deficit remain for long and took a one goal lead after two quick goals in the final minutes to go up 3-2 heading into the first break. The middle frame saw Belarus turn up the pressure on Russia and were guarding the Russian players extremely tight and not giving them any breathing room. Going into the final minutes of the period, neither side scored but the sense was that a goal could come at any time. There was no time to breathe for anyone in the period, due to all the action, but there remained a clean sheet and Belarus went into the final frame up 3-2.
The opening seconds of the third and final period were unbelievably exciting, especially given how fast the pace had been the opening two frames. The two sides exchanged great chances and saves and the home crowd urged on their Russian compatriots, but the defenses stayed true. Belarus was not content to stay on defense and pressed the Russian side but going into the final minutes they were not able to get past the defense. The tension was palpable as it seemed like every time Russia touched the ball they had a chance to score. The emotions reached a boiling point when Belarus scored an insurance goal to go up by 2 in the final minutes. That would be enough as Belarus shocked Russia, 4-2.
Goals: 0-1: Bryshtsel, min. 10 (1); 1-1: Makarov, min. 5 (1); 2-1: Gorchinskiy, min. 3 (1); 2-2: Bryshtsel, min. 2 (1); 2-3: Karpau, min. 1 (1); 2-4: Kanstantsianu, min. 3 (3).
EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE MOSCOW 2014
16:45 – Estonia 2-1 Azerbaijan (Division B)
18:00 – Kazakhstan 3-5 Moldova (Division B)
19:15 – Spain 6-0 Greece (Division A)
20:30 – Russia 2-4 Belarus (Division A)
Matches for tomorrow
15:45 – Moldova vs. Azerbaijan (Division B)
17:00 – Kazakhstan vs. Estonia (Division B)
18:15 – Belarus vs. Greece (Division A)
19:30 – Russia vs. Spain (Division A)