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15 Aug 2014
Superfinal and Promotion Final nearly set
Division A and Division B inch closer to deciding European Olympics teams and Europe’s best
Overtime needed to determine the Czech Republic winners
The 3-2 overtime win for the Czech Republic was emotional with both teams needing a win to keep their Promotion Final hopes alive, however the two points that are awarded for an overtime victory means that Poland still has the leg up in the group. The Bulgarians scored first but the Czech Republic answered in the second period, only to have their hopes seemingly dashed in the closing minutes of the final period, before scoring a late penalty to dramatically send the game into overtime. The Czech Republic picked a perfect time to take their first lead of the match as they did it in overtime. Bulgaria will play Azerbaijan on Saturday will the possibility of closing out the Group Stage on a positive note. The Czech Republic will look to do the same against Poland on Saturday.
Bulgaria knew they needed to get their offense clicking after being shut out in their opening match against Poland, and they fixed that early in the first period with a penalty kick goal from Filipov. The two sides took a more physical approach to end the period and no other goals were scored and Bulgaria was up 1-0 going into the second period. The Czech Republic came out of the gates in the second period looking to score and often, they found their first goal just over a minute into the middle frame and continued to put quality shots on goal. Bulgaria did not see as many chances in the second period as the Czechs were in a very good defensive groove. The period ended tied at 1, making for a spectacular finish.
Neither team could afford to take a second loss in two days, so they came into the final period playing very tight and not allowing the other side to get many open looks. At the halfway point of the final period, there had been no goals, but both teams were sacrificing their bodies to block shots to prevent an opposing goal. The stalemate of the third period was broken when Tuzakov scored for The Lions and Bulgaria went into the final minutes up 2-1. With less than a minute left, they received a life-line in the form of a penalty kick which they netted to tie the score at 2 just before the game went into overtime. Shortly into overtime, the Czechs took their first lead of the match, at 3-2 and hung on to win for their first of the tournament and they secure the two points.
Goals: 0-1: Filipov, min. 10 (1); 1-1: Bocek, min. 10 (2); 1-2: Tuzakov, min. 4 (3); 2-2: Bocek, min. 0 (3); 3-2: Stejskal, min. 1 (et).
Poland set to defend their Division A status on Sunday
The 6-1 victory for Poland was very complete and secured them the top spot in Division B Group 1, as the Czech Republic won earlier but on overtime, giving them only two points. Azerbaijan played tough to start the game but did not have the right pieces to stop the Polish attack. Poland used the last minutes of the opening period to take a 3-0 lead, and will take on the Czech Republic on Saturday which will be very important for the placing of the Czechs. Azerbaijan will look to improve their standings on Saturday as they will battle Bulgaria.
Poland and Azerbaijan both showed their potential in winning their opening day matches, however the Division A squad, Poland, was a heavy favourite going into this match. Saganowski would have something to say about that as The White and Reds star, netted a powerful shot home with his big left leg on a direct kick to give Poland the late 1-0 lead. After another two late goals from the Polish, one at the buzzer, their slow start was quickly forgotten as they took a three goal lead into the middle frame. The second period saw Azerbaijan limit Poland to only two goals, the last one with under 30 seconds left in the period, which is all anyone can ask of someone playing against Poland, however, The Azeri failed to net any of their own and went into the final period down 5-0.
The Polish team, who had not given up a goal in the tournament thus far, decided to quickly add to their lead in the final period as they netted another goal from Saganowski, his third on the day, to take a 6-0 lead. Azerbaijan took some of their best chances in the third period, they were obviously not content with the six goal deficit but Poland was able to keep the score sheet clean. Once again, Azerbaijan improved from period to period, as their offense looked more potent and they limited Poland to less and goals each period, but the consolations are not enough for a win and Poland finished the match up 6-1, after Azerbaijan scored the first goal against Poland during the first two days of the Promotion Final.
Goals: 1-0: Saganowski, min. 4 (1); 2-0: Friszkemut, min. 2 (1); 3-0: Ziober; 4-0: Sganowski, min. 7 (2); 5-0: Piechnik, min. 0 (2); 6-0: Saganowsi, min. 10 (3).
Turkey nears Promotion Final after second straight win
Turkey’s 3-1 win over Estonia was very close from whistle to whistle, with a scoreless second period proving to be the undoing as they also held Turkey scoreless and if the Estonians had only scored in the first period, they would have had a better shot earning their first win of the weekend. The win for Turkey was a complete performance with defense and offense and may send them to the Promotion Final against Poland. Turkey will face Hungary on Sunday, in what could be a win-and-in match for the Promotion Final on Sunday. Estonia broke through the goal barrier today and will hope to get their first win against England on Saturday.
Very close matches on Thursday for both teams meant they did not want to have their second match come down to the last shot. The opening minutes were just as tight, but two last minute goals from Turkey gave them the early 2-0 advantage heading into the first break. The second period was just as exciting as the first ended, with brave goalkeeping and great strikes but in the early going, there were no goals. The offensive chances continued to pile up but going into the final minutes, the confident takes were still there from both sides, but Turkey looked content with their hard-earned two goal lead, going into the final period.
There was not a lack of effort from Estonia but the scores were not coming in abundance. In fact, Turkey added to their lead with a great strike from their star, Cem, putting the score at 3-0 for the Crescent-Stars. The Blueshirts would have been facing a much larger deficit were it not for spectacular goalkeeping, however, the Turkish goalkeepers arguable were playing just a little better. The Turkish team held on to win the match 3-1, after a last second goal, giving Estonia their first score of the tournament.
Goals: 1-0: Baris, min. 3 (1); 2-0: S. Ahmet, min. 1 (1); 3-0: Cem, min. 10 (3); 3-1: Truusalu, min. 0 (3).
England triumphs in overtime over determined Hungarian side
England’s 5-4 overtime win gives them two points and their first win of the weekend and it leaves them thinking, what could have been, had they defeated Turkey on Thursday. The win gives them the possibility of earning second place in the group but unable to catch Turkey for the top spot. England will face Estonia on Saturday and may be able to finish as high as second in the group, giving them a shot at 3rd overall place in Division B. Hungary will take on Turkey in a winner-take-all match on Saturday. Whoever wins that match will take on Poland in the Promotion Final on Sunday.
England began the match just as they wanted and knowing their opponent well, playing against each other last week in the EBSL Regular Season Group Stage Siófok helped England jump out to the early lead, and after tacking on a late goal from Day, The Three Lions went into the first break up 2-0. The Hungarians can score from anywhere on the field and that was evident in the second period when they scored two big goals to draw even with the English. Hungary was not finished there, as they took their first lead of the match at 3-2, when they connected on a penalty kick. Neither team scored again before the period ended and the Magyar went into the final frame, up 3-2.
Hungary did not hold their lead long into the final period due to a great goal from Temple, to tie the game at three. The two sides exchanged shots throughout most of the period but going into the final minutes there had yet to be a clear winner until Fekete struck home his third of the match, giving his team some much needed momentum. England went into attack mode and almost immediately charged the net but could not find the elusive equalizer until less than a minute remained, when Temple scored his second of the match to send the game to overtime. England made sure to not their early two goal lead go to waste as they scored the first and only goal in overtime, the second goal of the day for Corbett.
Goals: 0-1: Corbett, min. 8 (1); 0-2: Day, min. 3 (1): 1-2: Fekete, min. 6 (2): 2-2: Fekete, min. 6 (2); 3-2: Abel, min. 5 (2); 3-3: Temple, min. 9 (3); 4-3: Fekete, min. 1 (3); 4-4: Temple, min. 0 (3); 4-5: Corbett, min. 1 (et).
Italy uses last minute heroics to prevail
The 2-1 Italian victory over Belarus was incredibly close and seemed headed to overtime, before a last ditch effort and great defensive steal by Italy, directly led to the final goal. The win gives Italy three points and their first win of the weekend. Italy will face Portugal in a very important match on Saturday. Belarus barely lost their first two matches but will have a chance to get their first points against Russia on Saturday.
The opening minutes of the game were very physical and both sides used many creative attacks to get looks at goal but neither side had scored heading into the middle of the period. The first goal was scored by the Italians in the closing minutes of the first frame, on a tenacious strike from Zurlo. Belarus waited until the last minute of the frame to score the equalizer and the period ended with the match tied at 1. Italy and Belarus were not satisfied with low-scoring match and leveled more attacks on their opponents, but the second period ended with the same score as the first, tied at 1.
The defensive work and goalkeeping was brilliant in the final period as both teams lost their opening matches and knew that a second loss would eliminate them the Superfinal. Approaching the middle of the period, the teams both remained level and were limiting their mistakes on both ends of the pitch, but the conservative game plan did not yield any goals, or weaknesses in either side. Going into the final minutes of the third period both teams were quiet on the offensive end, but The Azzurri had a last second goal from Ramaciotti go in, after a great defensive steal and the final buzzer sounded with Italy up 2-1.
Goals: 1-0: Zurlo, min. 2 (1); 1-1: Karpau, min. 1 (1); 2-1: Ramaciotti, min. 0 (3).
Switzerland continues to impress on day 2
The 5-3 win for Switzerland over Ukraine was even closer than the two goal difference shows, as the game was in doubt for much of the game, and were it not for one of the great all-time individual efforts from Stankovic, Ukraine might have been able to overcome. Switzerland will finish the Group Stage against Spain in what will decide the who advances to the Superfinal. Ukraine will look to earn their first points of the weekend against Germany on Saturday.
Switzerland did not give up a goal in their opening match and Ukraine began very slow in theirs, but in this match, things went completely differently as Ukraine scored in under two minutes and heading into the middle point of the period, they had not given the high-powered Swiss offense any real opportunities. The final minutes of the period were a different story as Switzerland, specifically their bomber, Stankovic, scored twice to level things but Ukraine answered with a late goal of their own to tie thins at two going into the first break. The offenses continued to dominate in the second period, with sides scoring in the same minute, to tie the match at 3, going into the heart of the match. Switzerland’s third goal of the match was the third for Stankovic as well, giving him his first hat-trick of the Superfinal. The scoring leveled out and the middle frame ended tied at two.
Equally talented teams bring out the best in each other and this match was no different, with the two teams showing flashed of their brilliance. The Nati were the first to strike in the final period, taking their third separate lead of the match, at 4-3. Stankovic struck again in the final minutes to put the match just out of reach for the Ukrainians, who failed to score in the final period, though their chances were there. When the final whistle sounded, the Swiss took held the 5-3 advantage.
Goals: 0-1: Budzko, min. 10 (1); 1-1: Stankovic, min. 4 (1); 2-1: Stankovic, min. 2 (1); 2-2: Voitenko, min. 2 (1); 3-2: Stankovic, min. 8 (2); 3-3: Zboroskvi, min. 8 (2); 4-3: Spacca, min. 8 (3); 5-3: Stankovic, min. 2 (3).
Portugal overcomes slow start but outslugs Russia
The Portuguese 11-7 win over Russia will be remembered as one of the greatest beach soccer match of the EBSL season, if not elsewhere. The two sides refused to lose and brought out the best in both sides. Russia went down early but rebounded and took the lead on three separate occasions but could not hold off the Portuguese who used a maniacal pace in the second period to grab a three goal lead, only to see Russia, as could have been expected, to mount a comeback. The Portuguese had more than enough in the tank to hold off the Russians. Portugal will now have to face an upset minded Italy on Saturday, in hopes of securing their spot in the Superfinal. Russia will do battle with Belarus to see how high they can finish in the group, possibly still at the top.
Portugal scored from one of the furthest possible points on the pitch, but not to be outdone, the Russian keeper, Bukhlitskiy, rocketed his own shot from his penalty area and slotted it home. The third goal, second for Russia, was a more traditional in front of the net goal. In a period full of highlight material, the fourth and fifth goals, the first from Portugal, showed some of the most exquisite passing and teamwork you can see on a pitch, which Likhachev's lads duplicated less than a minute later to bring the score to 3-2, Russia. Portugal tied the match late in the period but a last minute strike swayed the see-saw in Russia’s favour, ending the frame with Russia up 1, at 4-3. The second could not possibly replicate the quality and drama of the first period, but in fact, it did. The two sides exchanged blows, beautiful direct kicks, deft passing, clever finishes, and pure power to push the goal total to 13, however the final goal, the hat-trick goal for Belchior was arguably the most clever goal of the tournament, dribbling and making the extra feint right in front of the goal before hitting the roof of the net with a missile of a shot. The period ended with Portugal turning a one goal deficit into a three goal lead at 8-5.
The action in the last frame kept also everyone standing, with the scoring pace slowing but the back-and-forth dual was far boring. The Russian were the first to strike in the period but in the same minute, José Maria of Portugal restored The Quinas Selection's three goal lead. The Portuguese ballooned their lead to four before Russia clawed back again. The comeback was stopped there as Belchior scored his fourth of the day, to put his Portuguese brethren up by four again, late in the period. The emotional battle ended with Portugal up 11-7 when the final horn sounded.
Goals: 1-0: Torres, min. 10 (1); 1-1: Bukhlitskiy: min. 9 (1); 1-2: Krash, min. 8 (1); 2-2: Madjer, min. 5 (1); 2-3: Shishin, min. 4 (1); 3-3: Jordan, min. 3 (1); 3-4: Romanov, min. 0 (1); 4-4: Belchior, min. 10 (2); 4-5: Romanov, min. 10 (2); 5-5: Belchior, min. 7 (2); 6-5: José Maria, min. 6 (2); 7-5: Madjer, min. 5 (2); 8-5: Belchior, min. 4 (2); 8-6: Shkarin, min. 8 (3); 9-6: José Maria, min. 8 (3); 10-6: Coimbra, min. 7 (3); 10-7: Shkarin, min. 6 (3); 11-7: Belchior, min. 2 (3).
Spain stalls German comeback attempts
Spain’s 6-2 victory over Germany was hard-fought and showed why both teams performed so well during the EBSL Regular Season. Spain used its special and local talent, Llorenç, to jump to an early lead and avoided a long shot comeback attempt from the Germans. Spain will now play for the chance to represent Division A Group 2 in the Superfinal on Sunday, however in Spain’s way is the Swiss, whom they will face on Saturday. Germany still has a chance to look for their first win of the weekend on Saturday against Ukraine, who also has yet to win this weekend.
Germany and Spain both had something to prove coming into the final match of the day. Spain wanted to show that they could play better defense and earn a win with a goal differential of more than two. Germany knew they could play better and should not have been shut out in their first game of the weekend. Spain looked like the team more like to remedy their woes as they scored two quick goals and took a 3-0 lead into the second period. In the middle frame, Germany inflated their lead to four but like Germans showed all season, they are keen on the dramatic comeback. The arduous comeback began near the middle of the match when Biermann netted Germany’s first goal of the tournament to make the score 4-1, Spain. Germany added another score off of a great direct kick from long range to pull within two goals, but Spain restored their three goal lead in the last minutes to go up 5-2 into the last break.
Spain was in control of the match but the Germans are always a threat, as had comeback from three goal disadvantages before, this season against Italy. Germany found some openings in the Spanish defense but had difficulty getting past The Furia Roja’s keeper, Dona. The Spanish still kept the pressure on but in the early minutes of the final period, neither side could find the back of the net. Spain did score a very important security goal, which put them ahead by four goals, going into the final minutes. Germany was unable to get any closer and they last whistle signaled the Spanish 6-2 win.
Goals: 1-0: R. Merida, min. 8 (1); 2-0: Llorenç, min. 6 (1); 3-0: F. Mejias, min. 3 (1); 4-0: Juanma, min. 8 (2); 4-1: Biermann, min. 7 (2); 4-2: Weirauch, min. 4 (2); 5-2: Antonio, min. 1 (2); 6-2: Antonio, min. 3 (3).
EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE SUPERFINAL & PROMOTION FINAL TORREDEMBARRA 2014
10:15 - Czech Republic 3-2(aet) Bulgaria (Division B - Group 1)
11:30 - Poland 6-1 Azerbaijan (Division B - Group 1)
12:45 - Turkey 3-1 Estonia (Division B - Group 2)
14:00 - Hungary 4-5(aet) England (Division B - Group 2)
15:15 - Italy 2-1 Belarus (Division A - Group 1)
16:30 - Switzerland 5-3 Ukraine (Division A - Group 2)
17:45 - Portugal 11-7 Russia (Division A - Group 1)
19:00 - Spain 6-2 Germany (Division A - Group 2)
10:15 - Estonia vs. England (Division B - Group 2)
11:30 - Azerbaijan vs. Bulgaria (Division B - Group 1)
12:45 - Turkey vs. Hungary (Division B - Group 2)
14:00 - Poland vs. Czech Republic (Division B - Group 1)
15:15 - Ukraine vs. Germany (Division A - Group 2)
16:30 - Portugal vs. Italy (Division A - Group 1)
17:45 - Russia vs. Belarus (Division A - Group 1)
19:00 - Switzerland vs. Spain (Division A - Group 2)