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12 Sep 2014
Swiss, Spain, Italy, and Russia qualify for World Cup
Tight matches decide the group winners and the four teams headed to the World Cup along with all consolation matches
Hungary overcomes late deficit to finish 2nd in group
The 4-3 overtime victory for Hungary looked in doubt for much of the match as they were losing for most of the match after staring down a two goal disadvantage before taking a short lived lead in the final period, before building on their laurels in the extra period to score the winning goal. Hungary won all of their Group Phase II matches except for their showdown with Switzerland, who won the group outright. Hungary will have a chance to finish as high as 5th in the completion, beginning with the first of their last two matches on Saturday. Azerbaijan finished the second group stage without a win but they were extremely competitive in all their matches and will play in the playoff for 13th on Saturday.
The two teams fought hard to find an early opening frame goal but the looks on goal were not ideal with both defenses staying tight and together. Azerbaijan looked to be getting more chances on the offensive end but Hungary grew stronger as the period went on. The period ended just how it had begun tied at 0. The get-to-know each other phase had ended and Azerbaijan began asking more questions of the Golden Team and the pressing paid off when Renat scored the first goal of the match, giving the Azerbaijani the 1-0 lead going into the middle of the period. Hungary had yet to hit the back of the net but their chances were becoming more and more of a commonplace. At the end of the period, Azerbaijan had scored the only goal and the match headed to the final period with a 1-0 score.
Azerbaijan wanted to win their last Group Phase II match and with another goal early in the third period, they put themselves in a great position, building their lead through methodical passing and teamwork. Hungary looked at the deficit as a challenge worth undertaking and scored two quick goals from their main scorers Fekete and Ughy, to tie things at two. Going into the final minutes, the score had not changed and both sides did not look content with the match heading into overtime or possible penalties so they were attacking and attacking and nothing had changed until Berkes scored what looked like the deciding goal, however an own-goal from Hungary just seconds later tied the match at 3 and it went into overtime. The own goal came from Besenyei but he redeemed himself in the extra frame by scoring the winning goal on a great overhead, and the match finished with Hungary up 4-3.
Goals: 1-0: Renat, min. 8 (2); 2-0: Ali, min. 11 (3); 2-1: Fekete, min. 10 (3); 2-2: Ughy, min. 8 (3); 2-3: Berkes, min. 1 (3); 3-3: Besenyei (O.G. ), min. 0 (3); 3-4: Besenyei, min. 0 (et).
Turkey uses last minute goal to earn first win
The 2-1 victory for Turkey over France was loaded with action and defense and sprinkled with spectacular goalkeeping that was not decided until the final buzzer as France always had a chance to score and level things. Turkey had a wonderful start, shutting down the French while also scoring an amazing overhead goal from their star Cem, before France took control of the match in the middle frame, only to see Turkey come back late and net the winner in the final minute. The win was the first of the tournament for Turkey and they finish the second group stage in second place and will battle on Saturday and Sunday to finish as high as 9th place in all of Europe. France played a great Group Phase II series of games but were unable to secure a win, however they will play in their final two matches on Saturday and Sunday, hoping to finish as high as 13th.
Turkey had played one less match than France, as they were sorted into a three team group in the first group stage and their legs looked just a little bit fresher in the opening minutes of the game. Cem, the bicycle specialist for the Crescent-Stars scored the first goal, on a, you guessed it, overhead to give his team the 1-0, going into the first break. France used the second period as their platform to reassert themselves as they scored early and stayed in control of the ball for most of the period. Turkey saw their chances diminish but they were not completely shut-out from opportunities, though they could not take advantage of the looks they did see. The frame ended tied at 1 and set the stage for an even more exciting middle frame.
Everything was in the balance in the closing period as neither squad had set themselves apart or score more goals. The middle of the period approached with no more goals but the shots were very close and could have possibly altered the course of the match had one or two gone in for either Les Bleus or the Comeback Kings. The best goal scorers for both teams came to play as they were dictating the play but excellent goalkeeping and body sacrificing blocked shots were plentiful. Heading into the final minutes of the match, the score remained tied at 1. Baris changed everything when he was given a direct kick from just outside the French penalty area, which he rocketed home with power and accuracy to give his team the 2-1 lead late in the match. France was awarded a kick from a similar spot on the opposite side of the field, but Turkey saved it and when the buzzer sounded, the Turkish team had won 2-1.
Goals: 0-1: Cem, min. 4 (1); 1-1: Barbotti, min. 10 (2); 1-2:Baris, min. 1 (3).
Germany uses big first period to beat Greece
The 6-2 win for Germany over Greece was a complete effort from start to finish as the Germans scored in every period and did not allow the Greeks for bunches of minutes. Germany came out strong and rode a first period hat-trick from Biermann to put Greece on its heels, something they did not recover from. Germany lost two of the tournaments’ closes matches, a penalty shoot-out against Romania and 2-0 loss to the two-time defending Euro Beach Soccer League and World Cup champions, Russia. Germany finishes third in the group and will play their next match on Saturday with the hopes of winning and competing in the 11th place on Sunday. Greece had a tough series of matchups but has two more games left to advance as high as 13th and leave Jesolo with something to smile about.
Germany may have lost their opening two Group Phase II matches but they were beaming with confidence entering this match as narrowly lost to the two top teams in the group and could have very easily won both. Biermann made sure his team continued to believe as he scored an early goal to put the Greeks down 1-0. Greece was not afforded many offensive chances in the opening frame while Germany controlled the tempo and used another two goals from Biermann, bringing his first period tally to three, to go up 3-0 into the first break. The scoring slowed in the second but Germany was the first to strike again, this time form Bullerjahn, which set the score at 4-0 for the Germans. Neumann came to the scoring party also, scoring Germany’s fifth putting the match seemingly out of reach for the Pirate Ship. Greece did show signs of life late in the second period and it led to a goal from Kafantaris, putting the score at 5-1 for Germany going into the final frame.
Greece did not give up and tried to use the final period as a springboard for their comeback as they controlled the early minutes in the period, but were still left with a four goal deficit. The ball was not bouncing the Greeks’ way and they failed to score enough in the final period, as they got one back from Paris on a clever chipped direct kick, and they did manage to stop Germany, for the most part, only allowing one third period goal to Biermann, his fourth on the day. The dust settle and Germany earned their first victory 6-2.
Goals: 1-0: Biermann, min. 8 (1); 2-0: Biermann, min. 1 (1); 3-0: Biermann, min. 0 (1); 4-0: Bullerjahn, min. 8 (2); 5-0: Neumann, min. 3 (2); 5-1: Kafantaris, min. 2 (2); 6-1: Biermann, min. 2 (3); 6-2: Paris, min. 1 (3).
Estonia thrills in 3rd period for sensational win
The 6-5 win for Estonia was an absolute goal fest which did not seem like it would have been after a scoreless first period. Estonia jumped out to the lead four times in total, the last one proving to be enough but the first three times the Polish side fought back and even took the lead in the final minute, and the match looked to be over for Estonia at that point. A last second goal saved Estonia from leaving Jesolo without a win but they finished third in the group and will have a chance, starting on Saturday, to play for 9th place. Poland will be disappointed in their performance despite all the heroics they showd, and will compete for 13th place beginning on Saturday.
Defense reigned supreme in the first few minutes with some sound goalkeeping to boot as both teams took shots on goal but nothing too dangerous for the starting keepers to stop. The offenses did not initially find their groove, the energy was very high, and the first period ended scoreless as the teams looked to regroup in the middle frame. Much more was asked of the Estonian keeper in the first period, and the same could be said of the opening minutes of the second period also. The teams did not score until Estonia opportunistically broke the deadlock on a chip over the Polish keeper that put the score at 1-0 for the Blueshirts. The Red and Whites got off the board with a great controlled and powerful strike from Saganowski, which tied the score at 1, just past the midway point in the match. Estonia snuck another shot past Poland and took a 2-1 lead into the final period.
Saganowski scored his second of the match, early in the final frame, to tie the match at two. The goal seemed to inspire Estonia as they turned even more aggressive, looking to restore their one goal advantage. The third goal for Estonia did come, barely past the midway point in the period, giving the Estonians their third lead of the match, making the score 3-2. Estonia used another goal from Tammo to take the biggest lead of the match, two goals, at 4-2. Ziober would have none of that and had an answer of his own to put the score at 4-3 for Estonia. The comeback was still not complete until the final minutes of the period when Wydmuszek scored from a ridiculous distance, on a free kick, to level the score at 4-all. The Polish legend, Saganowski, scored another goal, his third of the match, with just over a minute remaining that looked like the clincher but Estonia responded only seconds later to tie the game again, this time 5. With only 13 seconds remaining Saharov of Estonia scored one of the most beautiful bicycles you could see to secure the 6-5 victory.
Goals: 0-1: Marmor, min. 9 (2); 1-1: Saganowski, min. 5 (2); 1-2: Marmor, min. 0 (2); 2-2: Saganowski, min. 10 (3); 2-3: Marmor, min. 5 (3); 2-4: Tammo, min. 4 (3); 3-4: Ziober, min. 4 (3); 4-4: Wydmuszek, min. 3 (3); 5-4: Saganowski, min. 1 (3); 5-5: Marmor, min. 1 (3); 5-6: Saharov, min. 0 (3).
Switzerland finished Group Phase II stage undefeated
The 8-3 victory for Switzerland over England was a great match if you love offense and overheads. England was not favoured to win the match but they came out and played like a team that knew they could win. England took the early two goal lead but Switzerland and their attack rolled into championship form and pounded the back of the net for those eight goals. Switzerland had already secured their spot in the World Cup as one of the qualifiers semifinalists while England was already locked into 3rd place in the group. The Swiss will next play on Saturday, for a chance to play in the final, while England will have to chance to play for 9th place.
England is not always known for the high-paced office but they started their match against Switzerland at a pace that even the Swiss could not initially keep up. England scored first, and then Switzerland countered to tie the match at 1. England found a way to score again, this time from Lawson, but as the Nati always do, they got the leveler from Spacca and the match went into the middle frame tied at 2. The Swiss offense did not stop and took their first lead of the match in the opening minute of the second period on a great run and finish from Spacca, his second of the day. Leu added onto the Swiss lead with a superb volley that put the score at 4-2, still early in the frame. Stankovic put even more breathing room between his team and the Three Lions with a fantastic touch and finish, but Day scored for England on the restart to show they still were not going anyhere. The Swiss Bomber scored his third of the match shortly after Day’s goal to put his side back up by three at 6-3, which is how the period would end.
Switzerland could not keep up the torrid pace but they maintain a tight defense as they limited England’s offensive chances. The Swiss entertainment machine continued though as they added goals from their elder statesmen, Schirinzi, and a third goal from Spacca to build an 8-3 lead. The British were unable to hit the back of the net again and when te match ended, the score was 8-3 for Switzerland.
Goals: 0-1: Morris, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Stankovic, min. 8 (1); 1-2: Lawson, min. 8 (1); 2-2: Spacca, min. 8 (1); 3-2: Spacca, min. 11 (2); 4-2: Leu, min. 9 (2); 5-2: Stankovic, min. 5 (2); 5-3: Day, min. 5 (2); 6-3: Stankovic, min. 5 (2); 7-3: Schirinzi, min. 7 (3); 8-3: Spacca, min. 2 (3).
Spain advances to World Cup with legendary penalty shoot-out
Spain’s 6(4)-6(3) penalties win over Ukraine was just as exciting, if not more so, than the final score indicates. Spain began horrendously while Ukraine pounced to a 2-0 lead, but Spain hung around, falling behind by two and three goals, but never further, until they made a miraculous comeback in the final period against the stingiest of Ukrainian defenses. The game could not be decided in regulation or overtime and went to a just as dramatic penalty shoot-out. In the penalties, Dona of Spain saved two shots to help his team win. Spain finishes the first two qualifying stages undefeated and are going to the World Cup thanks to their heroic comeback. Ukraine faltered at the worst time, though they actually did not falter as much as Spain won. The Ukrainians will play for 5th place beginning with their next match on Saturday.
The match one of the most anticipated matches of the day and the opening minutes did not leave the fans wanting as within one and a half minutes there had been three goals, two by Ukraine and amazing technique on all of the goals. Going into the middle half of the period, Ukraine held onto their 2-1 lead. In what could only be described as a classic first period, Ukraine took the 3-1 lead, then it was whittled down to 3-2, then ballooned up to 4-2 on a late goal from Zborovskyi, which how the opening period would end. Ukraine continued to defy the notion that Spain should win this match and the Ukrainian defense and physical play did not sit well with La Furia Roja. The frustration did not last long as Llorenç was given a penalty kick which did not miss and brought Spain back to within one goal. Pachev and Ukraine restored their two goal lead on a great cross and finish to put the score at 5-3 for the Ukrainians. The Blue and Yellows took the biggest lead of the game, three goals, when Borsuk A. got past Dona, the Spanish keeper, for the 9th goal of the match and 6th for Ukraine. Juanma scored on an exquisite volley in the final minute to get Spain back into te match at 6-4.
Speed is always a factor in Spain´s matches and the final frame in this match was no different as Ukraine and Spain were both running up and down the pitch making plays on both sides of the ball. Llorenç scored this second of the match and the first of the period as he brought his side back to within one goal and heading into the final minutes of the game, Ukraine held onto the 6-5 lead. The stars came to shine in this match as Llorenç scored his third goal of the match at the best possible moment, tying the score at 6 with just over two minutes left in regulation. The game did not seem like it could get any more exciting but it did as the action continued from end-to-end and the match went into extra time tied at 6. Neither team deserved to lose, nor did they want to, and it showed with the on the field product, but neither side scored in the extra frame the game went into penalties.
Goals: 0-1: Pachev, min.11 (1); 0-2: Borsuk I., min. 10 (1); 1-2: Pajon, min. 10 (1); 1-3: Borsuk I., min. 6 (1); 2-3: R. Merida, min. 6 (1); 2-4: Zborovskyi, min. 2 (1); 3-4: Llorenç, min. 8 (2); 3-5: Pachev, min. 5 (2); 3-6: Borsuk A., min. 4 (2); 4-6: Juanma, min. 0 (2); 5-6: Llorenç, min. 9 (3); 6-6: Llorenç, min. 2 (3).
Penalties: Korniichuk: goal; Llorenç: saved; Andrieiev: goal; Juanma: goal; Borsuk I.: saved; Antonio: goal; Panteleichuk; goal; Chyki; goal; Pachev; saved; R. Merida: goal.
Russia is ready to defend World Cup title after win
Russia’s 5-2 win over Romania was very championship worthy as the Russians jumped out early, gave up their first goal in over 100 minutes of beach soccer action, then finished off te Romanians with their tactical genius and superb team play. The Russians cruised to victory and earned a shot to defend the World Cup which they have already won twice in a row. Romania played a very nice tournament and will still have the opportunity to play for 5th place beginning with their first of two matches set for Saturday and Sunday.
The match began just how the Russian’s would have liked, as the goalie, Bukhlitskiy, scored within the first few seconds and then just as Romania was looking to get comfortable again, Romanov score again for Russia, putting them up 2-0. The rest of the period was played to a draw and the period ended with the same score, 2-0 for the Russians. The middle frame began where the opening period left off, but there were even more shots that hit the post and Russia could have very well been up 4 or 5 to 0 and Romania could have found the goals they needed to get back into the match but none of those scenarios happened and going into the middle of the frame, both sides were held scoreless in the period. The final minute included two great goals, the second was on the restart for Romania after a Russian goal, and it set the score at 3-1 going into the final period.
Romania wanted and needed more goals and began the final frame by scoring within 30 seconds to draw themselves to within on goal at 3-2. Krash scored his second goal of the day to restore his teams’ two goal lead. Shishin got in on the scoring and after a Romanian defensive error, he passed a shot right into the goal, giving his team a 5-2 lead. Russian maintained the comfortable lead and finished the match up 5-2.
Goals: 1-0: Bukhlitskiy, min.11 (1); 2-0: Romanov, min. 8 (1); 3-0: Krash, min. 0 (2), 3-1: I. Poste, min. 0 (2); 3-2: Boata, min. 11 (3); 4-2: Krash, min. 10 (3); 5-2: Shishin, min. 9 (3).
Italy headed back to World Cup after win
Italy’s 4-2 win over Belarus was just as tight as their match was last month in the Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal. The same result also, an Italian win. The two teams fought as hard as was possible and a winner had to crowned despite two squads both being World Cup worthy. Italy took the early lead and then clamped down on defense but only to see Belarus tie the match late. After the tie, Italy broke things open with two inspired late goals to seal the victory and trip to the World Cup. Belarus will play for 5th place from Saturday to Sunday, while Italy will still compete for the crown in Jesolo.
The goalpost were doing the most work in the early going of the first period as Italy stuck them twice, while Belarus was not afforded very many early opportunities. Italy mounted more and more chances but Belarus did well to not allow a goal. The Belarusian offense could not get going early on and like the Azzurri, they could not score but near the midway point in the period Zurlo of Italy was given a penalty kick which he slotted home and it gave the hosts the 1-0 lead. Fortunes can change like the direction of the wind in beach soccer and Belarus’ first goal proved that as Italy had been in complete control until Karpau had a brilliant finish to tie the score at 1, which is where the score would stand going into the second period. Much like the first 12 minutes of action, the goals did not immediately come but the teams were exchanging shots and possession left and right but Belarus seemed much more comfortable than they did in the opening period. That comfort did not do much when Gori stepped up to take a penalty shot and nailed it to give Italy the 2-1 lead and the period would end with that same score.
Chances abounded for Belarus as they were so close to scoring the equalizer and eventually booking their tickets to the World Cup but the goals were hard to come by for both teams. Italy was forced to save many balls off the line and use their defenders to save what looked like sure goals. Belarus got the break they needed when an Italian goal was disallowed because of a penalty and then on the ensuing possession Bryshtsel scored on a bouncing overhead that leveled things at 2 apiece. The tie did not last for long as Gori scored on one of his pretty bicycle kicks that put the Azzurri up 3-2 heading into the final minutes. Palmacci added a late cushion goal that riled the crowd and the Italian side and it proved to be enough as Italy won 4-2.
Goals: 1-0: Zurlo, min.5 (1); 1-1: Karpau, min. 1 (1); 2-1: Gori, min. 3 (2); 2-2: Bryshtsel, min. 7 (3); 3-2: Gori, min. 4 (3); 4-2: Palmacci, min. 3 (3).
FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP 2015 - EUROPE QUALIFIER JESOLO-ITALY
09:00 - Azerbaijan 3-4 (aet) Hungary (Group IV)
10:15 – France 1-2 Turkey (Group II)
11:30 - Germany 6-2 Greece (Group III)
12:45 - Poland 5-6 Estonia (Group I)
14:00 - Switzerland 8-3 England (Group IV)
15:15 - Spain 6(4)-6(3) Ukraine (Group II)
16:30 - Russia 5-2 Romania (Group III)
17:45 - Italy 4-2 Belarus (Group I)
09:00 - France vs. Poland - Playoff for 13th Place
10:15 – Azerbaijan vs. Greece - Playoff for 13th Place
11:30 - Turkey vs. Estonia - Playoff for 9th Place
12:45 - Germany vs. England - Playoff for 9th Place
14:00 - Hungary vs. Belarus - Playoff for 5th Place
15:15 - Ukraine vs. Romania - Playoff for 5th Place
16:30 - Switzerland vs. Spain - Semifinal
17:45 - Russia vs. Italy - Semifinal