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28 Aug 2014
Switzerland and Spain take control of groups
The Euro Beach Soccer Cup Baku 2014 begins with two spectacular matches from the Swiss and Spanish against the Greeks and Hungarians
Swiss stars shine in opening win
The 6-1 win for Switzerland was a fast-paced match with early goals and some great defensive work. Greece was overpowered by the Swiss offense, however they did not look outclassed, the ball did not bounce their way as much as they would have liked but their goalkeeping was admirable, saving many shots that looked destined to hit the back of the onion bag. The unrelenting pace began at the opening whistle and did not end until the match was final. The win gives Switzerland three points and puts them at the top of Group A heading into their next match on Saturday, against hosts, Azerbaijan. The Greeks will face Azerbaijan on Friday in hopes of earning their first points and win.
Switzerland jumped on top of Greece early with an impressive left-footed shot across goal from close range by Mo. The Swiss found their stride again midway through the opening frame to put them up 2-0, which is how the first period would end. The Greeks did well to rebound in the opening minute of the middle frame as they opened the period with a goal to get within one but the Nati restored their two goal buffer shortly after the Greek goal, on a rocket strike off a nifty turn from scoring machine, Ott. The teams traded barbs going into the last minute but no other goals were scored until Ott banged home his second goal of the period on a precise header, to put his team up 4-1 heading into the final period.
The Swiss wanted to put as much distance between themselves and Greece and did so with a goal from Stankovic to go up by four goals at 5-1. Switzerland did not stop there and added another goal near the halfway point in the period to put the score at 6-1. The Greeks were determined to get back into the match and score more goals but their offense was not clicking and they could not score in the final frame. Switzerland did not let up but they also could not score again. When the final buzzer sounded, the Swiss finished up 6-1.
Goals: 1-0: Mo, min. 9 (1); 2-0: Borer, min. 6 (1); 2-1: Triantafyllidis, min. 11 (2); 3-1: Ott, min. 8 (2); 4-1: Ott, min. 0 (2); 5-1: Stankovic, min. 8 (3); 6-1: Spacca, min. 5 (3).
Spain does not disappoint in opener
Spain’s 6-4 victory over Hungary was so fast paced that you could not get a get a drink of water without missing a goal, as the game started quickly and went back-and-forth despite Spain constantly holding the lead. The plethora of goals did not indicate a lack of defense or spectacular goalkeeping, because both were present, but the offenses began clicking at all the right moments. The win gives Spain the lead in Group B and they will need to build on this momentum to defeat their bitter rival Russia, on Saturday. Russia recently defeated Spain in the Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal as well as last years’ FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Tahiti 2013 final match. Hungary will precisely take on the two-time defending European and World Champions Russia on Friday.
In the blink of an eye, Spain took the early lead, within two seconds of the opening whistle, with the strongest of volleys from Juanma to take the 1-0 lead. Hungary knew they need to score to keep pace, especially after Pajón of Spain scored their second goal of the period, and began fighting back with a volley from Fekete to put the score at 2-1, Spain. Things began to settle as the initial scoring shock wore off and the period ended with no more goals scored and Spain still up 2-1. The middle period began with some stellar shots on goal but the two keepers earned their pay by parrying away every shot until Antonio of Spain nailed home his first goal of the game to restore the two goal Spanish lead. The Furia Roja again took control of the match, looking like the dominant beach soccer force that they are, scoring another and continually threatening with more goals, however the Hungarians got one goal back from on an on target bobbling shot from Simonyi to pull within 4-2. Spain wasted no time in getting their offense back on track and scored seconds later to go back up by three goals. The blistering final minute included another goal seconds after the last one, on a penalty kick from Hungary, to make the score 5-3 for the Spanish heading into the final break.
If the Spanish were worried about allowing a comeback, they did not show it in the final period as the amazingly talented Llorenç scored his first goal of the match to put Spain again up by three goals at 6-3. Hungary again scratched their way back into the match with the second goal from Fekete, and got to 6-4 going into the final minutes of the match. The two teams continued to look for more goals but the Spanish had done just enough to secure victory as the last horn sounded with them up 6-4.
Goals: 1-0: Juanma, min. 11 (1); 2-0: Pajon, min. 9 (1); 2-1: Fekete, min. 9 (1); 3-1: Antonio, min. 7 (2); 4-1: Kuman, min. 6 (2); 4-2: Simonyi, min. 0 (2); 5-2: Pajon, min. 0 (2); 5-3: Sebestyen, min. 0 (2); 6-3: Llorenç, min. 11 (3); 6-4: Fekete, min. 4 (3).
EURO BEACH SOCCER CUP BAKU 2014
17:30 - Switzerland 6-1 Greece (Group 1)
18:45 - Spain 6-4 Hungary (Group 2)
Matches for tomorrow:
17:30 - Russia vs. Hungary (Group 2)
18:45 - Azerbaijan vs. Greece (Group 1)