Giant slayers Belarus downed Italy from the spot to claim the first European berth in Paraguay
The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2019 – Europe Qualifier Moscow chose its first representative as Belarus become the surprise first team to qualify for the global showdown.
They beat Italy from the penalty spot to secure Belarus’ frst ever particication in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, following Portugal’s win which came later on in the day.
The Portuguese beat Poland in Group 1, while Switzerland maintained hope of qualification with a brilliant performance against Spain. Another decisive victory, today against Azerbaijan, sees hosts Russia yet to drop a point, but still not quite through…
Belarus qualify for the World Cup!
The Belarusian national team sealed a historic qualification for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, the first in their history. A win over Italy from a penalty shootout, combined with Portugal’s win over Poland, confirmed that Alvarado’s side will be amongst the best two teams in the group at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Europe Qualifier Moscow.
As was to be expected, the clash between Belarusian and Azzurri was electric. The score remained untouched for the first period, but Hapon swept Belarus ahead as soon as the second leg got underway. Goals from Zurlo and Gori, helped the Azzurri turn score around but it was tight as the period ended.
When Marinai scored the third for Italy, it seemed that everything was back under control for the Azzurri. But far from it… Samsonov spiced the game up again with two minutes to go, and with literally one second to go, Ilya Savich sent the game into extra time with a free kick effort.
No goals were scored in the extra time, so the game went to a penalty shootout. From the 9-meter distance, Belarus were just perfect, scoring all their attempts. Makarevich denied Zurlo’s attempt, which left Chaikouski an open door to help his team make history, and he would not miss the chance, firing home the winner for Belarus.
Portugal’s win over Poland later confirmed the Belarusian qualification for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019, the first time ever they join beach soccer’s top showpiece.
Goals: 0-1: Hapon, min. 11 (2); 1-1: Zurlo, min. 9 (2); 2-1: Gori, min. 0 (2); 3-1: Marinai, min. 8 (3); 3-2: Samsonov, min. 2 (3); 3-3: Savich, min. 0 (3)
PSO: Chiavaro: goal; Savich: goal; Gori: goal; Samsonov: goal; Zurlo: miss; Chaikouski: goal.
Switzerland overpower Spain to open Group 2 up
Spain had developed something of a habit of falling behind and giving themselves extra work. So far, they had managed to turn the matches around and take the points but that is never an easy task against Switzerland…
Borer scored straight from kick off after being set up for a low volley but incredibly the trick was repeated by the Spanish, as Antonio levelled up. Four seconds gone, and two goals had been scored!
Minutes later though, the Swiss were back with an unstoppable Stankovic freekick. Spacca then made it three to Schirinzi’s men, but a cheeky Javi Torres flick reduced the difference to just one again. In the dying seconds of the period Steinemann struck and Spain were looking shaky going into the second period.
Stankovic struck another freekick and then Steinemann also grabbed his second, and Joaquin Alonso’s men were in real trouble with half the match gone. Antonio bagged a brace to make it 3-6 but Borer converted a freekick and then Noel Ott went on an incredible run past the whole Spanish team to turn and shoot past Dona.
Eduard and Chiky managed to take the score to 5-8 going into the final period, and then Cintas converted in a Chiky cross to cut the difference to just two.
However, Ott rounded off the match with a sublime effort after intercepting a Pablo pass, sending the ball looping straight back over the back-pedalling keeper.
Group 2 is now wide open and will go right down to the wire…
Goals: 0-1: Borer, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Antonio, min. 11 (1); 1-2: Stankovic, min. 8 (1); 1-3: Spacca, min. 2 (1); 2-3: Javi Torres, min. 1 (1); 2-4: Steinemann, min. 0 (1); 2-5: Stankovic, min. 10 (2); 2-6: Steinemann, min. 8 (2); 3-6: Antonio, min. 6 (2); 3-7: Borer, min. 5 (2); 3-8: Ott, min. 3 (2); 4-8: Chiky, min. 3 (2); 5-8: Eduard, min. 1 (2); 6-8: Cintas, min. 7 (3); 6-9: Ott, min. 0 (3);
Russia net six to cruise past Azerbaijan
It was business as usual for Mikhail Likhachev’s men, who picked up their goal-scoring where they left off against Switzerland yesterday, scoring six to leave Azerbaijani hopes of playing in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup hanging by a thread.
Not only did keeper Chuzhkov keep a clean sheet, but he also blasted in the first goal of the match in the opening period. Romanov and Shishin pushed the advantage to three by the first break, and the men in red looked in real control.
Shishin then netted the other side of the break too, taking the score to 4-0 and Azerbaijan, despite creating promising opportunities, were falling behind their hosts.
In the final period two more goals wrapped up the points for Russia, who now had to wait to see if their Spanish groupmates could do them a favour and beat Switzerland to send both victors to Paraguay…
Goals: 1-0: Chuzhkov, min. 9 (1); 2-0: Romanov, min. 7 (1); 3-0: Shishin, min. 6 (1); 4-0: Shishin, min. 1 (2); 5-0: Kryshanov, min. 4 (3); 6-0: Nikonorov, min. 2 (3);
Portugal seize win to keep World Cup expectations alive
Portugal overcame the Polish resistance today to seize an important win and get back into the fight for a berth in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. A brace from Von, who is taking a lot of responsibility in the Portuguese scoring operations, and another from Leo Martins helped Mari Narciso’s side breath again in this FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Europe Qualifier Moscow.
After their defeats yesterday, both teams needed to take this last chance to keep fighting for qualification, and that was made very evident with the thrilling blows exchanged during the first period. Poland fielded a fierce resistance during the first minutes, not only opening the score, but also responding the Portuguese equalizer. The first period ended with the score tied at three.
At that moment, lights seemed to go out for Stanislawski’s men, and Portugal took control of the game to virtually end it with a 5-0 run in the second leg, killing the Polish expectations and their chances to repeat the historic qualification they achieved in 2017.
The score would not move again, and the final 8-3 has Portugal still depending on themselves to seal the ticket to Paraguay at the time it got Belarus their first ever qualification for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Goals: 0-1: Gac, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Coimbra, min. 8 (1); 1-2: Baran, min. 5 (1); 2-2: Rúben Brilhante, min. 4 (1); 3-2: Leo Martins, min. 2 (1); 3-3: Baran, min. 0 (1); 4-3: Madjer, min. 7 (2); 5-3: Von, min. 5 (2); 6-3: Von, min. 3 (2); 7-3: Jordan, min. 1 (2); 8-3: Leo Martins, min. 0 (2)