Alvarado’s men will meet the hosts Portugal in their third Superfinal in a row
After their stunning victory against the world champions on Friday, Belarus just needed a win against Poland to seal an historic maiden appearance in the Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal – and win they did.
Meanwhile, Jordan Santos once again proved his importance to the team, as Portugal fought hard to down the Azzurri and join Belarus in Sunday’s final.
A high-octane encounter between Russia and Spain ended in victory for La Roja, who will face Italy for third, and Switzerland just held on to deny a late Ukrainian comeback.
BLR 3-1 POL (Group 1)
After turning over Russia in incredible style yesterday Belarus were just one win away from making their first ever Superfinal, and they took the lead through the towering figure of Ryabko.
Chaikouski managed to squeeze a second in before the first break, and Belarus looked to be in control of the match.
In the second period, it was Chaikouski who netted again, further tightening the grip of Nico Alvarado’s men. In the third, however, Chaikouski scored number three, but this time it was an unfortunate own goal which gave Poland a small glimmer of hope with three minutes to go.
But with no further slip-ups, Belarus saw the game out effectively to claim their first-ever Superfinal place, where they will play hosts Portugal for the European title.
Goals: 1-0: Ryabko, min. 3 (1); 2-0: Chaikouski, min. 1 (1); 3-0: Chaikouski, min. 4 (2); 3-1: Chaikouski (OG), min. 3 (3);
POR 6-3 ITA (Group 2)
In a replay of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup final 2019, Portugal hosted Italy on home sand and their returning hero Jordan Santos blasted them ahead from distance after just two minutes.
Giordani leaped high to turn in an overhead kick before the first break, levelling the scores, until Leo Martins finished off a fine piece of play to nudge the Narciso’s men ahead once more.
Leo Martins scored at the beginning of the third period too, then Pintado and Jordan converted in quick succession to take the score to 5-1. Italy pressed, and a quick-fire double from Zurlo cut the deficit but it was too little too late, and Portugal seal their third successive EBSL Superfinal.
They will face Nico Alvarado’s Belarus, who are out in search of their first ever European title, in tomorrow’s final.
Goals: 1-0: Jordan, min. 10 (1); 1-1: Giordani, min. 3 (1); 2-1: Leo Martins, min. 10 (2); 3-1: Leo Martins, min. 10 (3); 4-1: Pintado, min. 5 (3); 5-1: Jordan, min. 2 (3); 5-2: Zurlo, min. 1 (3); 6-2: Torres, min. 1 (3); 6-3: Zurlo, min. 0 (3);
RUS 5-6 ESP (Group 1)
Belarus’ win earlier in the day confirmed them as the Group 1 representatives in the 2021 Superfinal, meaning that the world champions’ match against Spain had less at stake but it did not lack passion…
The ever-dangerous Chiky struck first within seconds, but Nikonorov equalised for Russia. Jose Arias retook the lead but keeper Kosharnyi’s rocket levelled before the break once more.
The tension rose on the sand as the game progressed, and neither team was able to convincingly pull away from the other.
The third period began with the scores at a tight 4-5 but Chiky was on fire today, and it was his hat-trick completing goal that made all the difference, taking the final score to 5-6, as Nikonorov’s late strike, his sixth of the tournament, wasn’t enough to salvage points for the Likhachev’s side.
Spain will now face their old nemesis Italy in the playoff for third place on Sunday.
Goals: 0-1: Chiky, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Nikonorov, min. 10 (1); 1-2: Jose Arias, min. 4 (1); 2-2: Kosharnyi, min. 3 (1); 2-3: Chiky, min. 11 (2); 3-3: Fedorov, min. 8 (2); 4-3: Shkarin, min. 7 (2); 4-4: Eduard, min. 4 (2); 4-5: Jose Arias, min. 2 (2); 4-6: Chiky, min. 10 (3); 5-6: Nikonorov, min. 9 (3);
SUI 7-6 UKR (Group 2)
Two losses in as many days was enough for Switzerland and Ukraine, two previous EBSL champions, to exit the running for the European title, and their battle today was for the Group 2 third place.
Shcherytsia turned into his own goal after just seconds and Stankovic pounced to double the lead within the first minute, but Zborovskyi and Borsuk were on hand to level up before the break.
A brilliant Borer brace was the highlight of the middle period, where Switzerland pulled away to enter the third with the score at 5-3.
Stankovic completed his hat-trick, and although Voitenko cut the gap to just one, making it 7-6, there was less than a second on the clock and Switzerland snatched all three points to finish the group in third.
Goals: 1-0: Shcherytsia (OG), min. 11 (1); 2-0: Stankovic, min. 11 (1); 2-1: Zborovskyi, min. 10 (1); 2-2: Borsuk, min. 4 (1); 3-2: Stankovic, min. 10 (2); 4-2: Borer, min. 10 (2); 4-3: Zborovskyi, min. 0 (2); 5-3: Borer, min. 0 (2); 5-4: Borsuk, min. 6 (3); 6-4: Hodel, min. 4 (3); 6-5: Shcherytsia, min. 3 (3); 7-5: Stankovic, min. 1 (3); 7-6: Voitenko, min. 0 (3);
For full details on the EBSL Superfinal and Promotion Final, including fixtures, results and standings, head to beachsoccer.com.