Belarus stun world champions from the penalty spot

Hosts Portugal left it late to down the Swiss and will now meet Italy tomorrow for s Superfinal place


Day 2 saw our first penalty shootout of the Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal in Figueira da Foz, as well as some incredible goals and major upsets.

Despite being one of the top teams in beach soccer, most expect Belarus to be beaten by the newly-crowned world champions, but Nico Alvarado had other ideas…

Elsewhere, Portugal edged a tight match against Switzerland and Italy go top of their group after a second win in as many days.

As for tomorrow’s matches, Group 1 will all depend on Belarus’ performance against bottom place Poland, while a replay of the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup final will see Portugal and Italy fight for one of the two Superfinal places…

RUS 5(2)-(4)5 BLR (Group 1)

Always a high-octane affair, Russia against Belarus proved to be the game of the day, with Goal of the Tournament contenders, amazing skills and the first penalty shootout of the Superfinal so far…

Keeper Mahaletski smashed Belarus ahead almost immediately, and although Zemskov cancelled the goal out soon after, an unfortunate Parkhomenko deflection saw Nico Alvarado’s men retake the lead.

The scoring continued, with neither side able to gain much of an advantage without the other drawing level. At the end of the third period, with Nikonorov having netted two and Belarus captain Kanstantinau cheekily scoring a direct corner, the scores were still tied at a thrilling 5-5.

After Extra Time failed to separate the sides, the inevitable penalty shootout was needed, and Mahaletski – after already scoring in the match – proved to be the hero, saving two Russian penalties to seal a precious point for Belarus who remain the only team in Group 1 to be undefeated.

Tomorrow they will face Poland for the chance at a place in the Superfinal, while Spain and Russia will meet.

Goals: 0-1: Mahaletski, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Zemskov, min. 11 (1); 1-2: Parkhomenko (OG), min. 7 (1); 1-3: Hardzetski, min. 4 (1); 2-3: Nikonorov, min. 7 (2); 3-3: Paporotnyi, min. 6 (2); 4-3: Shkarin, min. 0 (2); 4-4: Kanstantinau, min. 10 (3); 5-4: Nikonorov, min. 5 (3); 5-5: Novikau, min. 5 (3);

PSO: 0-1: Drodz, scored; 0-1: Fedorov, saved; 1-1: Novikov, scored; 1-2: Chaikouski, scored; 2-2: Paporotnyi, scored; 2-3: Hardzetski, scored; 2-3: Makarov, saved; 2-4: Novikau, scored;

POR 3-2 SUI (Group 2)

Switzerland had the chance to draw level with their hosts on points with a victory today, and open the group right up.

Andre Lourenço opened the scoring after five minutes of play but just a minute after Glen Hodel – the FBSWC adidas Golden Scorer – was allowed too much space to fire in one of his signature bicycle kicks.
The second period remained in a tense deadlock, but Leo Martins scored his fourth of the event, only to see it cancelled out by the big Swiss number nine, Stankovic.

However, there was still time for a hero, as Von rose to power home the winning goal, a sumptuous bicycle kick to have the crowd going wild in the stands.

Six points out of six, Portugal remain perfect and will now replay the 2019 FBSWC final against Italy; the prize? A place in the 2021 EBSL Superfinal.

Goals: 1-0: Lourenço, min. 7 (1); 1-1: Hodel, min. 6 (1); 2-1: Leo Martins, min. 8 (3); 2-2: Stankovic, min. 4 (3); 3-2: Von, min. 4 (3);

ITA 5-3 UKR (Group 2)

Italy took a second win against Ukraine on Day 2, who had suffered a defeat to reigning champions Portugal the previous day.

Zurlo struck first, burying his third of the campaign after just five minutes, but Zborovskyi scored late in the period to see the whistle go with the teams tied once more.

The Italian number nine found the net once more and when an unfortunate deflection saw Voitenko turn into his own net, Del Duca’s men were up by three goals to one. Then Gabriele Gori joined the fray, netting twice either side of the second break to tighten the Azzurri grip on the match.

Zborovskyi’s second and a late Voitenko goal saw the difference cut but it was too little too late, as Ukraine are now unable to contend the European title, and Italy topped the group ahead of Portugal’s game later in the day…

Goals: 1-0: Zurlo, min. 7 (1); 1-1: Zborovskyi, min. 1 (1); 2-1: Zurlo, min. 8 (2); 2-1: Voitenko (OG), min. 11 (2); 3-1: Zurlo, min. 8 (2); 4-1: Gori, min. 5 (2); 5-1: Gori, min. 11 (3); 5-2: Zborovskyi, min. 6 (3); 5-3: Voitenko, min. 1 (3);

ESP 5-2 POL (Group 1)

In Friday’s matches, Spain were the only team unable to break through the opposition defence, failing to score a single goal, and when Poland led at the first break, courtesy of a fine Jesionowski finish early in the period, La Roja looked to be in trouble.

There was a hero among them through, as Eduard Suarez, scorer of the Best Goal of 2019, blew Tomasz Wydmuszek’s men away in the second period with two brilliant goals. Chiky and Jose Arias also got on the scoresheet before the second whistle, pushing the lead to 5-1.

In the final period, Eduard Suarez made it three for himself and five for Spain to seal a must-win match. Pietrasiak managed to pull one back, but Poland go two games without points and therefore exit the running for the Superfinal.

Spain’s win today gave them a lifeline in the competition, as they awaited the results of the day’s other matches.

Goals: 0-1: Jesionowski, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Eduard, min. 10 (2); 2-1: Chiky, min. 9 (2); 3-1: Eduard, min. 9 (2); 4-1: Jose Arias, min. 8 (2); 5-1: Eduard, min. 11 (3); 5-2: Pietrasiak, min. 10 (3);
For full details on the EBSL Superfinal and Promotion Final, including fixtures, results and standings, head to beachsoccer.com.

For full details on the EBSL Superfinal and Promotion Final, including fixtures, results and standings, head to beachsoccer.com.

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