Moldova, Kazakhstan and Turkey top groups on Day 2
– Moldova beat England to sit top in Group A
– Turkiye take Extra Time win over Denmark
– Katsoulis bags two more to lead scoring
Second normal time wins for Greece, Kazakhstan and hosts Moldova see the groups begin to take shape as Romania, Latvia and Turkey also win.
Greek Katsoulis netted two more to stay top of the scoring charts, while the promotion dream ends for England, Norway, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia and Malta
Moldova put four past England to stay top of the group
Tight games were a theme of Day 2 as the three previous matches had all gone to Extra Time, and after the first period between the Moldovan hosts and England finished goalless, it looked as if another close game was on the cards.
Moldova created decent chances but Tommy Jackson stood firm between the sticks, keeping out a last-second effort to begin the middle period at 0-0.
The tension increased as England hit the post and the Negara’s counter attack saw the Top Scorer from the Regular Stage last year blast over the bar when he should have done better. The number five struck moments later though, leaping to take advantage of a defensive error, sending the stadium wild.
Podlesnov then calmly chipped the keeper to double the lead just before the whistle. Aaron Clarke had a penalty saved in the final third, but England would open their account through Mitch Day, who pounded home from the left flank.
Borovschi would make it three until a spectacular strike from captain Cojocari made it four to the hosts as the crowd erupted into appreciation.
With the Three Lions well-beaten, Moldova are one win away from promotion to the European elite…
Extra Time winner sees Turkiye go top in Group B
Coming off the back of victories on Day 1 in Chisinau, Turkiye and Denmark went head to head to contend the group leader spot on Thursday.
The match was tight from the get-go, with Denmark enjoying the majority of the chances but proving wasteful in front of goal, missing a penalty and one-on-ones.
The second period was more of the same, with Turkiye unable to put away freekicks but Denmark still creating more attacks. Keeper Madsen smashed a missile against the post in the final seconds, but the last period also began with the scores at 0-0.
Normal time finished with still no goals, and a fiercely fought three added minutes looked as it if too would fail to decide the victor. Until, that is, Baris burst in at the back post to fire in from close range and snatch the match from the Danish hands.
Two points in the bag for the Crescent-Stars sees them go top in Group B. They face Lithuania tomorrow while Denmark take on Latvia in what will be a tense scrap for group points.
Katsoulis stars once more as Greece down Norway
The Ethniki saw off Georgia in their opening match with their star number seven Katsoulis bagging a hat-trick, and it was that man again who buried the first of the match in the dying moments of the first period.
Skourtas was on hand to double the lead in the next 12 minutes with a close-range overhead kick, and Norway were kept at bay by the Hellenic defenders, rarely threatening the keeper.
Captain Triantafyllidis blasted in his first of the campaign, striking a volley cleanly to make it three and then, cementing his place at the top of the scoring charts, Katsoulis leapt on a loose ball to fire into the roof of the net for four.
The win comfortably in the bag, Greece remain perfect in Group C, keeping pace with Kazakhstan. Tomorrow, the leaders will meet to decide who will play Division A beach soccer in the 2023 season.
Kazakhstan sweep aside Georgia to stay perfect
The Hawks of Kazakhstan led the group going into their second match, and Georgia were in need of a win having fallen to Greece yesterday. As he had against Norway on Day 1, Tyulpa found the net first, powering in a volley after four minutes.
That single strike was all that separated the sides at the break, but Kazakhstan were more clinical in the second, will goals from Muralinov, Perevyortov and Azikenov pushing the advantage to four.
The men in blue dominated the proceedings from that point onward, holding the Georgian attacks off effectively, enjoying the majority of the possession and slotting in more goals, courtesy of Muralinov, Perevyortov and Muratuly.
Diakvnishvili pulled a consolation bicycle kick back for Georgia, which was arguably the goal of the game, but the points were well-won, and Kazakhstan are one win away from securing a place in the next year’s EBSL elite.
Comeback kings Romania take point against Malta
Following an impressive performance against the hosts in the opening day, debutants Malta burst onto the sand on a mission for their first official points when they met Romania on Day 2.
Nanapere robbed the defender to smash in his first official goal for his country, and then Bray
put away Malta’s second before the first break. The Tricolorii, who had comeback to beat England yesterday, reacted well after the pause in play, and two goals were poked in to level the match by Zaharia – his third of the campaign – and Livui.
Posteuca looked to have taken the lead with a spectacular strike from distance into the top corner, before the second whistle, but Caruana and Schembri fired in to turn the scoreline around going into the last period. Midway through, Livui equalised again, rushing to meet a loose ball in the box, and is was enough to force Extra Time.
Holding their own with an established EBSL side, Malta almost stole the match in the added three minutes but for the second time on Matchday 2, the game went to penalties.
Two points already dropped, a point could be crucial in the Group A race, and the Romanians proved much more clinical from nine metres, firing in all of their spotkicks to deny Malta, who had led more most of the match, their first EBSL win.
Latvia see off Lithuania from nine metres
Having lost their opening Group B ties, both Latvia and Lithuania were desperate for points in today’s bout, and it was that man Skuratovics again who put away the first of the match, only to see the men in red pulled back immediately by a thumping effort from Lebedevas.
At the first whistle, things were all square until two quickfire goals had the 11 Vilki leading, the second of which was a long-range freekick from Skuratovics, his third of the campaign.
Lithuania came back once more though, pulled the score to 3-3 before the final period. Pastars put Latvia in front yet again but like clockwork, the men in yellow were back and forced Extra Time through a Navickas strike.
When the added three minutes weren’t enough to determine the victor, the match went to penalties – the first one here in Moldova – and Baumanis’ men held their nerve to clinch a late point.
Dropping two points makes life very difficult for Latvia in terms of promotion, but they have their first win in the bag.
For full details on the EBSL Moldova, including fixtures, results and standings, head to beachsoccer.com.