Spain and Turkey take second victories to reach World Beach Games Qualifier final eight
– Eight quarter-finalists decided in Catania
– Germany, Ukraine and France win first matches
– Spain and Turkey take second victories to reach QFs
The ANOC World Beach Games European Qualifier in Catania took one step closer to deciding which teams will be flying to Bali to represent the continent in 2023, as the top two in each group were decided on Day 2.
Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Ukraine, Spain and Turkey are through to the quarter-finals of the ANOC World Beach Games European Qualifier in Catania with one group matchday left to play.
This means that Norway, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic and Sweden are out of the running for a ticket to Bali.
The top two from each group will play each other tomorrow in the final group matches, which will decide the pairings in the knockout stages.
Tomorrow also sees the beginning of the women’s competition, which kicks off at 9:45am when Sweden take on the current World Beach Games gold medallists, Spain.
Spanish youth clinch quarter-final place with win over Czech Republic
Spain outclassed Czech Republic on Day 2 in Catania to remain unbeaten and seal a place in Friday’s quarter-final matches, as Alejandro and Batis each hit braces.
Alejandro picked up where he left off yesterday against Sweden, firing in La Roja’s first goal midway through the first period. Chiky doubled the lead with a long-range free kick and Pedro hit number three before the first 12 minutes were up.
In the second period, the youthful new recruits on the Spanish roster pushed their advantage even further as 18-year old Saul Batis and Domi took it to 5-0.
It looked as if the win was in the bag for Cristian Mendez’s side, but Czech Republic gave them a late scare as Borovička scored, and soon after the ever-dangerous Hurab fired in a free kick. Radosta pounced on a goalkeeping mistake to take Martin Boček’s men to three.
Second goals from Alejandro and Batis, however, clinched a cruising win for the Spaniards, who go level with Turkey at the top of Group D, making the next round and knocking Czech Republic and Sweden out of the running for a ticket to Bali.
Germany outclass Moldova in opening match
Germany impressed in their first match at the ANOC World Beach Games European Qualifier, claiming a simple victory against Moldova to go level with Portugal on points in Group B, and knock their rivals out of the running for a place at the World Beach Games.
Moldova fell to the European champions Portugal yesterday, and faced another tough test against a fresh Die Mannschaft on Tuesday.
Körner and Lüth fired Germany ahead in the opening period while Moldova threatened but didn’t manage to break through their rivals’ defence.
Ignat, scorer of the Best Goal of 2021, finally found the German net in the second period, adding to his goal from yesterday. However, Thürk was on hand to restore the two-goal cushion for Germany going into the final period.
Körner netted his second of the game to make it 4-1, and Niklas Sand poked home a corner to make it five. Ignat’s late set piece pulled the final score to 5-2, but Germany took the points on Day 2 in Catania, sending them and tomorrow’s rivals, Portugal, through to the semi-finals.
Ukraine hang on to deny Azerbaijan
Ukraine’s first match at the European Qualifier fir the World Beach Games was against Azerbaijan, who had fallen to the superior Swiss the day before.
Zborovskyi found the net twice in the first period, by Mammadov pulled one back for the men from the Land of Fire. Huseynov then equalises early in the second period, as the match continued to be tight, until Kovalenko and Shcherytsia seized the lead back in just 30 seconds.
In the third period Azerbaijan hit the post as they were looking to narrow the difference on the scoreboard but it would be Voitenko to score Ukraine’s fifth as he was the quickest to arrive to a free-kick rebound.
The Azerbaijanis didn’t give up though, and reacted, first through a strike from Ramil, and ninety seconds before the end Nazarov headed home to leave everything open for the dying moments of the match, but it was too late and Ukraine ended up taking their first three points in the competition.
Their victory today meant that Ukraine and Switzerland, who will contend first place in Group C tomorrow, already have places in the quarter-finals sealed, while Azerbaijan are out.
France come from behind to down Norway
Norway were desperate for a win in their second match in Catania, after their heavy loss to the Italian hosts yesterday, and they started the stronger of the sides against France.
Jalland put away a cheeky lob to open the scoring, and the Nordic side had the lead heading into the second period, and managed to hang on to it until Les Bleus finally broke through with an equaliser from Varrel, who fired a loose ball into the bottom corner.
Gosselin then took the lead and in the third period, Santos Dias powered in a third for Claude Barabe’s men. He had two by the end of the match, and a goal from Belhomme wrapped up the points for France, who seal both theirs and Italy’s place in the knockout stage.
The neighbouring nations will face each other tomorrow to see who will top Group A, while Norway’s dream of playing in the 2023 World Beach Games is over.
Turkey take easy win to make final eight
Ozan Yilmaz’s men took their second win in as many days as Turkey breezed past Sweden on Day 2 in Catania with eight goals.
The opening period of play was tight, but when Omar broke the deadlock for Turkey, captain Baris fired in a rocket to double the lead, and then keeper Ismail made it three before the break.
Serkan, the other goalkeeper, started the second period and marked his entrance with a goal of his own from distance. Efe Lourenzo poked a shot into the top corner, and then Emrah leapt to head in a fine cross to make it 6-0 to the Crescent Stars.
In the final period, Erlich finally got the Swedish side off the mark, but the men in red kept coming, with Baris putting away his second of the match and Ege also getting on the scoresheet to take the final score to a definitive 8-1.
Turkey will face Spain for the group top finishers, but have already done enough to reach the next round of the competition.
DAY 2 RESULTS (30/08)
Turkey 8.1 Sweden
Ukraine 5-4 Azerbaijan
Germany 5-2 Moldova
Spain 7-3 Czech Republic
France 5-1 Norway
The matches are scheduled from 29 August to 4 September at See Sicily Arena Beach Stadium, and will decide which five men’s and four women’s national teams will represent Europe at the 2023 ANOC World Beach Games in Bali.
For full details on the ANOC World Beach Games European Qualifier Catania 2022, head to beachsoccer.com.