Defending European champions Russia downed Ukraine while Switzerland and Spain also won
In their first-ever game in the Women’s Euro Beach Soccer League, Portugal led previous continental champions England for much of the game, only to fall to late goals.
Russia initially struggled against their Ukrainian rivals but a Petrova double sealed the points, while Spain, currently top of the world ranking, defeated the Netherlands, and Switzerland took a decisive victory against Czech Republic.
POR 2-3 ENG (Group 1)
Having won the EBSL Regular Stage in Nazaré, beating Spain in the final, England may have gone into today’s game against a team who were essentially newcomers to women’s beach soccer with confidence.
However the Portuguese hosts, with the beach soccer legend Alan Cavalcanti at the wheel, took the lead in the very last second of the opening period, when J. Meira’s long-range shot wrong-footed the keeper.
Clark equalised in the second, but Carolina snatched the lead back for Portugal. Steven Black’s Lionesses looked nervy but late goals for Martin and Clark turned the match around in the dying minutes, and England breathed a sigh of relief.
Goals: 1-0: J. Meira, min. 0 (1); 1-1: Clark, min. 3 (2); 2-1: Carolina, min. 11 (3); 2-2: Martin, min. 4 (3); 2-3: Clark, min. 3 (3);
RUS 4-2 UKR (Group 2)
The reigning European champions kicked off the first-ever Women’s Euro Beach Soccer League against a tough opponent, newcomers to the beach soccer scene in the 2021 season, Ukraine.
Petrova took the lead for Russia, but an incredible strike from Kramina soon saw the women in yellow back on level terms as the second period began. Tykhonova put Ukraine ahead for the first time in the match, but the Russians then moved into a superior gear.
Another goal from Petrova, as well as brilliant hits from Zubilova anf keeper Anna Akylbaeva, helped the 2019 and 2018 continental champions lay a bold claim to the 2021 crown in their opening match.
They will face the Netherlands in their next game tomorrow, while Ukraine take on the top-ranked team in the world, Spain.
Goals: 1-0: Petrova, min. 4 (1); 1-1: Kramina, min. 1 (1); 1-2: Tykhonova, min. 8 (2); 2-2: Petrova, min. 3 (2); 3-2: Zubilova, min. 11 (3); 4-2: Akylbaeva, min. 2 (3);
SUI 4-1 CZE (Group 1)
Two-time European runners-up Switzerland kicked off their the maiden Women’s Euro Beach Soccer League event in style against the Czech Republic.
Bachmann and Marti each netted in the first period to take an early lead, and then repeated the trick in the second, each bagging a brace.
The Swiss were well in control throughout the game but Czech Republic eventually got off the makr in the final period of play when Switzerland’s Meyer turned into her own net, taking the final score to 4-1.
Goals: 1-0: Bachmann, min. 9 (1); 2-0: Marti, min. 0 (1); 3-0: Bachmann, min. 11 (2); 4-0: Marti, min. 2 (2); 4-1: Meyer (OG), min. 4 (3);
NED 0-3 ESP (Group 2)
As the world’s top-ranked team, Spain are always in the running for any competition title they’re compete for, but they haven’t won a continental crown since 2016, and their disappointment in finishing
They began the 2021 EBSL Superfinal campaign well though, as a goal in each period, courtesy of Soto, Carol and Barquero, saw La Roja bag early points in Group 2.
Netherlands did well to stay in the game for much of the time, but were unable to break down the Spanish defenders, and will be in search of their first goal in the competition when they face Russia tomorrow.
In the group’s other game, Spain will take on Ukraine.
Goals: 0-1: Soto, min. 3 (1); 0-2: Carol, min. 5 (2); 0-3: Barquero, min. 11 (3);
For full details on the Women’s EBSL Superfinal, including fixtures, results and standings, head to beachsoccer.com.