Aleksei Galkin’s men will replace Turkey in Division A for the 2022 season
Estonia have been promoted to the European elite!
A late Lepik strike downed Turkey in the Promotion Final on Sunday, meaning that Emrah Aykurt’s side will play in Division B next year.
Moldova clinched third with a convincing win over Greece, while Czech Republic overran Kazakhstan with nine goals, and Lithuania left it late to down Sweden.
TUR 3-4 EST (Promotion Final)
After a shaky start to the tournament when they lost to Lithuania, Turkey had turned their form around to reach the Promotion Final and fight for their Division A status.
However, in their way stood an Estonia side who had not lost a game so far in Figueria da Foz. Baris converted an early penalty for Turkey, who then led for most of the first period, but the ever-dangerous Kristian Marmor equalised before the break.
Seyit Ahmet sent a loose backpass into his own goal to gift Estonia a slim lead. Alavali then put them ahead by two.
It looked as if Turkey had mounted a comeback in the final third when Baris struck a second and Volkan also found the net, but Lepik burst into the penalty area to smash in a dramatic late winner.
The men in white then defended furiously for the remaining four minutes until the whistle went to the sound of wild celebrations.
Estonia make history, as they ascend to the top European beach soccer division for the first time, while a crestfallen Turkey will play the 2022 season in Division B.
Goals: 1-0: Baris, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Marmor, min. 2 (1); 1-2: Seyit Ahmet (OG), min. 1 (2); 1-3: Alavali, min. 8 (2); 2-3: Volkan, min. 8 (3); 3-3: Baris, min. 7 (3); 3-4: Lepik, min. 4 (3);
GRE 2-5 MDA (3rd place)
Moldova had impressed in the EBSL Regular stage, downing all their opponents on home sand to win the event, but after falling to Estonia in the final group game, a third-place finish was all they could hope for in Portugal.
But a dangerous Greek side stood in their way, and the tournament Top Scorer Andreas Katsoulis cancelled out Ignat’s goal when the Moldovans went ahead.
Moldova proved the stronger of the sides on the day though, as a Gurjui goal and a second strike from Ignat pushed them ahead.
Katsoulis took his final tally to eight – enough to cement the Top Scorer title – but Gurgurov and Negara found the net late to wrap up third place for Moldova.
Goals: 0-1: Ignat, min. 6 (1); 1-1: Katsoulis, min. 7 (2); 1-2: Gurjui, min. 7 (2); 1-3: Ignat, min. 2 (2); 2-3: Katsoulis, min. 0 (2); 2-4: Gurgurov, min. 6 (3); 2-5: Negara, min. 2 (3);
KAZ 2-9 CZE (5th place)
In a surprisingly one-sided playoff, Czech Republic totally overwhelmed their Kazakh opponents.
Bartl struck first midway through the opening period then Jerabek doubled the advantage. Kazkahstan fell further behind in the next period when Hurab, Trampota and Karpisek got their names on the match report and Jerabek registered his brace.
Trampota and Hurab also scored their second goals as the Czech grip tightened on the match, and then so did Makagon for Kazkahstan, except that one was an unfortunate own goal, taking the score to 1-8.
There was time for one more at each end, but the fifth place deservedly went to Czech Republic after their stunning last-day performance.
Goals: 0-1: Bartl, min. 6 (1); 0-2: Jerabek, min. 0 (1); 0-3: Hurab, min. 11 (2); 0-4: Trampota, min. 8 (2); 0-5: Karpisek, min. 5 (2); 0-6: Jerabek, min. 4 (2); 0-7: Hurab, min. 11 (3); 1-7: Makagon, min. 8 (3); 1-8: Makagon (OG), min. 3 (3); 2-8: Makazhanov, min. 3 (3); 3-8: Trampota, min. 0 (3);
LTU 4-3 SWE (7th place)
Sweden had run their groupmates close in their matches but had failed to pick up points in their first-ever Promotion Final.
They started well, with Bruzelius hitting the opener, then Malmstrom and Turesson retook the lead after a Navickas equaliser.
Lithuania, who had beaten the Superfinalists Turkey in their first match, drew level through Petrauskas and Navickas’ second, and then Plytnikas snatched seventh place with a last-minute winner, confining Sweden to an eighth-place finish.
Goals: 0-1: Bruzelius, min. 7 (1); 1-1: Navickas, min. 4 (1); 1-2: Malmstrom, min. 3 (1); 1-3: Turesson, min. 3 (1); 2-3: Petrauskas, min. 7 (2); 3-3: Navickas, min. 2 (2); 4-3: Plytnikas, min. 0 (3);
For full details on the EBSL Superfinal and Promotion Final, including fixtures, results and standings, head to beachsoccer.com.