Final qualification matches defined in Baku

Eight nations remain in contention for FBSWC places

The final day of group stage fixtures took place on 7th July in Baku, with qualification match places still available…


Group A
Moldova’s World Cup dream continues
Moldova win 6-2 against Estonia.
In Group A, the match between Estonia and Moldova would decide who would finish second in the group and advance to the qualification matches.

Estonia took the lead in the fixture through Lepik, but the score was level again less than 30 seconds later, as Sîrghi equalised for Moldova.

Goalkeeper, Istrati took the lead for the Moldovans inside 15 seconds of the second period and Podlesnov scored their third. Two more goals came in the last two minutes, as Marmor scored Estonia’s second and Graur put in Moldova’s fourth.

Goals from Turta and Sîrghi confirmed a place in the qualification match stage for Moldova.

Italy remain undefeated
Italy beat Azerbaijan 3-2.

Like many teams on the final day of the group stage, in terms of advancing to the next stage, hosts, Azerbaijan and Group A leaders, Italy knew their fate would remain the same regardless of the outcome of their fixture.

Italy started the scoring in Baku, finding the net twice through Miceli and Remedi. The home crowd were overjoyed with just under two minutes left in the opening period, as Ramil converted his free-kick against Italian goalkeeper, Paterniti.

Azerbaijan found the equaliser in the second period, as Italy goal scorer, Miceli put the ball into his own net. However, Zurlo restored the Italy lead less than a minute later.

The Italians held on to their one-goal advantage in the final period to continue their 100% record in the competition far.

Group B
Ukraine win Group B
Ukraine win 4-1 against Lithuania.

After qualifying for the qualification matches on the second day of group stage fixtures, Ukraine knew a victory would secure top spot in Group B.

Pashko took the lead inside five seconds for Ukraine, slamming his shot into the bottom-right corner from kick-off. Zavorotnyi scored the Ukrainians second of the match minutes later, but Giedraitis found Lithuania’s first goal of the match with almost half of the opening period played.

Zborovskyi and captain, Borsuk both hit the back of the net for Ukraine in the second period to make the score 4-1.

After no more goals were scored in the third period, it meant that Ukraine finished top of Group B.

Spain in the final eight
Spain defeat Poland 4-2.

In Group B, Spain and Poland battled it out for second place and a qualification match place.

Poland went ahead as Spain’s; Oliver scored an own goal. However, an emphatic overhead strike by Chiky brought the scores level, picking out the top-left corner.

Chiky netted his second goal in the second period, as Brochocki equalised shortly after. Spain found another two goals in the period from Pedro, who struck at the near post and Chiky scored his third with another acrobatic finish.

The scores remained the same as what they ended in the second period, meaning Spain booked their place in the final eight.

Group C
France advance in Baku
France defeat Germany 5-3.

A win was desperately needed for Germany and France in their match up, with both nations level on points after two matches played and just one place remained for Group C teams in the qualification match stage.

It was a strong Germany start, with Biermann continuing his incredible goal scoring form, finding the back of the net inside the opening four minutes of the match. However, France were back on level terms, as Barbotti found his first of the encounter. Two more goals were scored in the period, with Varrel scoring for France and Lüth striking for Germany.

France scored the only goal of the second period to take them ahead in the match once again, as Barbotti scored his brace for the day with 46 seconds remaining.

The French team pulled away from their opponents in the third and final period, as Varell scored his second of the day and Segura scored his nation’s fifth with a stunning overhead kick, booking France’s spot in the qualification matches, as Olli pulled back a consolation goal for Germany late on.

Perfect group stage for Portugal
A 5-1 triumph for Portugal over Greece.

Portugal had already won Group C prior to their final group stage fixture against Greece but were still eager to add more points to their tally.

The opening period didn’t see the deadlock broken by any of the two sides, but in the second period Portugal found three. Jordan scored in between a Bê Martins brace as Portugal took a 3-0 lead into the last period.

Pinhal scored the Portuguese team’s fourth of the day and Bernardo’s glancing header captured the fifth, as Tsitsaris scored Greece’s only goal of the match between Portugal’s two strikes.

Group D
Denmark make it through
Denmark defeat Türkiye 7-4.

Türkiye took on Denmark in Group D, with both nations knowing a win would secure a spot in the qualification matches.

The Danes opened the scoring in just over two minutes, as a cross found Damm to slam into the bottom-left corner. However, Türkiye found the equaliser three minutes from time as goalkeeper, Mehmet struck a fantastic strike into the top-right corner to end the first period at 1-1.

It was a fantastic start to the second phase of play for Denamark as captain, Dorph scored his acrobatic attempt which was hammered off the crossbar and into the net. The Danish side then found another two goals in the period from goalkeeper, Madsen with a shot from distance and Damm netted his second of the fixture. Cem Keskin found a goal for Türkiye in the period, as his nation trailed by two, going into the last period.

Rædkjær scored Denmark’s fifth early in the third period, but it was cancelled out by Cem Keskin, securing his brace. Despite Türkiye’s efforts to make their way back into the tie, as Cem Keskin completed his hat-trick late on, a Wegeberg double sealed Denmark’s place in the qualification matches. 

Nine points for Belarus
A 9-6 win for Belarus over Switzerland.

After the fate of Switzerland and Belarus had been decided the day prior in Group D, the two sides wanted to end their group stage on a high.

The Swiss side found themselves with a two-goal lead after 12 minutes had been played in the Azerbaijan capital, as Kessler opened the scoring and Rüttimann doubled the lead at the end of the period.

In the second period, eight goals were split evenly between the two sides. For Swizerland, Ott scored his brace, Steinemann struck and Bokach scored an own goal, as goals from Mahaletski, Bokach and a Rykabo double made up the four Belarusians strikes.

Switzerland had a 6-4 lead against Belarus heading into the final period, but the match was turned on its head in the final 12 minutes as Rykabo completed his hat-trick, Bryshtsel scored his brace, as well as Kanstantsinau and Hardzetski who also hit the back of the net for Belarus.

This result saw the Belarusians secure their third victory, taking all nine points in Group D.

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Group A 
Estonia 2-6 Moldova
Azerbaijan 2-3 Italy

Group B
Ukraine 4-1 Lithuania
Spain 4-2 Poland 

Group C
Germany 3-5 France
Portugal 5-1 Greece

Group D
Türkiye 4-7 Denmark
Switzerland 6-9 Belarus

FBSWC European Qualifier – qualification matches
Italy vs Spain
Ukraine vs Moldova
Portugal vs Denmark 
Belarus vs France

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