Wins for England, Switzerland and Spain knock three teams out of the running for the title
England burst into the inaugural Women’s Euro Beach Soccer League with a 5-0 triumph over Czech Republic, while Spain and Switzerland won again in Group A, and will therefore meet to content the place in the final tomorrow.
England’s win means that they will do the same against Russia on Matchday 3.
These victories mean that Czech Republic, Netherlands and Ukraine will now be unable to reach the final on Sunday. However, the Dutch and the Ukrainians will meet tomorrow in what will be a battle for the chance to contend for fifth place.
The day started with a beach soccer masterclass from England…
ENG 5-0 CZE (Group B)
Former European champions England played their first match in the new Euro Beach Soccer League, against a Czech side who had missed out the previous day against Russia.
The Lionesses controlled the possession from the kick-off and were rewarded when Wendy Martin, who made her debut with the team in the Qatar World Beach Games in 2019, looped a header over the stranded Sladka.
Molly Clark then powered in a bicycle kick before the first whistle and the squad of Steven Clark, who oversaw his first game as head coach, lead at the break. Hillier then met a superb Barron cross to make it three in the second period, despite Czech Republic forcing numerous defensive scrambles and saves.
However, the was no stopping the goals, as Meiwald tucked in number four from close range, before Martin stretched to block a goal line clearance which deflected off her for a second goal for the ex-Tottenham player.
As the score line reflected, Black’s ladies totally controlled the pace of their opening game and took an essential three points. Czech Republic are now unable to win the Regular Stage title, whereas England and Russia will play tomorrow to see who will make the final on Sunday.
Goals: 1-0: Martin, min. 9 (1); 2-0: Clark, min. 4 (1); 3-0: Hillier, min. 7 (2); 4-0: Meiwald, min. 3 (2); 5-0: Martin, min. 1 (2);
SUI 6-1 UKR (Group A)
The Swiss claimed the first points in Group A yesterday with a win over the Netherlands, while Ukraine lost against Spain and were in dire need of a win on Day 2.
It was, however, the debutants who took the lead after just three minutes through Tykhonova. The advantage was short lived as Grüter and Morger finished clinically to turn the scoreline around in time for the first break.
The first period had been tight, but the experience of Steinemann’s ladies showed as the match matured and Keller added her name to the scoresheet to extend the lead in the opening moments of the second period.
Ukrainian heads seemed to drop in the third, as Switzerland tightened their grip on the match, and Schenk, Vincenz and a brace-completing goal for Morger put Switzerland on top of the group ahead of Spain’s game against Netherlands.
Ukraine will meet the Dutch on Saturday for their last chance at group points, while tomorrow will see group leaders Spain and Switzerland go head to head for the title.
Goals: 0-1: Tykhonova, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Grüter, min. 6 (1); 2-1: Morger, min. 6 (1); 3-1: Keller, min. 9 (2); 4-1: Schenk, min. 9 (3); 5-1: Morger, min. 4 (3); 6-1: Vincenz, min. 1 (3);
ESP 2-1 NED (Group A)
The former European champions kick started their campaign in the brand-new Euro Beach Soccer League against Ukraine on Day 1, and got off the mark first in their match against the Netherlands on Friday.
After having hit the woodwork, Spain piled on the pressure until, seemingly out of nowhere, Carmen Fresneda chipped the stranded Dutch keeper with a lob from her own half – arguably the goal of the Women’s EBSL so far.
Andrea Miron then powered in a speculative low shot from distance and, with a bit of fortune for Cristian Mendez’s side, La Roja found themselves two ahead with just over half of the match to play.
The women in red controlled large swathes of the game but could not find the net again in the third period, and almost paid for it when Nidia pulled one back for the Dutch with just seconds to go.
Six points in two game sees Spain go level with Russia in Group A.
Goals: 1-0: Fresneda, min. 6 (1); 2-0: Andrea Miron, min. 11 (2); 2-1: Nidia, min. 0 (3);
Head to beachsoccer.com for full details on the Women’s Euro Beach Soccer League.