Group stage of the main qualifier to be decided tomorrow

Ukraine and Belarus advance to the next stage, whilst Switzerland fail to qualify

The 6th July marked the second day of main qualifier action in Baku, as teams competed to increase their points tallies in their groups…


Group A
Second win for Italy
Italy beat Moldova 3-1 in the first Group A match up of the day.

Schitenco scored the first goal of the match in the opening period, as Moldova went ahead inside two minutes. With less than two minutes to play in the first period, Fazzini found the equaliser for Italy, with scores at 1-1 after 12 minutes.

Italy were ahead for the first time in the second period, courtesy of Bertecca. The Italians managed to hold onto the lead for the remainder of the period.

The third Italy goal came 10 seconds from time, as Genovali converted a free-kick into the right side of the goal.

Estonia take the points, as Azerbaijan’s journey comes to an end
Estonia win 7-4 against Azerbaijan.

Host nation, Azerbaijan played against Estonia in Group A.

Azerbaijan didn’t to get off to the greatest of starts in the fixture, giving away two penalties inside the opening four minutes. The first was converted by Rump and Mäeorg followed suit for the second. Huseynov pulled one back for Azerbaijan, but Estonia found their third courtesy of Lepik. Late in the period, Orkhan found Azerbaijan’s second of the match to the delight of the home support.

Estonia netted three times in succession in the second period, with Rump completing his hat-trick and Marmor finding the other. The home side responded once again, this time courtesy of Elshad.  

The Estonians had a three-goal advantage over their opponents going into last period and Nõmmiko scored their seventh of the match, as Elshad scored his second for Azerbaijan.

With the match finishing 7-4 to Estonia, this result signified that Azerbaijan couldn’t advance to the next round.

Group B
Ukraine top Group B
A 3-2 victory for Ukraine over Poland.

In Group B, second placed side, Ukraine took on the group leaders, Poland.

Levchenko gave Ukraine the lead with less than four minutes to go in first period, heading the ball in at the back post following an aerial cross. The Ukrainians made it to the first interval ahead of the group leaders.

Polish goalkeeper, Los brought his nation back into the match with an outstanding long-range effort, but Borsuk sent Ukraine ahead once again, slamming in his free-kick at the near post. Poland had a huge chance to equalise late in the period from the penalty spot, but Poslavskyi pulled off a great save to deny Poplawski.

Captain, Gac put Poland back on level terms early in the period, but it was Ukraine’s number nine, Zborovskyi who fired in an overhead kick into the bottom-left corner to secure the three points.

Seven goals for Spain in first win
Spain defeat Lithuania 7-2.

In Group B, Spain took on Lithuania.

Navickas scored the opening scored the opening goal of the tie for Lithuania, but the Spanish equaliser came just over a minute later, as Pedro found the back of the net for his nation.

Spain took the lead for the first time at the start of the second period, as Plytnikas turned the ball into his own net. This was followed by goals from David and Antonio, to give Spain a three-goal advantage. Makutunovičius brought one back for Lithuania, but it was cancelled out by an Arias strike.

Spain solidified their first win of the tournament in the third and final period, as Batis scored a brace in just over five minutes.

Group C
Biermann leads by example, as Germany bounce back
Germany defeat Greece 8-2.

Germany and Greece began Group C proceedings on day two.

The Germans struck first in the tie, as captain, Biermann opened up his body and expertly slotted the ball into the far corner. The Germany captain then found his brace and his nation’s second of the day, picking out the bottom-left corner.

Greece began to close the gap on their opponents in the opening minutes of the second period, as Germany’s brace scoring, number seven put the ball into his own net. However, Biermann scored his third and goals from Olli and Engelhardt, who scored a great volley, took Germany’s goals in the match to five. Karakasis brought a goal back for the Greek team with less than three minutes to go in the period, as his side trailed by three with 12 minutes to play.

In the final period, Olli’s volley secured himself a brace and Biermann converted his free-kick for his fifth. Peterson ended Germany’s goal scoring for the day, winning their first match of the main qualifier.

Two wins on the bounce for Portugal
Portugal win 7-3 against France

The second match of the day in Group C saw Portugal and France take to the Baku sands.

An own goal from Frenchman, Fayos gave Portugal the lead, but goals from Bru and Barbotti put France ahead with just over three minutes to go in the first period. However, Jordan scored a beautiful leveler for his nation, striking a bicycle kick into the bottom corner.

Bru netted his second goal of the match in the second period, but a wonder strike from goalkeeper, Andrade, as well as goals from Coimbra and Pintado, sent Portugal 5-3 up with just one period to play.

Portugal extended their advantage to three at the start of the third period, as Bernardo found the bottom-left corner from a free-kick and Coimbra sealed the deal with his second of the match, guiding Portugal to their second triumph of the competition.

Group D
Hat-trick for Hapon, as Belarus win again
Belarus beat Denamark 8-2.

In Group D, Belarus faced Denmark, with both teams achieving victories on the opening day.

Hapon opened the scoring for the Belarusians as he capitalised on a defensive error, as Frandsen leveled up the scoring for the Danes minutes later, smashing his volley into the top-right corner. Drozd put Belarus ahead again with a great bicycle kick, but it was cancelled out by a Damm penalty, leaving the score at 2-2 at the end of the opening period.

The second period belonged to the Belarusians, as Novikau, Hapon, Staskevich and Piatrouski all found the back of the net to give their nation a four-goal advantage heading into the final period, looking for their second consecutive win of the tournament.

Hapon completed a well-deserved hat-trick in the final period and netted his fourth just over a minute from time, as Belarus cruised to another win in Group D.

First Türkiye victory sees Switzerland out
Türkiye defeat Switzerland 3-2.

The second Group D fixture of the day saw Switzerland face Türkiye, with both nations suffering defeats in their first matches.

Scores were level at one a piece after 12 minutes played in Baku, with both teams scoring via overhead kicks. Cem Keskin scored the first goal of the match for Türkiye, striking the back of the net with almost half of the period gone, but Hodel made the score 1-1 with an excellent acrobatic shot of his own, to bring Switzerland back in it.

Both nations failed to hit the target in the second period, with the fate of the match coming down to the final 12 minutes.

Türkiye pulled ahead in the final period, scoring two goals in just over a minute through Volkan and Cem Keskin for his brace. Hodel completed his brace late on, but it wasn’t enough for his team, as the result means that Switzerland can no longer qualify for the next round.

To keep up to date with all the main qualifier action, make sure to visit!

Group A 
Italy 3-1 Moldova
Azerbaijan 4-7 Estonia

Group B
Ukraine 3-2 Poland
Spain 7-2 Lithuania

Group C
Germany 8-2 Greece
Portugal 7-3 France

Group D
Belarus 8-2 Denmark
Switzerland 2-3 Türkiye

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