Reigning champions begin title defence with big win as Ukraine clinch one point against Germany
The defending world and European champions Portugal showed that they hadn’t lost their form after so many months off the sand, and began their Euro Beach Soccer League title defence with a big win over France. Leo Martins, with three goals, was the star of the show for the Equipa das Quinas, who end the day comfortably atop of the table of the EBSL Superfinal Nazaré after the first matchday.
France, with an intense and dynamic approached, managed to hold their own against Portugal’s attempts for most of the opening period, but before the first whistle sounded, Leo Martins netted his first two of the evening in quick succession, to sweep Portugal ahead.
Narciso’s men widened the gap in the second period, with sweetly struck goals by Von, Rui Coimbra and André Lourenço, inevitably sinking the French boat. Not even a very close free kick by Basquaise, brilliantly denied by Andrade, could help Les Bleus break the deadlock to pull one back.
Portugal weren’t finished at five though, and kept pushing on for an even bigger win, with Belchior adding his name to the scoresheet before Leo Martins completed his hat-trick, making him the competitions top scorer after day one, ahead of Germany’s Metzler who scored two against Ukraine.
With an impressive 7-0 win, the hosts move into top position in the table, ready to take on Germany tomorrow, hoping for three more points in their continental crown defense.
Goals: 0-1: Leo Martins, min. 1 (1); 0-2: Leo Martins, min. 0 (1); 0-3: Von, min. 10 (2); 0-4: Coimbra, min. 6 (2); 0-5: André Lourenço, min. 0 (2); 0-6: Belchior, min. 10 (3); 0-7: Leo Martins, min. 8 (3);
Ukraine snatch first point at stake from the penalty spot
2016 European champions Ukraine sealed an opening win in the 2020 season following a penalty shootout win over Germany in the first game of the Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal Nazaré 2020.
The score remained untouched the first period, something understandable for two teams that had not competed for months, and who wanted to find their feet on the sand before going all out in search of goals.
When the deadlock finally broken, it didn’t go the way Germany, and David Hoeveler were hoping it to do, as an unfortunate headed back-pass by the German defender ended up in the back of Marius Ebener’s net, putting the Ukrainians ahead. Sabatiuk was not much luckier at the other end just seconds later, seeing Metzler’s shot sneak past him at the near post, levelling the score for Die Mannschaft.
The balanced fight went on for the remainder of the period, just as it had been all game, but Pashko managed to get his team on top in the last minute with a long-range freekick.
Sydorenko’s side managed to keep the lead despite several goal chances by their German counterparts. Midway through the last frame, a terrific free kick by Maksim Voitok doubled the distance for Ukraine, who commanded a 3-1 lead with just five minutes to go.
But it didn’t take long for Meltzer, with a wonderful volley, to pull one back for with his second, who had one minute to equalise again if they wanted to keep fighting for the points. Christian Biermann, the German talisman, was the one to step up with a shot that bobbled on the sand and flew out of reach of the Ukrainian keeper.
The 3-3 normal time score sent the game into extra time, which didn’t see any more goals, so the penalty shootout was the only way out of such a balanced contest.
The 2016 European champions proved to be the better aim from the 9-meter distance, and ended up bagging the win in their first game of the season.
Goals: 1-0: Hoeveler (og), min. 5 (2); 1-1: Metzler, min. 4 (1); 2-1: Pashko, min. 0(2); 3-1: Voitok, min. 5 (3); 3-2: Metzler, min. 1(3) 3-3: Biermann, min. 0 (3);
Penalty kick shootout: Metzler, saved; Voitok, out; Baaske, goal; Pashko, goal; Mutu, goal; Shcherytsia, goal; Nowak, goal; Khyzhniak, goal; Weirauch, saved; Zavorotnyi, goal.
For complete results, stats and standings, click here.