Italy and Portugal book tickets for Superfinal

Poland wins in extra time for second win, and hosts claim victory, while unbeatens Italy and Portugal to fight for 1st on Sunday

Russia does not slip-up in earning first win


The 4-1 win for Russia over France was the kind of performance that people have grown to expect from Russia. It had stout defense, opportunistic goals, and precise movements and passes all over the pitch. The French were very much in the game throughout and could have turned the tide had a few small things gone their way. The win is the first for Russia, after they just fell to Poland in penalties on the opening day. The hosts now have 3 points and will need a win against Belarus on Sunday if they want to be sure of a spot in the Superfinal in Estonia in August. France may not have won their two opening matches but they will have a chance to earn points in their final match, the second match of the day on Sunday, against Poland. 


Russia by no means imaginable began their opening match with a lack of energy, but in the match against France, they took their game to a new level. Not only were the movements and passing impressive, but also the speed. The Russian quickness led to their first goal near the midway point in the opening frame when they used a missile shot from their keeper, Ostrovskii, to the 1-0 lead. Les Bleus continued with their tactics and were finding open spaces to shoot and they took those chances but they could not hit pay dirt on the first frame and the Russians were just getting started, scoring their second, to take an early 2-0 lead in the second period. The goals continued to come for the Beach Red Machine and they finished the second period up by a score of 4-0. 


France knew they needed to get a goal or two to get back into proceedings so they began the period hopeful that a score would change their fortunes. The French side started being even more aggressive but great goalkeeping from Bukhlitskiy kept Russia in the comfortable lead and with a golden goose egg on the scoreboard. There was no frustration from France, only exasperation as they could not seem to get their first goal of the day, although much credit was due to the Russians and their sweltering style of defense and overall play. In the end, the French got off the board, on a bouncing shot from Beaugrard in the final minutes, but when the last horn blew, Russia was still up 4-1.  


Goals: 0-1: Ostrovskii, min. 6 (1); 0-2: Paporotnyi, min. 10 (2); 0-3: Peremitin, min. 4 (2); 0-4: Shishin, min. 5 (2); 1-4: Beaugrard, min. 2 (3).


Portugal overcomes sluggish start to qualify for Superfinal


The 6-1 Portuguese win over Germany had a touch of defense, plenty of goals, and plenty of grit as both teams fought and fought, with Portugal having more in the tank late in the match. The Germans took the first lead but could not hold it forever and Portugal struck twice in the second period to take the lead for good. The win gives Portugal two wins and six points and leaves them at the top of the group, along with Italy, with that epic showdown looming on Sunday. The winner between Portugal and Italy will be first in Group 2, with both already having secured spots in the Superfinal in Estonia. The German side lost tough matches on both days, but they will look for their first win against Greece on Sunday. 


Portugal narrowly escaped with an opening day win, while Germany was barely defeated in their first match, so both teams wanted to make sure that action did not follow the same trend. The Germans wanted a win, and needed one to improve their chances of advancing to the Superfinal, while Portugal knew that a loss would hurt their chances for the same goal; the Superfinal in Estonia in August. The goalkeepers came to play and were more than ready for their opponent, which was needed as both selections were firing shots on net left and right. Weirauch of Germany came up with the first goal on a scrappy play in front of the net. That tenacity made for the only goal of the frame and Germany proudly took the 1-0 lead over the Portuguese into the first break. The equalizer came early in the middle period, from the Portuguese legend, Madjer and at that point, the fight was on. The slow start was completely erased from recent memory when Torres scored the go-ahead goal for Portugal, putting the score at 2-1, which is how the period would end, with Portugal turning a one goal first period deficit into a one goal second period advantage. 


The reenergized Portuguese side looked like a different team than yesterday but also completely changed from the opening frame in this match. The second period saw them turn things around but the final frame had them make their mark on the game. Jordan netted two quick goals, one in the opening minute of the frame on a magnificent bicycle, and then his second came on a flawless direct kick from long range. The goals put the Portuguese up 4-1 and in complete control. The Portuguese side finished the match with the same intensity and the whistle sounded with them up 6-1. 


Goals: 0-1: Weirauch, min. 3 (1); 1-1: Madjer, min. 9 (2); 2-1: Torres, min. 5 (2); 3-1: Jordan, min. 11 (3); 4-1: Jordan, min. 10 (3); 5-1: Jose Maria, min. 6 (3); 6-1: Be Martins, min. 0 (3).


Poland needs OT to hand Belarus first loss


The 5-4 OT win for Poland over Belarus was thrilling, amazing, shocking, and never lacking drama or goals. The shock was that Poland was again facing a deficit against one of Europe’s best teams and that they came back and on Friday won in penalties, and today they did it in overtime. The two wins, since they were not in regulation, leaves them with three points and they will look to complete the rare trifecta of a win in regulation, an overtime victory, as well as a triumph in penalties, against France on Sunday. Belarus can still qualify for the Superfinal but they will need an inspired performance against Russia on Sunday evening. 


In a battle of unbeatens, Belarus and Poland started the match with a conservative game plan, wanting to understand the other team and not make an early mistake that could put the momentum with the other team. The two side battled and each team was awarded with direct kicks, and in beach soccer nearly every kick is dangerous, but the teams could not get off the board early, but one late direct kick from Slavutsin of Belarus found its mark along with a strike from Bryshtel left the score at 2-0 going into the first break.  The Polish was not going to be quieted for much longer and their offense came to life when they scored on a kick from distance to cut the lead in half, however Poland was still down 2-1 early in the middle frame. The momentum was with the Red and Whites in the opening minutes of the second period but a solid penalty kick shot from the Belorussian side stopped them in their tracks and put the score at 3-1. Like a heavy weight bout, the teams traded punches and seized control, only to give it right back and the period ended with Belarus up 4-3. 


Poland began the final frame down once again, but this time only by one goal and they looked determined to again tie the match and possibly take their first lead. The Polish side had to take come from behind against the two-time defending FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and Euro Beach Soccer League champions Russia, on Friday, so they were in familiar ground. The Eagles pulled off the same kind of final period as they did with Russia, coming back and tying the score, but not being able to secure the lead in regular time and they match went into overtime tied at 4. It was nearly half way through the extra frame when Poland took their first lead of the day, on a goal from Baran, that put the score at 5-4, which is how the game would end. 


Goals: 1-0: Slavutsin, min. 3 (1); 2-0: Bryshtel, min. 2 (1); 2-1: Jesionowski, min. 11 (2); 3-1: Kamzolau, min. 5 (2); 3-2: Klepczarek, min. 4 (2); 4-2: Slavutsin, min. 4 (2); 4-3: Makarevich (o.g.), min. 3 (2); 4-4: Lenart, min. 5 (3);  4-5: Baran, min. 1 (et).


Italy pushes Greece to the brink for 2nd win


The 2-0 victory for Italy over Greece was a spectacular showing of defensive ability to go along with the clutch goal scoring that the Italians are known for. The Greeks stayed close and played very well in all three periods but they ceded two goals in the middle frame which proved to be their undoing. The win for Italy gives them at least second in the group and that means they qualify for the Superfinal in Estonia in August. The loss was a difficult one for the Greeks as they have played such tight and excellent matches, particularly defensively, in the two opening opening days, but they can still qualify as one of the two best 3rd teams. Italy will take on Portugal on Sunday while Greece will fight against Germany on the final day. 


Chances were kept to a minimum in the opening minutes of the Italy and Greece but the Italians were in control of ball much more in the early going. The two teams had very different opening matches, a win for Italy and a loss for the Greeks, but with a new day comes a new match. The teams scraped and fought their way through the opening minutes but going into the latter half of the frame, there had been no goals to show for all the hard work. The Azzurri and the Hellenic side both had excellent chances in the closing minutes of the frame, on a dangerous direct kick for Greece that went wanting and nearly open net shot for the Italians that struck the post. The two defensive first minded Selections played to a 0-0 draw in the 1st period and they headed to the second period with the pressure rising. The relief came first for the Italians as they scored on a rocket from their larger than life goalie, Del Mestre, and that was the first goal of the period, but the Italians scored late to take a 2-0 lead into the last break. 


A defensive masterpiece was on display in this match and the final period did not stray far from that trend. The two sides are normally excellent defensive teams but the third period took that nature to an entirely new level. The players were swarming around the ball handler and chasing down loose balls from start to finish. The Italians kept control of proceedings but they could not get past the stout Pirate Ship defense. Neither team found the back of the net in the last period, but it was because of the team defense and wonderful goalkeeping. When the match came to an end, the Italians had secured the 2-0 win. 


Goals: 1-0: Del Mestre, min. 9 (1); 2-0: Ramacciotti, min. 1 (2).




 Results Today:

Saturday 13.06.15

15:45 – Italy 2-0 Greece (Group 2)

17:00 – Belarus 4-5 (aet) Poland (Group 1)

18:15 – Portugal 6-1 Germany (Group 2)

19:30 – Russia 4-1 France (Group 1)


Upcoming Matches:

Sunday 14.06.15

12:30 – Germany vs Greece (Group 2)

13:45 – France vs Poland (Group 1)

15:00 – Portugal vs Italy (Group 2)

16:15 – Russia vs Belarus (Group 1)

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