England to join Spain, Italy, Ukraine and Portugal at the 2023 European Games in Krakow
– Spain and Italy to contend European title
– England score 11 to claim final European Games place
– Hosts hang on to defeat Ukraine as Spain beat Portugal in semis
After coming back against Portugal, Spain will now face Italy, who defeated Ukraine in their semi-final, in the final of the 2022 Euro Beach Soccer League in Cagliari.
Portugal and Ukraine will battle for third, while Saturday’s matches also saw England clinch the final place in the women’s category of the 2023 European Games in Krakow..
Hosts hang on against Ukraine to reach EBSL final
With one win for each side in the ANOC World Beach Games European Qualifier and in the group stage of the Euro Beach Soccer League, Italy and Ukraine faced each other for the third time in six days, this time with a place on the final at stake.
The first period was as closely-fought as it gets, with Privitera’s left-footed goal being the only factor to differentiate both teams, with Ukraine hitting the post and seeing Ruotolo make a couple of good saves to Klymenko’s team despair.
The second period was, like the first one, very hard-fought with both teams giving their all and not allowing for many clear chances to be created.
Heading into the final 12 minutes there was still only one goal setting the squads apart. With eight minutes to go, Olivieri was quicker to react to a rebound from an Ianella free-kick and doubled Italy’s lead. But the match was far from being over and two minutes later Volovenko went one-on-one with Ruotolo after a through pass and put the match back into discussion.
With four minutes to go, Saggion saw Terekh out of position and scored a fantastic goal from her own half, leaving Italy with one foot in the final. The Azzurre controlled the match until the end and confirmed their place in the 2022 Euro Beach Soccer League final.
Spain come from behind to reach EBSL final
Portugal took an early lead but La Roja showed why they are the world’s top team to hit four and reach the final of the Euro Beach Soccer League 2022.
It would be the first time either of these sides had reached the EBSL final, and after downing one of the world’s top teams England yesterday, Portugal struck first with an incredible shot/clearance from Ema.
This goal separated the Iberian rivals at the break, but that would prove to be the last of the Portuguese goal scoring…. Manau found space to drive a low shot home to equalise in the second period.
In the final period, Cris put Spain ahead and then a second from Manau as well as a spinning shot from 2019 Best Player, Carol, put the game to bed.
Spain cruise into the final, and their first chance at the Euro Beach Soccer League trophy.
England net 11 to claim the ticket to the European Games
With the last ticket to the 2023 European Games in Krakow for grabs, England and Czech Republic went head-to-head on the sands of Cagliari.
A stunning bicycle kick from Molly Clark opened the count for the Lionesses with less than two minutes played. Sarah Kempson extended the lead and Katie James assisted Anne Meiwald who put England 3-0 up before Jungova pulled one back for the Czechs.
The second period came, and so did a second goal for Molly Clark with a shot on the turn. Wendy Martin took her chance in front of goal to score England’s fifth and Jana Cervenakova added her name to the scoresheet too.
The third period was the most productive in terms of goals for both teams, with England steaming ahead on the scoreboard with goals from James (2), Meiwald (2), Kempson and Martin, while Culova and Cervenakova found the net for the Czech Republic. The final result of 11-4 qualified England for the 2023 European Games.
RESULTS – 10/09
England 11-4 Czech Republic
Spain 4-1 Portugal
Italy 3-1 Ukraine
For full details on the 2022 Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal in Cagliari, head to beachsoccer.com.