England and Ukraine are to dispute the final place in the semis on Friday as they take on Spain and Portugal
– Italy, Portugal and Spain reach final four
– Azzurre hosts impress in opening match
– England and Ukraine to contend last semi-final place
Three of the four semi-finalists have been decided in the Women’s Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal in Cagliari, as Spain beat the Czechs, Portugal down England and Italy bag three points against Ukraine.
Spain, Portugal and hosts Italy each have nine points after three wins, while losses from England and Ukraine mean that they will go into Friday’s matches hoping to clinch the final place in the knockout stage.
Czech Republic are out of the running for the European title.
Portugal down WBG Qualifier champions England
Portugal and England were the first teams to step on the sand of the Cagliari Beach Arena to kick off the first Euro Beach Soccer League matchday in Sardinia.
There were no goals in the first period, although Molly Clark was close to breaking the deadlock with a free-kick that hit the post.
Nine minutes into the second period, a corner kick fell to Ema Toscano, who scored the first goal with a curled shot, sending Portugal into the final 12 minutes ahead of the result.
Opening the third period, goalkeeper Scadding fired directly into Jamila’s net to equalise. But the Portuguese would take the lead once more as Carolina made it 2-1, and 40 seconds later Andreia extended the lead, scoring Portugal’s third.
Alan Cavalcanti’s team had the match under control and with two minutes to go, Carolina scored her second, just before Sarah Kempson set the difference between both teams to two goals again.
Kempson would score another with only 49 seconds left, bringing some uncertainty to the match, but at the kick-off Cristiana hit the ball straight into the back of the net, putting an end to English hopes and securing the three points for Portugal.
Italy cruise past Ukraine to seal semi-final place
A win in front of their own fans would mean a place in the final four for Italy, while Ukraine were aiming for a win that would put them in the top-four.
The hosts were the first ones to score through, as Veronica Privitera netted with only one minute played, but Klipachenko equalised a minute later with a shot that duped keeper Ruotolo and both teams went into the second period level.
Vecchione showed all her quality scoring two goals in two minutes and Melania Pisa curled one in to give Italy a three-goal advantage in the second period.
Privitera stole the show in the third part, completing a hat-trick while Ponzini signed off with the final goal to confirm the 7-1 win that sends Italy into the semi-finals.
Spain defeat Czech Republic to remain undefeated
Spain faced Czech Republic with the objective of catching Portugal, who were on nine points at the top of the table after their win over England.
Goals in the first period came only in the last three minutes, first with both goalkeepers Laura and Jungova scoring for their respective teams, and then Lorena with a bicycle kick that had Spain leading again.
The Czechs would equalise in the second period through Slavikova, but Andrea Miron with a shot from the middle of the pitch restored the Spanish lead.
With only one goal separating the sides, the third period saw Czech Republic looking for the equaliser and Spain trying to put an end to the discussion. With one minute to go Machackova deflected a shot form Mirón into her own net to leave the match practically solved, only to Sara Tui seal the final result in 5-2 favourable to the Spanish.
RESULTS – 08/09
Portugal 5-3 England
Spain 5-2 Czech Republic
Italy 7-1 Ukraine
For full details on the 2022 Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal in Cagliari, head to beachsoccer.com.