World champions Russian swept Poland aside while Belarus and Italy also took wins
The Superfinal returns to Figueira da Foz – and what a day it was…
The defending champions struggled against a stubborn Ukraine side but Leo Martins magic and a triumphant return for Jordan Santos saved the day for Portugal.
Russia, after claiming the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup not even two weeks ago, made short work of Poland in their opening match in Group 1, while Italy put seven past Switzerland.
Belarus impressed against Spain, who were unable to register a goal in their opening match, to bag an opening victory.
UKR 5-7 POR (Group 2)
The reigning European champions may have had an injury-hit and disappointing World Cup campaign, but they impressed in their first game of the Superfinal against Ukraine.
When these sides last met, Ukraine ran out tight winners but this time, the 2019 World Best Player, Jordan Santos, was back and he opened the scoring in the first period with a slick dummy and finish.
Leo Martins powered in another and when Jordan hit his second, a low strike from a distant freekick, it looked as if the hosts would stroll to victory. The Ukrainians however, suddenly sprang into action, as Voitenko, Korniichuk and Shcherytsia converted three in four minutes to draw level.
But Leo Martins and Jordan Santos were just impossible for the Ukrainian defence to control, as they hit a total of seven goals between them to eventually put a two-goal cushion between them and the men in yellow.
Three points safely in the bag for Narciso’s men, Portugal fans will be happy to see Jordan back to his brilliant best, while Ukraine also showed their teeth, but lost two players to red cards, which may prove costly in the coming days…
Goals: 0-1: Jordan, min. 11 (1); 0-2: Leo Martins, min. 9 (2); 0-3: Jordan, min. 8 (2); 1-3: Voitenko, min. 8 (2); 2-3: Korniichuk, min. 4 (2); 3-3: Shcherytsia, min. 4 (2); 3-4: Leo Martins, min. 2 (2); 4-4: Pashko, min. 1 (2); 4-5: Leo Martins, min. 1 (2); 4-6: Leo Martins, min. 9 (3); 5-6: Shcherytsia, min. 2 (3); 5-7: Jordan, min. 0 (3);
POL 2-7 RUS (Group 1)
First to face the world champions, who claimed the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup just weeks ago, was Poland.
Tomasz Wydmuszek’s men were blown away in the first period as Nikonorov scored after a matter of seconds, Paporotnyi (adidas Silver Ball winner at the World Cup) doubled the lead.
Keeper Parkhomenko struck twice before the first whistle and Poland had a mountain to climb for the remainder of the game.
Brochocki and Klawikowski made sure that the Russian keepers wouldn’t leave the pitch with a clean sheet, but Zemskov and Makarov added their names to the match report to cruise to an opening victory.
Can the world champions win the European crown back as well this year?
Goals: 0-1: Nikonorov, min. 11 (1); 0-2: Paporotnyi, min. 8 (1); 0-3: Parkhomenko, min. 3 (1); 0-4: Parkhomenko, min. 2 (1); 0-5: Makarov, min. 8 (2); 1-5: Brochocki, min. 6 (2); 1-6: Zemskov, min. 8 (3); 2-6: Klawikowski, min. 7 (3); 2-7: Nikonorov, min. 4 (3);
ITA 7-3 SUI (Group 2)
Following the disappointment of not qualifying for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Russia, the Azzurri entered the field today – against the team that finished third in Moscow – on a clear mission…
Back to his terrifying ways, Gabriele Gori had a brace in the opening period, putting the 2018 European champions ahead. Casapieri and Zurlo made it four in the second, but Steinemann and Hodel (who won the Golden Scorer award at the FBSWC Moscow not two weeks ago) halved the deficit.
However, the imperious Italians surged on as Gori and Zurlo added to their tallies and Frainetti also got in on the action before the final whistle.
With a convincing 7-3 victory, Del Duca’s men lay a clear claim to the 2021 Euro Beach Soccer League title, downing one of Europe’s strongest teams in convincing fashion…
Goals: 1-0: Gori, min. 9 (1); 2-0: Gori, min. 4 (1); 3-0: Casapieri, min. 9 (2); 4-0: Zurlo, min. 8 (2); 4-1: Steinemann, min. 7 (2); 4-2: Hodel, min. 7 (3); 5-2: Zurlo, min. 8 (3); 6-2: Gori, min. 4 (3); 7-2: Frainetti, min. 3 (3); 7-3: Stankovic, min. 1 (3);
ESP 0-4 BLR (Group 1)
Both sides were fresh from their stint at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Moscow just weeks before, with Belarus not making it out of the group stage and Spain going just one step further in the competition.
The first period finished goalless, but in the second Nico Alvarado’s men burst into action, with Novikau, an incredible Ryabko overhead kick and a Drodz goal seizing command of the match for Belarus.
La Roja were missing their star number 10 Llorenç through an injury he picked up in the World Cup, and they lacked creativity in the final third, unable to break through the imposing backline of Belarus.
In the last period, Ryabko added a fourth – his second of the match – to wrap up the points for Belarus, who are in search of their first European title and will go into tomorrow game against Russia with a boost of confidence.
Goals: 0-1: Novikau, min. 9 (2); 0-2: Ryabko, min. 7 (2); 0-3: Drodz, min. 1 (2); 0-4: Ryabko, min. 10 (3);
For full details on the EBSL Superfinal and Promotion Final, including fixtures, results and standings, head to beachsoccer.com.