Late goals helped England beat La Roja to claim historic title in Portugal
The first ever stage of the Women’s Euro Beach Soccer League came to a dramatic close with an action-packed third period in the final, held on Sunday in Nazaré.
Goals from Molly Clark and Anne Meiwald proved to be the difference as England defeated Spain, who they last met in the final of the World Beach Games in Qatar, where La Roja walked away with the gold medals.
ESP 1-3 ENG – Final
The two top ranked teams in the world met on the sands of Nazaré to contend the title of the first ever Women’s Euro Beach Soccer League stage.
The match started in a stubborn stalemate straight from kick-off and the scoreboard remained unchanged mainly due to the heroics of Hannah Haughton, as Spain had the lions’ share of the chance in the opening period.
As the second period started, the tension increased but still the opening goal didn’t come, as Laia between the Spanish sticks was tested more and more. The deadlock was broken by a blistering run from debutant Meiwald who smashed in the opener.
A mix-up between keeper and defender saw Spaniard Jessica double the English advantage with a misplaced back-pass. Soon after, Fresneda cemented her Top Scorer of the event with a calmly hit penalty.
Mendez’ squad had found hope in the dying minute, but it was soon snuffed out by a late Molly Clark penalty, and the final whistle went with the score at 3-1, and wild celebrations from the English bench.
The Lionesses make history, out-performing their old rivals to claim the first ever EBSL Regular Stage.
Goals: 0-1: Meiwald, min. 11 (3); 0-2: Jessica (OG), min. 5 (3); 1-2: Fresneda, min. 4 (3); 1-3: Clark, min. 2 (3);
SUI 0-6 RUS – 3rd-place playoff
Third place in the maiden edition of the Women’s Euro Beach Soccer League was up for grabs in the day’s second match, where the current European champions took on Switzerland.
Midway through the first period, Zaitseva netted the opener for Leonov’s side, and although Switzerland forced Akylbaeva into action on several occasions, the keeper defended her nets effectively and also added a second goal from her own area.
Another two goals in the second period, this time from Shkvara and Bychkova, doubled the lead as the more clinical of the sides continued to extend their advantage.
Another two goals in the final period, a second strike for Zaitseva and a calm finish by Cherniakova after a defensive error, saw Russian end the match six to the good, well-deserving of the third-place finish.
Goals: 0-1: Zaitseva, min. 5 (1); 0-2: Akylbaeva, min. 2 (1); 0-3: Shkvara, min. 9 (2); 0-4: Bychkova, min. 9 (2); 0-5: Zaitseva, min. 8 (3); 0-6: Cherniakova, min. 5 (3);
UKR 2-0 CZE – 5th-place playoff
After winning their very first international points in their match against Netherland yesterday, Ukraine were looking for another win against a Czech side who, like the Dutch, had so far been unable to register a win.
In the playoff for fifth place, Ukraine were kept out time and again by Czech keeper Sladka, but a Tikhonova penalty eventually broke the deadlock at the end of the opening period.
If it hadn’t been for the Czech keeper, the scoreline would have been a very different, as she pulled off save after save to deny the Ukrainian strikers who kept the pressure on their rivals for the majority of the game.
Roman Pachev’s side only managed to double their lead in the dying moments when Klipachenko swung in a shot from close range to take the final score to 2-0.
A second win for Ukraine on their debut appearance on the international stage, and a final-day defeat for the Czechs.
Goals: 1-0: Tikhonova, min. 0 (1); 2-0: Klipachenko, min. 3 (3);
Head to beachsoccer.com for full details on the Women’s Euro Beach Soccer League.