Regular Stage champions Moldova also bagged an opening win alongside Greece and Estonia
A shock win for Lithuania over Division A’s Turkey was the story of the day, especially as the team were close to not qualifying for the Promotion Final at all.
Elsewhere, Moldova continued their brilliant EBSL form with a win over Sweden, Kasoulis starred as Greece beat Kazakhstan and Estonia held on for points against the Czechs.
LTU 3-0 TUR (Group 1)
A disappointing display in the Regular stage of the EBSL Division A saw Turkey slump into a battle to retain their elite beach soccer status on the continent, and their first match against Lithuania proved to be a tough one.
Two periods of stubborn stalemate, where the men in yellow did well to keep out dangerous Turkish strikers like Cem Keskin and Baris, saw the scoreline unchanged for most of the match.
However, a moment of brilliance saw Makutunovičius find space to power home an overhead, the first goal of the game, in the third period. Things went from bad to worse for the Turks when Lebedev hit a ridiculous strike from his own half to double the Lithuanian advantage.
Makutunovičius’ second wrapped up an incredible three points for Lithuania, who handed Turkey a devastating defeat in their quest to stay in the EBSL Division A.
Goals: 1-0: Makutunovičius, min. 10 (3); 2-0: Lebedev, min. 7 (3); 3-0: Makutunovičius, min. 0 (3);
KAZ 2-4 GRE (Group 1)
Kazakhstan had made it all the way to a third-place finish in the Regular Stage in Moldova, after having fallen to Estonia in the semi-finals but firmly secured the right to be at the Promotion Final.
These sides had met in Moldova too, where Kazakhstan ran out 5-0 winners but Greece were the superior side today, as number seven Katsoulis opened the scoring in the first period and proceeded to run riot.
Perevyortov pulled one back for Bulat Alyonov’s men but Katsoulis was their again, hitting no less than three by the time the match had finished.
Three essential points for Greece in what was mostly a tight game, and they will face Turkey on Matchday 2. Kazakhstan will try again for some much-needed points against Lithuania.
Goals: 0-1: Katsoulis, min. 8 (1); 1-1: Perevyortov, min. 5 (1); 1-2: Katsoulis, min. 9 (2); 2-2: Makagon, min. 5 (2); 2-3: Triantafyllidis, min. 1 (2); 2-4: Katsoulis, min. 0 (3);
SWE 3-5 MDA (Group 2)
Moldova kicked off their Promotion Final campaign with a tidy win against a Swedish side who showed late reserve but just fell short.
Podlensov and Graur were the first the break through the Viking shield wall, either side of the first break, but Kettler pulled one back soon after.
Ignat, Gurgurov and Pusca all got their names on the scoresheet too, during a dominant period of play, however the Moldovan concentration slipped towards the end of the match, as the final minute saw Buzelius and Bolander bring the Swedes dangerously close to equalising.
At the final whistle though, Moldova’s lead remained intact and Ruslan Pernai’s men bagged a brilliant opening victory.
Goals: 0-1: Podlensov, min. 6 (1); 0-2: Graur, min. 4 (2); 1-2: Kettler, min. 3 (2); 1-3: Ignat, min. 1 (2); 1-4: Gurgurov, min. 8 (3); 1-5: Pusca, min. 7 (3); 2-5: Buzelius, min. 1 (3); 3-5: Bolander, min. 1 (3);
EST 4-2 CZE (Group 2)
Group 2’s second match saw Estonia and Czech Republic trying to keep pace with the Marauding Moldovans who had already won earlier in the day.
The dynamic duo of Marmor and Munksind each hit early goals for Estonia to put them in front, but the Top Scorer of the Regular Phase, Trampota, could not be kept out forever, and he powered in the Czech opener after the first break.
Lepik put away Estonia’s third late in the second period to make it 3-1, but a goal at each end in the final third meant that Estonia secured essential early points, going level with Moldova in the group.
They face Sweden tomorrow while Moldova and Czech Republic will meet in the other match.
Goals: 1-0: Marmor, min. 7 (1); 2-0: Munskind, min. 4 (1); 2-1: Trampota, min. 4 (2); 3-1: Lepik, min. 1 (2); 3-2: Radosta, min. 2 (3); 4-2: Ed. Stuf, min. 1 (3);
For full details on the EBSL Superfinal and Promotion Final, including fixtures, results and standings, head to beachsoccer.com.