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08 Sep 2019
Azerbaijan win Promotion Final to stay in Division A!
Victory in Figueira da Foz sees Azerbaijan set to play another season in the top league
A low-scoring and tense affair saw Azerbaijan fend off late Kazakhstan attacks to hang on to their Division A status.
A tight play-off for third place went all the way to the penalty spot, eventually won by Romania who drop one place from last year’s finishing position.
Two goals in the final third saw Hungary overturn Czech Republic to clinch fifth while Estonia thumped Georgia by seven goals to one to claim seventh.
Azerbaijan 2-1 Kazakhstan (PROMOTION FINAL)
After a disappointing campaign in the regular stages of the Euro Beach Soccer League, Azerbaijan had redeemed themselves by topping the Promotion Final group.
But to hold on to their Division A status, they had to defeat Yerlan Jamantayev’s Kazakhstan.
The men from the Land of Fire got their noses ahead when Elshad latched onto a through ball to slip the opening goal past Chornyy.
Despite only being one goal behind, Kazakhstan looked to be on the backfoot for long stretches of play, often pinned into their own half as Azerbaijan pressed.
At the match’s midway point, Ramil hit a second and, as the final period began, they looked likely to add another. In fact, Zeynalov’s men were far too wasteful in front of goal, sending numerous prime goal-scoring opportunities high and wide.
They were punished for this complacency when Bogdanov headed in Demeshko’s cross with two minutes left, making it 2-1.
Just a goal behind, Kazakhstan ramped up the pressure but Azerbaijan defended desperately to keep the attacks at bay and when the whistle finally went, there was more of a sigh of relief than wild celebration.
The difference was small after Azerbaijan’s victory, each side stays in their division…for another year at least.
Goals: 1-0: Elshad, min. 6 (1); 2-0: Ramil, min. 7 (2); 2-0: Bogdanov, min. 2 (3);
Romania 2(2)-(0)2 Greece (Division B - 3/4 play-off)
After suffering disappointing knock out of the Promotion Final in Saturday’s matches, last year’s finalists Romania took of former Division A side Greece.
Florea pounded in the first, opening the scoring after a matter of minutes but Papastathop was on hand to equalise for Greece within seconds.
Romania controlled much of the play and pushed for a second and it eventually came from Benciu just before the break.
But the Division B top scorer, Kafantaris, found the net at the match’s midway point to pull Gialesakis’ side level once more.
The stalemate drew on through extra time and right to the penalty spot, where Greece surprisingly were not clinical enough in front of goal, as both Romanian keepers saved a penalty each, grabbing third place for their team.
Goals: 1-0: Florea, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Papastathop, min. 9 (1); 2-1: Benciu, min. 2 (1); 2-2: Kafantaris, min. 6 (2);
PSO: 0-0: Triantafyllid, saved; 1-0: Zaharia, scored; 1-0: Kafantaris, saved;2-0: Florea, scored;
Czech Republic 2-4 Hungary (Division B - 5/6 play-off)
The prize for victory today was a fifth-place finish, and it was clear that each side was serious in their task of securing it.
Stejskal struck Hungary ahead after five minutes of play only to see Wirth level up before the first break. The second period went just as the first had, each side netting once to maintain the stalemate.
It was 2-2 going into the final third, but a sublime overhead from Rutai broke the deadlock and Bartha chested in a fourth to wrap up the victory and the fifth place for Mark Ughy’s men.
Goals: 0-1: Stejskal, min. 7 (1); 1-1: Wirth, min. 2 (1); 1-2: Szasz, min. 2 (2); 2-2: Vales, min. 1 (2); 2-3: Rutai, min. 2 (3); 2-4: Bartha, min. 0 (3);
Estonia 7-1 Georgia (Division B - 7/8 play-off)
After an impressive run in the regular stages, Georgia were unable to win in the Euro Beach Soccer League Promotion Final group stages, and their last chance at victory came against Estonia in the play-off for seventh.
But it was the late-comers to the competition who netted first, after an unfortunate Ivaniadze deflection sailed past his own keeper. Lepik took his tournament tally to six and then a brilliant Kigaste overhead made it three.
The second period saw Galkin’s men maintain their lead but a fourth eventually came in the third when Munskind sent a shot in from the left wing.
Georgia were well and truly beaten, as Estonia racked up a total of seven goals and a final Kokoladze consolation as all they took from their final day in Figueira da Foz.
Goals: 1-0: Ivaniadze (OG), min. 10 (1); 2-0: Lepik, min. 4 (1); 3-0: Kigaste, min. 0 (1); 4-0: Makharadze, min. 10 (3); 5-0: Munskind, min. 10 (3); 6-0: Stuf, min. 9 (3); 7-0: Lepik, min. 5 (3); 7-1: Kokoladze, min. 3 (3);
Stay up to date on the Euro Beach Soccer League - Promotion Final Figueira da Foz 2019 on the Beach Soccer Worldwide website.