Cosimo SibiliaPresident of Lega Nazionale DilettantiFifteen years of beach soccer in Italy
Dick WhalenNASSC Tournament DirectorThe North American Sand Soccer Championships turn “Silver”
Ali TargholizadehAFC Head of Futsal and Beach Soccer DevelopmentAsia has everything required for beach soccer
Roberto CarettoManager Lazio Beach SoccerIdentity is key for clubs’ future
Joan CuscóBSWW Executive Vice PresidentClosing a successful season with the next FIFA Beach Soccer world Cup in our mind
Joan CuscóBSWW Executive Vice PresidentTradition makes us stronger…
Bernd BaruttaHead of Beach Soccer at the DFBBeach soccer was at its captivating best in Warnemünde
Joaquín AlonsoSpain National Coach and FIFA InstructorWomen’s beach soccer has evolved greatly
Gilberto CostaBrazil National CoachThe road to a perfect World Cup
Philippe MoggioCONCACAF General SecretaryBeach Soccer, a powerful platform to strengthen the game
28 Jun 2014
Everything set for a thrilling last day in Sopot
Poland, Portugal (Group 1) or Spain (Group 2) could become the best team of this Euro Beach Soccer League stage, following solid wins today
Ukraine rebounds and outlasts Switzerland in penalties
Penalties were needed to settle the match between Ukraine and Switzerland and Ukraine prevailed 6(2)-6(1). The game was unpredictable, just as could be predicted, and both teams carried momentum and looked like the likely victor, but the match was as good and competitive that the winner could not be decided until the last possible moment in penalties. The penalty shootout included drama with likely scorers missing or being blocked and the underdogs, prevailing in the end. Switzerland had won all their matches in the opening stage of the Euro Beach Soccer League in Catania and now they have lost their first two in the second stage. The Swiss will meet Spain in their final match in Sopot, looking for at least a point. The Ukrainians played extremely tough in their opening match loss and played with even more grit today, and they will face France on Sunday.
Switzerland and Ukraine picked up the pace of the match as the opening period progressed and the Swiss side scored first. Ukraine did not shy away from contact and went on the offensive often but Switzerland sniffed out every attempt and kept them with a donut on the scoreboard as the period ended with a score of 1-0 to Switzerland. Skilled passes and shots prevailed in the middle frame with both being flashed across goal but Switzerland was the first to connect when Ott was presented with a great look at the net. The Ukrainians found their offense and halved the deficit but that did not last long as the Swiss made a great tackle to set up another goal, giving them a 3-1 lead. Ukraine maintained the pressure and it paid off in the last seconds of the frame with a wonderful direct kick strike to make the score the 3-2, advantage for the Alpines going into the third period.
No time was wasted in the last period as Ukraine scored directly on the kick off to tie the match at three and the confidence was beginning to ooze from the Ukrainian side. Switzerland did not flinch and scored the next goal on a sublime chip from Borer after he dispossessed his opponent. The goal gave the Swiss squad the lead once more at 4-3. The Ukrainian tenacity prevailed once again though as they scored two quick goals to take their first lead of the match at 5-4, but that did not last more than 10 seconds as the Swiss responded again to square the score at 5. The pendulum swung again towards Ukraine as they scored their sixth to take the late one goal lead. Not to be outdone, Switzerland rebounded to tie the game again, this time on a free kick. Neither side cracked again and the match went into overtime tied at six. Both teams played relatively safe in the extra frame and the match went to penalties for the first time in this EBSL season, with Ukraine bagging the remaining point at stake.
Goals: 1-0: Leu, min. 6 (1); 2-0: Ott, min. 7 (2); 2-1: Panteleichuk, min. 4 (2); 3-1: Borer, min. 4 (2); 3-2: Voitenko, min. 0 (2); 3-3: Illichov, min. 11 (3); 4-3: Borer, min. 9 (3); 4-4: Budzko, min. 4 (3); 4-5: Medvid, min. 4 (3); 5-5: Misev, min. 4 (3); 5-6: Butko, min. 3 (3); 6-6: Ott, min. 2 (3).
Penalties: Ott: no goal; Voitenko: goal; Misev: goal; Butko: no goal; Mo: no goal; Budzko: goal.
*Ukraine gets 1 point for this win, not 2 as stated in the standings of www.beachsoccer.com.
Portuguese defense and offense excel in win
Portugal’s 8-0 win over Greece was an all around great performance from the former European Beach Soccer champions: offense, defense, transition, all facets of the game. The game was in striking distance for the Greeks until the second period when more goals flooded in from the Portuguese. Portugal did not let up and were still in control late in the match, looking to add to their big lead. Portugal will face the hosts, Poland, looking to finish the stage off strong in the final day of matches in Sopot. Greece who earned two points in their overtime win against Ukraine on Friday will look to earn more points against Holland on Sunday.
Portugal was not going to be shocked by the Greeks early on and scored two quick goals before the Greece side could even settle in. The Greek squad did get things under control and had some good looks at goal despite the Portuguese maintaining the majority of possession. Narciso's side added a late first period goal to go up by three, after conceding zero, heading into the first break. Hidalgo, the keeper for Portugal, helped immensely to put a strangle hold on the Hellenic offense and were it not for him the Greeks would not have been looking at the four goal deficit they were facing after another Portuguese goal early in the middle frame. Greece was not afforded many more chances in the Portuguese half and going into the final frame they were in the middle of a shutout, down 5-0.
The last period began a bit more subdued than the opening two frames, but neither side was interested in giving up any goals, or any more goals in Greece’s case. The acrobatic saves and lightning quick reflexes were still evident with the goalies as the shots that were sent their way were deftly stopped. Portugal did open things up a bit and added to their lead on a great header from Jose Maria, to take a six goal lead. The Portuguese striker was not satisfied with just one spectacular goal as he added another beautiful bicycle kick late in the period, with Jordan to tack on another goal for the convincing eight goal victory.
Goals: 1-0: Torres, min. 8 (1); 2-0: Alan, min. 7 (1); 3-0: B. Novo, min. 1 (1); 4-0: Jordan, min. 9 (2); 5-0: Madjer, min. 2 (2): 6-0: Jose Maria, min. 8 (3); 7-0: Jose Maria, min. 4 (3); 8-0: Jordan, min. 1 (3).
Spain out-duels France for three points
The 6-3 victory for Spain over France was the kind of match you expect to see at this level of beach soccer, with some magnificent strikes, outstanding defense, and a two-goal comeback. Spain overcame a lethargic start to finish off strong and take care of business against the familiar rival France. Spain needed a four goal effort from their superstar, Llorenç, to do that but he was more than willing. The win assures that Spain will be the winner of the group here in Sopot, Group 2. France is still on a roll and will finish off their time in Sopot against Ukraine on Sunday.
Early in the match, the French held and earned the advantage on the pitch and the scoreboard as they scored first. The French kept the Spaniards out of the danger for much of the frame and did much to stifle the Spanish offense. The long range strikes from both teams were not finding their target and the teams went into the first break with France up 1-0. In the second frame, it did not take long for the Spanish to find the equalizer and score another quick goal to take their first lead of the game. Llorenç, the Spanish star, scored both of those goals, within 20 seconds of each other to give his team all the momentum and energy. Spain added another quick and just as it looked like France would wither under the pressure, they bounced right back with a beautiful scissor kick from Pagis, to bring the score to 3-2, Spain. Magnificent passing and teamwork created the last goal in the period as France tied the game at three just before the final break.
With the scored tied early in the final period, Llorenç took it upon himself to give his team the lead once again, and he scored his third goal of the match to hand Spain the 4-3 lead. Dona and Le Crom, the goalies for Spain and France, respectively, did their best to keep the match close as both sides continued to pound shots at the goal however not many were able to get the better of the keepers’ reflexes. The Spanish side stayed in control and added a late goal on a penalty to secure the victory and keep France at arm's length. Llorenç added a last minute amazing bicycle from a cross pitch pass that led to a header, that went straight to his foot for his fourth goal of the season.
Goals: 0-1: Samoun, min. 8 (1); 1-1: Llorenç, min. 10 (2); 2-1: Llorenç, min. 10 (2); 3-1: Juanma, min. 6 (2); 3-2: Pagis, min. 6 (2); 3-3: Samoun, min. 0 (3); 3-4: Llorenç, min. 9 (3); 3-5: Nico, min. 2 (3); 3-6: Llorenç, min. 0 (3).
Poland turns things around for 1st points this season
The 5-3 win for Poland over Holland in their fifth match of the Euro Beach Soccer League season was their first win and best by far. The Poles took the early lead, had a slight hiccup in the middle but in the end were able to stave off the Netherlands. The hosts needed the win to avoid being sent to the Promotion Final and they can now improve their situation even more, possible winning the group, when they take on Portugal in the final match of the stage Sunday evening. The Dutch defeated world champions Russia last week in the first stage in Catania but have yet to win in Sopot. They will have a chance against Greece on Sunday.
Neither team was shy about taking shots in the early going and both teams nearly connected on a plethora of strikes but the Poles were the first to score with a nice header from a long distance pass. The pressing did not stop and the home crowd helped fuel the great play from Poland and in the final minute of the first period they scored twice to take a 3-0 lead going into the first break. The Netherlands came out and created more and more chances for themselves, and a goal was inevitable but the Dutch scored two quick ones in the same minute to bring themselves to within one goal at 3-2. In dire need of a win, the Polish side did not crumble and came right back to score another goal of their own to restore the two goal lead, and the period ended with Poland up 4-2.
Knowing that almost no lead is safe, especial against the potentially explosive Dutch offense and in the opening minutes of the final period, the Polish squad put another ball in the net to give them their three goal lead back again. The match advanced and physicality increased, with the Polish squad still maintaining their lead and advantage. The Netherlands did take advantage of the chances they were afforded and added a goal on a penalty to pull back within two goals a 5-3. Poland played an aggressive final few minutes and were still able to withstand the Dutch attacks, bagging three points that have them opting to the cup in this Euro Beach Soccer League Sopot 2014.
Goals: 1-0: Saganowski, min. 10 (1); 2-0: Saganowski, min. 0 (1); 3-0: Ziober, min. 0 (1); 3-1: Ax, min. 8 (2); 3-2: Van Gessel, min. 8 (2); 4-2: Piechnik, min. 4 (2); 5-2: Ziober, min. 10 (3); 5-3: Ax, min. 5 (3);
EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE SOPOT 2014
13:15 - Switzerland 6(1)-6(2) Ukraine
14:30 - Portugal 8-0 Greece
15:45 - Spain 6-3 France
17:00 - Poland 5-3 Netherlands
Matches for tomorrow:
13:15 - Ukraine vs France
14:30 - Netherlands vs Greece
15:45 - Switzerland vs Spain
17:00 - Poland vs Portugal