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
29 Jun 2014
Portugal, champions of the EBSL Sopot 2014!
Superfinal becoming clearer after surprising weekend in Poland...
The 8-6 Portuguese win over Poland was in doubt for almost the entire match and saw Portugal make a steady comeback, having to play from behind for much of the two opening frames. The win gives Portugal the Group 1 win as well as the overall stage win with 9 points, and secures them a place in the Superfinal in Torredembarra in August.
The hosts, Poland, began the match in a perfect manner, scoring first in the opening seconds and that goal seemed to put the favourites, Portugal, on their heels. Polish player coach and superstar, Saganowski, added another quick goal to give his team the early two goal lead. Portugal regrouped and tallied one quick goal to put the game at 2-1, Poland. The hosts added a last second goal in the first period to take a 3-1 lead into the break. Just like the Polish squad started quickly to open the match, the Portuguese did the same in the middle frame, scoring within the first minute to bring their deficit back to only one goal. Later in the period, Portugal netted another goal, on a great cross, to tie the match at 3-all. Madjer added a late free kick goal to give his side their first lead of the game. Portugal added a late goal after a Polish equalizer, the second from Jose Maria, to give them the lead once again, at 5-4, and that is how the middle period would end.
The EBSL Superfinal and Promotion final all hung in the balance for Poland going into the final frame. Portugal rapidly added to their woes with another opening minute hit and that two goal deficit put the goal differential tiebreaker in the hands of the Dutch. Poland stayed persistent but going into the last minutes of the match, they were unable to cut the deficit. The Lusitanians controlled the ball for much of the final period and it showed as the Polish players began to tire, due in part to having to fight back from being behind. Poland was awarded a late penalty which they connected on to get back to within three goals at 5-8. It was not over yet. The mighty Polish refused to go away and used a hat-trick goal from Ziober to get back to 6-8, but the teams played the rest of the game to a stalemate and Portugal prevailed, thus securing 9 points out of 9 and the Cup awarded to the best team in the whole stage.
Goals: 1-0: Ziober, min. 11 (1); 2-0: Saganowski, min. 10 (1); 2-1: Jordan, min. 9 (1); 3-1: Ziober, min. 0 (1); 3-2: Jose Maria, min. 11 (2); 3-3: Coimbra, min. 6 (2); 3-4: Madjer, min 2 (2); 4-4: Wydmuszeck, min. 1 (2); 4-5: Jose Maria, min. 0 (2); 4-6: Jordan, min. 11 (3); 4-7: Duarte, min. 9 (3); 4-8: Madjer, min. 7 (3); 5-8: Kubiak, min. 3 (3); 6-8: Ziober, min. 1 (3).
Ukraine starts strong and finishes off France
The 4-1 win for Ukraine over France was very convincing from end to end and whistle to whistle. The Ukrainians scored early in each period and then used suffocating defense and timely saves to fend off the French attempts at a comeback. The win gives Ukraine four points, one from their penalties victory over Switzerland yesterday and then three from today's victory. They have three matches left in their Euro Beach Soccer League season to earn up to nine more points and secure a spot in the Superfinal in Torredembarra in August. France finished the stage on somewhat of a sour note but with six points they still have their options to go to the Superfinal.
Ukraine came out of the gates on fire, taking advantage of two defensive miscues from France to take the early two goal lead. The French squad regained some footing and looked ready to level the score with a few open chances, but the Ukrainians quickly recovered on their back end to stop France getting any shots in. Neither side would score again and Ukraine went into the first break up 2-0. In the opening minutes of the middle frame, Ukarine looked the more energetic side and scored quickly again to take a 3-0 lead. French then solidified their defense and limited any other chances for Ukraine but at the same time, Les Bleus were unable to gain any offensive traction and the period ended with Ukraine holding firmly onto the three goal lead.
The Ukrainian squad looked the hungrier team but their aggression led to some great opportunities for France to score, though they were unable to net the ball in the early minutes of the period. Ukraine made the most of those misses and added a scrappy goal off a corner to go up by four goals. The France side looked visibly frustrated and flustered but they did not let up and were still required to flash defensive brilliance to keep Ukraine from adding to their lead. The French broke through late in the final period, to deny Ukraine the clean sheet and give them hope for a big comeback. Both teams maintained their stout defenses and no other goals were scored.
Goals: 1-0: Illichov, min. 11 (1); 2-0: Mozgovyy, min. 10 (1); 3-0: Budzko, min. 11 (2); 4-0: Voitenko, min. 9 (3); 4-1: Samoun, min. 4 (3).
Greece ends Dutch hopes for Superfinal
The 5-1 win over the Netherlands for Greece was basically decided in the second period when Greece took complete control. The opening frame was played dead even, then the Greeks broke things open in the middle frame, and the final period was played fairly even. The Greece rebounded spectacularly from their defeat to Portugal on Saturday and now are in position to make the Superfinal, in their first season in Division A, with one more stage yet to play in. Holland was unable to build upon their win against World Champions, Russia, in Catania last week and now they are at risk of playing in the Promotion Final, depending on the outcome of the upcoming EBSL stages.
The scoreless opening few minutes were not due to lack of effort or chances as both teams had quality shots on goal that went unfulfilled. The teams were very evenly matched and neither side budged, refusing to give in and the scored reflected that as the period ended tied, just how the match began, at zero. The second period began the opposite as the opening frame, as both teams looked more loose and comfortable. The scoring began also with two almost impossibly quick goals from Greece, one coming directly after a turnover by the Dutch. The tenacity continued for Greece, however, Holland maintained their discipline and got one goal back in the middle of the period. The Greeks, playing with a greater sense of urgency, added two more goals and went into the final break up 4-1.
The Greeks were not content to sit back and hold a tight defense, they wanted to score more and keep the Netherlands out of reach. Great saves by the Dutch were required to stop those attempts, though Greece did everything they could to keep Holland at bay also. Heading into the middle of the final frame neither side had scored another goal. Greece ended that with a another great strike from the penalty area to put the match all but out of reach for the Netherlands, who found themselves down 4, at 5-1. The minutes to the final whistle saw no more goals falling on any of the ends, and with the Orange unable to cut the distance, what sent them to the last position in the group.
Goals: 0-1: Bertsias, min. 11 (2); 0-2: Bertsias Nek, min. 11 (2); 1-2: V. Gessel, min. 7 (2); 1-3: Bertsias, min. 5 (2); 1-4: Papastathopoulos, min. 0 (2); 1-5: Paris, min. 7 (3).
Switzerland convincingly earns first win in Sopot
The 8-3 win for Switzerland over Spain was surprising in how it happened, not that it happened. Both teams are familiar rivals, having playing twice last season in the EBSL but this meeting was an end dominating for the Swiss. Switzerland swept all the matches in the opening stage in Catania but had yet to win in Sopot, while Spain had not lost in their first two matches of the season. For the time being, Switzerland sits atop all teams for the EBSL season with 12 points out of a possible 18. Spain has one stage left and three matches to get over this defeat. The Spanish did finish first in Group 2 despite the loss.
The Swiss did not want to end this weekend without earning a win or any points and they began their attacking ways early and were rewarded with a penalty kick that Leu nailed home to take the one goal lead. Switzerland was determined to add to their advantage and did so with a great bicycle kick, giving them a 2-0 lead. Spain could not be held down for long and they halved their deficit late in the opening period. The goal seemed to spur the Swiss side and they scored another two late goals to take a demanding three-goal lead at 4-1, going into the middle frame. Spain needed to score early and often to get back into the match, which they did but what did not bode well for Spain was that the Swiss scored right off the restart to bring their lead back to three. An amazing sequence of passes, blocks, and shots on goal led to Switzerland taking their biggest lead of the match at 6-2. Ott would add his second goal of the match to the list of goals for Switzerland as they took a 7-2 lead going into the final period.
Spain struck the frame of the goal three times in the middle frame and started the final period by doing the same as the unlucky bounces continued for the Spaniards. Going into the middle of the period, neither team had scored and they both were exchanging possessions and trying to conservatively attack the goals. Llorenç of Spain smartly connected on a direct kick to get his team to within four goals and on the way he also scored his seventh goal of the weekend. Switzerland quickly bounced back to restore their five goal lead at 8-3, which is how the match would end.
Goals: 1-0: Leu, min. 10 (1); 2-0: Samuel, min. 7 (1); 2-1: Nico, min. 3 (1); 3-1: Ott, min. 1 (1); 4-1: Spacca, min. 1 (1); 4-2: Llorenç, min. 11 (2): 5-2: Borer, min. 11 (2); 6-2: Mo, min. 9 (2); 7-2: Ott, min. 2 (2); 7-3: Llorenç, min. 5 (3); 8-3: Spacca, min. 4 (3).
A celebrity game packed with stars
The last matchday in Sopot had a very special opening. A Celebrity game was held between the teams of the Poland National Football Association (PZPN) and another one from the Sopot City Council and Lotto (main sponsor of the event).
The lineups of the two teams were full of former stars and members of the star-system in Poland, such as former international Polish football players Tomasz Iwan, Marek Kozminski, Tomasz Klos, Andrej Jozkowiak, Pawel Kryszalowicz or Marek Sokolowski, the Polish Football Association Secretary General and former footballer, Maciej Sawicki, the Sopot Major Jacek Karnowski, the president of Lotto, Wojciech Szpil, boxing champions Krzysztof 'Diablo' Wlodarczyk and Dariusz 'Tiger' Michalczewski, musician Marek Koscikiewicz, showman Conrado Moreno, Adam Dziuba, president of TYCH or former Poland National handball team goalkeeper Maciej Dobrzynski, together with key executives of the Poland National Association such as Piotr Golos, Marketing Director, or Jakub Kwiatkowski, Media Officer.
EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE SOPOT 2014
13:15 - Switzerland 3-7 France
14:30 - Portugal 3-1 Netherlands
15:45 - Spain 2-1 Ukraine
17:00 - Greece 4-3 (aet) Poland
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
13:15 - Ukraine 4-1 France
14:30 - Netherlands 1-5 Greece
15:45 - Switzerland 8-3 Spain
17:00 - Poland 6-8 Portugal
Winner Group 1: PORTUGAL
Winner Group 2: SPAIN
MVP: Ziober (POL)
Top Scorer: Llorenç (ESP)
Best goalkeeper: Nuno Hidalgo (POR)