Award ceremony 11 01 07
Euro Beach Soccer League - The Hague
31 Jul 2011

Portugal gets stripes back in the Hague

Lusitanians edge Russia to win the last EBSL stage before Moscow, as Holland reacts in time to get into Promotion Final

Not even one month later, Portugal managed to claim their revenge after Russia clinched the cup in the second stage of the current Euro Beach Soccer League, held in Berlin. In the last stage before the Superfinal, the current European champions managed to dominate a strongest-than-ever Russian National team in the last match in The Hague. As expected, the match was a loud crash among two extremely competitive teams, and only little details made the difference to unbalance the final result.

One of these differences was Portuguese number 10, Belchior, showing a better aim than anyone on the sand. Awarded as the tournament’s top scorer two goals by the super-talented Portuguese forward came at key moments, rescuing Portugal first with the 2-2 equalizer, and getting the final difference with the 5-3 when Russia was pushing strong for a late comeback. On the other side, things did not work well enough and, although counting on the stage’s MVP, Shaykov, Likhachev’s team did not found proper solutions to their opponent’s solidness.

This last win places Portugal as third in the overall season rankings, following Russia as the leader and Switzerland, in the second place. So, anything can happen in the Superfinal in Moscow next week.

Goals: 1-0: Madjer, min. 7 (1); 1-1: Shaykov, min. 4 (1); 1-2: Krash, min. 9 (2); 2-2: Belchior, min. 7 (2); 3-2: Lucio, min. 4 (2); 4-2: L. Vaz, min. 0 (2); 4-3: Shakhmelyan, min. 0 (2); 5-3: Belchior, min. 7 (3)

Great Dutch reaction gets them to Moscow

It was not as easy as the final score may point… Holland needed to suffer for more than half of the game to see the score turn to their side and open the doors to the Superfinal. But, backed by a wonderful crowd, the hosts managed to turn the score around to finally achieve their objective: having the chance to fight for a Division A berth in Moscow next week.

England began the game pouring cold water on the stands animosity, with Funnell sending the ball in after the kick-off whistle. The Netherlanders knew that, although having fell relatively easily against Greece, England’s spirit could turn into a menacing weapon at any stage, something soon proved. The out-of-the-Dutch-script beginning by the English went further that, and Day flashed everyone with an amazing scissor kick for the 0-2. Things were getting too risky for the Orange, who seemed not to find the crack in their opponent’s resistance.

It was not until the very last minute of the first period when one of the local heroes, Van Geldermalsen offered a new dose of his sublime talent to cut the distance in the score, and bring a bit of hope to the scared Dutch hearts. England was confident on their possibilities, though, and Funnel again restored the distance in the score, disabling the Netherlander efforts so far. The game was heading to the end of the second period, and nothing seemed to work for the hosts, who saw how they were being sent out of the Promotion Final. But a free kick by Ax threw some light to that darkness, and allowed the Dutch to get to the second break just one goal down.

The final reaction that would send Holland to the Promotion Final finally came at the last stage. A 5-0 run in that last 12 minutes not only managed to turn the score around, but crushed all English chances and secured the ticket to Moscow amid a true party.

Goals: 0-1: Funnell, min, 11 (1); 0-2: Day, min. 7 (3); 1-2: Van Geldermansel, min. 0 (1); 1-3: Funnell, min. 8 (2); 2-3: Ax, min. 2 (2); 3-3: Koswal, min. 10 (3) 4-3: Tosch, min. 6 (3);  5-3: Aijach, min. 4 (3);  6-3: Ax, min. 4 (3); 7-3: Van Rooijen, min. 1 (3);

Last Polish swipes to get first points

After having been really unlucky so far, Poland finally got a sweet closing to their season, with a convincing victory over Spain in their last match in this Euro Beach Soccer League. The Polish had brought exciting performances and offered fierce resistance to all the opponents they had faced so far, but luck had not been on their side and their standings could not be opened yet. But they did it, erasing at the same time any little danger of being sent to Promotion Final.

One of the beasts on the sand, Saganowski, put Poland into a comfortable advantage with his unstoppable left foot. Three swipes by the Polish captain made the score 0-3 by mid second period. Spain were fighting to reach the Superfinal in the second place of the European league chart, and tried to react to that siege they were suffering, but Merida’s and Jorge’s hits were quickly neutralized by Goledioski’s and Stasiak’s for the final 2-5.

Goals: 0-1: Saganowski, min. 1 (1); 0-2: Saganowski, min. 8 (2); 0-3: Saganowski, min. 5 (2); 1-3: R. Mérida, min. 2 (2); 2-3: Jorge: min. 9 (3); 2-4: Golediowski, min. 7 (3); 2-5: Stasiak, min. 3 (3)


Game results:
Friday, July 29th
Poland 5 – 6 Portugal
Russia 9 – 3 Spain
England 2 – 5 Greece

Saturday, July 30th:
15.45h: Netherland 4 – 2 Greece
17.00h: Russia 6 – 1 Poland
18.15h: Portugal 2 – 3 Spain

15.45h: Netherland 7 – 3 England
17.00h: Spain 2 – 5 Poland
18.15h: Portugal 5 – 3 Russia

Final standings:

Champion Division A: Portugal
Champions Division B: The Netherlands

Individual awards :

Best Goalkeeper : Xan (ESP)
Top Scorer: Belcuio (POR) – 6 goals
MVP: Shaykov (RUS)

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