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22 Jul 2018
Russia and Kazakhstan both claim third win on final day
The final day of the Euro Beach Soccer League in Moscow saw two games go to extra time as Russia are crowned champions
Another Euro Beach Soccer League event comes to an end and as the sun sets on Moscow, a happy home crowd makes its way home after three days of masterful beach soccer from the hosts.
Let’s review the final day in Moscow, including the final standings and the individual awards…
Russia v Switzerland
The hosts had the chance to make it a three wins out of three on home sand with a victory against a star-studded Switzerland in the final game of the Euro Beach Soccer League in Moscow.
But the Swiss clearly hadn’t read the script and Noel Ott scored his seventh of the tournament to kick the game off. But Shishin provided the stadium with the response they were cheering for and the first period finished with the two sides on level terms.
Paporotnyi and Hodel each found the net again for their nations to keep them level-pegging. The goalkeepers played their part as well, both drawing gasps and claps from the crowd on multiple occasions to keep their teams in it.
The scoreline remained the same as neither team was able to break the defensive lines of the other in a real clash of beach soccer quality. As the tension built and the players tired, normal time ran out and it was extra time that would decide the winner of this bout.
With chances being created with almost every attack the game was anyone’s for the taking. But the goal that would grab victory came from Krash with just two minutes to go. Russia made it three out of three, topping the Division A group.
Goals: 0-1: Ott, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Shishin, min. 1 (1); 2-1: Paporotnyi, min. 4 (4); 2-2: Hodel, min. 3 (4); 3-2: Krash, min. 2 (ET);
Poland v Azerbaijan
Going into this tie against a strong Polish side, Azerbaijan were yet to pick up a point in Moscow. However, they opened the scoring through Sabir, his second of the Euro Beach Soccer League Moscow campaign.
The lead was then doubled by Rufat and as the first period drew to a close, Azerbaijan were looking comfortable and on course to claim their first win… But falling behind early on seemed to wake Poland up a little and they burst onto the sand in the second period with a clear mission, scoring two goals before Azerbaijan had chance to blink.
A minute into the period, the score was level again at 2-2 and Poland were flying. In the sixth minute a goal went in at either end, and this remained tantalizingly tight. But then an error by Azerbaijani keeper, Elchin, saw him get his pocket picked by a lurking Friszkemut who converted to take the lead for Poland.
Sabir then saw his long range shot deflected kindly to complete his brace but once again, Gac struck to take the lead for the Poles. This was real end-to-end action and although Poland had enjoyed the lead for the majority of the game so far, Azerbaijan were hot on their heels, and the second half ended with the team on level terms when Ilkin equalised.
Madani took the lead for Poland as the third period started, but that would be the last time they would enjoy it today, as Azerbaijan suddenly shifted into a superior gear. Rufat bagged his fourth, and Ilkin his third, as Zeynalov’s men ran riot in the closing period, ending the game at a canter, and taking three well-deserved points.
Goals: 0-1: Sabir, min. 6 (1); 0-2: Rufat, min. 2 (1); 1-2: Gac, min. 11 (2); 2-2: Friszkemut, min. 11 (2); 2-3: Rufat, min. 6 (2); 3-3: Poplawski, min. 6 (2); 4-3: Friszkemut, min. 5 (2); 4-4: Sabir, min. 3 (2); 5-4: Gac, min. 3 (2); 5-5: Ilkin, min. 0 (2); 6-5: Madani, min. 7 (3); 6-6: Rufat, min. 7 (3); 6-7: Ilkin, min. 6 (3); 6-8: Ilkin, min. 5 (3); 6-9: Rufat, min. 3 (3);
Kazakhstan v Lithuania
Kazakhstan were in fine form in Moscow ahead of today’s game against a Lithuania who sat rock bottom of the Division B group. Lithuania would have to come up with something special to derail a team who were this full of quality and confidence. Sure enough, the score was opened by Makagon within a matter of minutes.
However, Budraitis’ men didn’t let their heads drop and struck back three minutes later with a lovely lob from Plytnikas. Going into the first break the teams were all square, but the Kazakhs netted again as Muralinov swiveled to drive in a low shot and restore the advantage in the second period.
The rhythm of the game stayed the same, and once again Lithuania found an equaliser through Meskinis, only to see three goals in the space of two minutes from Kazakhstan, leave them suddenly struggling to stay in the game.
The clock was also against them, with just half of the final period to go, they had a real fight on their hands if they wanted to leave Moscow with any points. Captain, defender, but for most of this game, goalkeeper, Radavicius, pulled one back in the sixth minute of the final period.
But the Kazakhstani attacks proved deadly and a lofted corner was smashed home by Demeshko to complete his brace with a fine overhead. Lithuania did put up a real fight right until the end though, as Meskinis completed a brace of his own and the game ended 7-5, with Budraitis’ side painfully running out of time.
They were two very different campaigns for these teams in Moscow, and Kazakhstan end the tournament on nine points out of nine.
Goals: 1-0: Makagon, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Plytnikas, min.6 (1); 2-1: Muralinov, min. 9 (2); 2-2: Meskinis, min. 9 (2); 3-2: Muralinov, min. 9 (3); 4-2: Muralinov, min. 9 (3); 5-2: Demeshko, min. 7 (3); 5-3: Radavicius, min. 6 (3); 6-3: Demeshko, min. 4 (3); 7-3: Tyulpa, min. 3 (3); 7-4: Meskinis, min. 1 (3); 7-5: Plytnikas, min. 0 (3);
Greece v Moldova
With Lithuania inevitably finishing below them and Kazakhstan claiming an unassailable nine points, the fight for the Division B second place was the prize in the bout between Greece and Moldova today… that and valuable Euro League points of course!
Moldova struck first, when Ignat found the net after three minutes and they then did a good job of defending their slender lead until deep into the first period when Papastathopoulos drove in a low shot from distance to level things up.
At the first whistle, the teams were tied, with everything still in the balance. It would be Cojocari to upset that balance, scoring his fourth goal of the tournament, and Greece were chasing once more.
When his team was in need, who to step up but the Greek number one, Thomas, smashing home a golazo from his own penalty area, which bounced in sumptuously off the post. But he wasn’t finished yet…as the final period began the goalkeeper struck again, and soon after Gkritzalis got on the scoresheet too.
Greece found themselves enjoying a 4-2 lead, but it didn’t last long, as Pavalachi scored to reduce the deficit to just one. Then Schiopu netted late to force the game to extra time, where, with just a minute to go, Cojocari secured a second goal for himself, and two precious points for his team.
Goals: 0-1: Ignat, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Papastathopoulos, min. 3 (1); 1-2: Cojocari, min. 8 (2); 2-2: Thomas, min. 4 (2); 3-2: Thomas, min. 9 (3); 4-2: Gkritzalis, min. 10 (3); 4-3: Pavalachi, min. 10 (3); 4-4: Schiopu, min. 2 (3); 4-5: Cojocari, min. 1 (ET);
MVP: Dmitrii Shishin (RUS)
Top Scorer: Noel Ott (SUI)
Best Goalkeeper: Maksim Chuzhkov (RUS)
Follow all of the Euro Beach Soccer League results, fixtures and standings on the Beach Soccer Worldwide website.
Remember that you can watch all of the action live and free right here.