The Czech Republic, Hungary, Turkey, Germany, and Ukraine win to assure that they will all be playing in the postseason in Torredembarra
Turkey withstands furious rally en route to win
Turkey knew needed a win and the three points to secure a spot in the Promotion Final and they did just that, however it was much harder than they expected, especially after looking at the scoreboard with seven minutes left in the game. Turkey was up big and had a shutout at 5-0, when Norway turned on the jets and scored four late goals, but it was not enough to complete the big comeback. Turkey will face Austria in their final match on Sunday and will hope to earn the highest possible seed for the Promotion Final. Norway, who won their opening match, can still qualify for the postseason if they can win on Sunday against Bulgaria.
Norway began the match as the aggressor, using bicycle kicks and powerful strikes to scare Turkey but the Turkish side did not succumb to the pressure and went on the attack after a great distribution from their keeper, knocked in the first goal, four minutes into the period. Turkey built on the momentum shift and added another goal as the period wound down, and the period would end with The Crescent Stars up 2-0. Turkey did not take their foot off the gas and scored a quick goal to open the middle frame and pushed their lead to three goals. Norway continued to threaten the Turkish but not enough to crack the defense and the Norwegians were held scoreless in the opening two frames and after another late goal from Turkey, the middle period ended with a score of 4-0, Turkey.
Only a goal or two was needed to get back into the match for Norway and they upped the pace to get their first goal but the Turkish defense stayed tough and going into the middle of the period, no goals had been scored by either side. Turkey made sure that goalless trend did not continue and slotted their fifth of the day, but not soon after, the clean sheet they were aiming for was destroyed as Norway scored their first of the match, putting the score at 5-1. The Vikings were not finished yet and scored another two quick goals to get within two goals going into the final minutes. Turkey was feeling very uneasy but found the back of the net for the sixth time to put the match just out of reach for Norway, despite another goal from Norway, the game ended with Turkey up 6-4.
Goals: 1-0: Adil, min. 8 (1); 2-0: Emrah, min. 3 (1); 3-0: Volkan, min. 9 (2); 4-0: Cem, min. 1 (2); 5-0: Baris, min. 7 (3); 5-1: Senja, min. 7 (3); 5-2: Sorensen, min. 4 (3); 5-3: Svadberg, min. 4 (3); 6-3: Adil, min. 2 (3); 6-4: Salveson, min. 2 (3).
Bulgaria overcomes shorthanded Austria’s comeback
The 8-6 win for Bulgaria over Austria was as an exciting beach soccer match as you could ask for, with a big lead that disappeared, then clutch goals to secure the win. Austria was down early and were down big but they were feisty and tied the match late, went down again, tied it all over again but then could not stop the Bulgarian attacks. The win gives Bulgaria a legitimate chance to still qualify for the Promotion Final, despite their opening day loss, when they face Norway on Sunday, who also need a win to advance. Austria has had two heart-breaking losses but will look to rebound against the undefeated Turkey on Sunday.
Bulgaria began remarkably, using a goal from their goalkeeper to score in the opening minute in an attempt to quickly forget their loss from yesterday. Bulgaria used some very nifty ball-handling to score their second goal of the period to go up 2-0. The Wunderteam fell behind often in the their opening match but found a way to get back into the game every time and today began the same, with Austria facing a two goal deficit, awoke and scored on a great header from Gahleitner. The good vibes did not last long though, as the Bulgarians scored their third to take a 3-1 lead into the first break. The two teams exchanged early goals and the energy grew as they both knew that they needed a win to hope for the Promotion Final. Austria’s Bruckner scored on a late penalty to get his team to within one goal, until the final seconds of the middle frame, when Austria completed the improbable comeback, down three goals at one point, and tied the match at 4 going into the all-important final period.
Bulgaria took the lead once again, early in the final frame, when Filipov used his strength and excellent touch to score his second goal of the match and out his side up 5-4. Gahleitner was not to be outdone and scored his second of the match to tie the match again, on a bullet of a bicycle kick. A defensive lapse from Austria led to the 11th goal of the game and 6th for Bulgaria as they recaptured the lead at 6-5. A late penalty kick gave Bulgaria a wider distance, a two goal cushion that they desperately needed to fend off another Austrian comeback, and Filipov’s third widened it a bit more. Last second consolation goal from Austria meant little, as the victory was already secure in Bulgaria’s hands.
Goals: 0-1: Gospodinov, min. 11 (1); 0-2: Merazchiev, min. 4 (1); 1-2: Gahleitner, min. 2 (1); 1-3: Filipov, min. 0 (1); 1-4: Tsvetkov, min. 9 (2); 2-4: Mustafa, min. 9 (2); 3-4: Bruckner, min. 3 (2); 4-4: Trauner, min. 0 (2); 4-5: Filipov, min. 10 (3); 5-5: Gahleitner, min. 7 (3); 5-6: Merazchiev, min. 5 (5); 5-7: Martinov, min. 4 (3); 5-8: Filipov, min. 2 (3); 6-8: Cetinyurek, min. 0 (3).
The Czech Republic remains undefeated and eyes Promotion Final
The 7-2 win for the Czech Republic was a very exciting match for both sides as the Andorrans needed a win to have a shot at the Promotion Final and the Czechs were looking to secure their spot in Torredembarra. Andorra went down early but never surrendered and did not allow the Czech Republic to get comfortable or in an offensive rhythm, though the Czechs found ways to score and maximized their chances. The Czech Republic will face Hungary on Sunday in hopes of securing the top spot in the group. Andorra takes on England on Sunday in their final match, looking for their first points of the weekend.
Early in the opening period, both teams did not seem comfortable sitting back and letting the other team come to them and that led to many chances for the Czechs and Andorra but no goals were netted as both goalies were playing at a very high level. The first goal came from the Czech Republic on a direct free kick that was very precise and put the favourites up 1-0 at the midway point in the period. Bocek added another goal just minutes later to put this Czech side up 2-0 and that is how the opening period would end. The Pyreneans conceded an early goal in the middle frame, going down 3-0, but they did not stop pressing and threw many shots at the Czechs and came close to scoring on many occasions, though they were unable to find that first goal. It was not until they were nearing the middle of the match that they did rocket the ball into the net, what seemed to have the entire team fully reenergized. The momentum was evident as Andorra held the Czech Republic without another goal but in the final minute of the frame, Chalupa scored to put his side up 4-1 going into the last break.
Near misses and great opportunities defined the opening minutes of the final period but the two defenses and goalkeepers did not allow any shots to get past them. Great distribution from Andorra gave Salvat his first goal of the match and grew their hopes of a big comeback, with the score at 4-2. The Czechs used another hat-trick from Bocek, his second of the tournament, to put the game just out of reach. The goal is his 7th of the tournament, no less… Just in case, the Czechs added a late insurance goal to keep Andorra down four and not allow a miraculous rally. The final buzzer sounded with the Czechs up 7-2, after a last minute goal.
Goals: 1-0: Hurab, min. 6 (1); 2-0: Bocek, min. 4 (1); 3-0: Bocek, min. 11 (2); 3-1: Rodriguez, min. 8 (2); 4-1: Chalupa, min. 0 (2); 4-2: Salvat, min. 5 (3); 5-2: Bocek, min. 4 (3); 6-2: Chalupa, min. 3 (3); 7-2: Kunice, min. 0 (3).
Germany wins instant classic over Italy
The 7(1)-7(3) win for Germany over Italy in penalties was filled with everything that makes beach soccer the most exciting sport on sand. In what will be remembered as one of the most spectacular comebacks and finishes in beach soccer history, Germany gained one point in the penalties victory, that no one wanted to see end, no one deserved to be on the losing end, though such is sport. Germany secured their spot in the Superfinal. The unbelievable match saw Germany facing a three goal deficit, twice and still finding a way to fight back, though they only held the lead for less than a minute. Germany will face Ukraine in the finale on Sunday. Italy is already near the top of the standings, this was their first loss in the EBSL season however they will look to rebound against Portugal on Sunday.
The shots began flying from every spot on the pitch, from goalies, defensemen, and attackers alike. The goals did not instantly fall, though, as the two top-notch keepers did their jobs very well. Italy struck first on a direct kick just outside of the penalty area, scored by Marinai, who topped his clever first goal, less than a minute later with a rocket of a shot to give his side the 2-0 lead midway through the period. Germany kept their cool and saw their chances fall just short, however they conceded a last second goal and went into the first break up 3-0. Germany needed less than 30 seconds to get back within striking distance on a brilliant bicycle kick from one of their top scorers, Thürk. Italy used a picture-perfect corner and finish to restore their three goal lead, minutes after Germany’s spectacular goal. At the midway point of the match Germany scored again to get within two at 4-2. The Germans took no consolation in simply fighting back, they wanted to win and it showed as they scored two more late goals to tie the match at 4, which is how the score would stay, going into the final period.
Germany completed the improbable comeback only 30 seconds into the final period when they took their first lead of the match at 5-4 off of a rebound and second goal from Thürk. Italy gained their composure less than a minute later, scoring on a penalty kick. The goals did not stop there and Gori regained the lead for his Italian brothers with a precision left-footed strike to make the score 6-5. The breathtaking quality of play continued as both teams were determined not to lose. The inspiring play did not yield anymore goals until just past the midway point when Germany tied the score again, this time at 6 and set the stage for an even more dramatic finish. In the waning minutes, Italy needed a hat-trick, the second of the weekend from Gori, to regain the lead once again to put the Italians up 7-6. The Mannschaft, showing their tenacity, used a hat-trick of their own, less than a minute later, from Thurk, to level the score at 7, which is how the match would end, heading into overtime. The extra frame was end-to-end action as well however neither side could find the deciding goal and the match went into penalties, where Germany stayed perfect to earn the last point at stake in the match.
Goals: 1-0: Marinai, min. 8 (1); 2-0: Marinai, min. 7 (1); 3-0: Palmacci, min. 0 (1); 3-1: Thurk, min. 11 (2); 4-1: Gori, min. 8 (2); 4-2: Biermann, min. 6 (2); 4-3: Biermann, min. 3 (2); 4-4: Weirauch, min. 1 (2); 4-5: Thurk, min. 11 (3); 5-5: Palmacci, min. 11 (5); 6-5: Gori, min. 9 (3); 6-6: Weirauch, min. 5 (3); 7-6: Gori, min. 4 (3); 7-7: Thurk, min. 3 (3).
Penalties: Ullrich: goal; Palmacci: miss; Weirauch: goal; Gori: goal; Thürk: goal.
Hungary needs huge 1st period to hold off England
The 7-6 win for Hungary over England secures them a spot in the Promotion Final and sets up an exciting finish to the weekend. The Czech Republic, the other undefeated team from Division B Group 1, will face Hungary to determine who will earn first and second in the group. The Hungarians scored five goals in the opening period, only to be held scoreless in the second, and see England get within one goal at 5-4, but then regroup and finally take care of business. England still has a chance to earn their first points of the season on Sunday against Andorra, who also have yet to win this weekend.
Hungary was not happy with their close victory over Andorra on Friday and the energy they displayed in the opening minutes showed that they responded to what their coach had to tell them. The Magyar scored in the first 90 seconds on a wonderful bicycle kick from one of their stars, Ughy. A second great bicycle from Ughy doubled his teams’ lead only a few minutes later, at 2-0. Hungary did not let up in the opening period and they scored five goals, all spectacular, to go into the first break up 5-1, after a last second penalty for England that was slotted home by Evans. England used an early second period goal to build on their momentum and confidence as they looked like a different team than the one who allowed five first period goals. England limited hosts’ chances and actually shut them down, it was the second scoreless period for Hungary in their last three frames. England mounted many more chances and just like at the end of the first period, they scored in the last seconds and the middle frame ended with a score of 5-3, Hungary.
The final frame began with Hungary changing their defensive tactics that did not serve them very well in the middle frame. The Hungarians put more and more pressure on The Three Lions, however the English maintained their stout defense and kept the score within striking distance. Their defensive stops proved valuable as Day of England scored on a beautiful one-timer to get his team to within one at 5-4. The youngest player on the sand, the 17 year old, Turos, from Siófok showed that he has nerves of steel and scored to put his team back up by two, at 6-4. Hungary added another goal, a hat-trick from Ughy, to put the nail in the coffin for England and make the score 7-4 going into the final minutes. England stayed thirsty for another goal and it came with two minutes remaining, giving them a glimmer of hope for a comeback and putting the score at 7-5. England also added a goal with one second left to make the final score 7-6.
Goals: 1-0: Ughy, min. 10 (1); 2-0: Ughy, min. 6 (1); 3-0: Fekete, min. 6 (1); 4-0: Sebesyten, min. 4 (1): 5-0: Fekete, min. 0 (1); 5-1: Lawson, min. 0 (1); 5-2: Temple, min. 10 (2); 5-3: Evans, min. 0 (2); 5-4: Day, min. 7 (3); 6-4: Turós, min. 6 (3); 7-4: Ughy, min. 5 (3); 7-5: Bowes, min. 2 (3); 7-6: Corbett, min. 0 (3).
Ukraine upsets Portugal and propel themselves into Superfinal
The 4-3 win for Ukraine over Portugal was not surprising to their bench, as they are World Cup qualifiers and European mainstays, however they were on the outside looking in for the Superfinal and Portugal had yet to lose on the season, EBSL or in the XIX Mundialito. So the win was crucial for Ukraine and showed the world and Europe that they are in the same class. Ukraine went down early, but stormed back and then held off Portugal’s comeback attempts. Portugal can still earn the top spot in the EBSL if they defeat Italy on Sunday, who was also undefeated in European play before today. Ukraine can boost their standings in the Superfinal with a win over Germany on Sunday.
Ukraine opened the match on the attack but Portugal, specifically Belchior, scored first, in the first minute but the Ukrainians still played the part of attacker as the period got into the middle half of the period. The ferocity finally paid off as The Blue and Yellows created something out of nothing and scored on a rocket of a shot to level things at 1. Shortly after, Ukraine scored again, on another difficult shot, from a difficult space, to take their first lead at 2-1. Portugal stayed on their heels and with just over a minute left, Ukraine scored again to go up 3-1 heading into the first break. Portuguese superstar, Madjer, really outdid himself with an amazing long distance direct kick that magically changed direction midair twice, to pull his team to within one at 3-2. The middle frame would end with the same score as Ukraine led by one goal going into the final period.
Portugal tried to maintain their energy and struck the goal post on some chances but Ukraine did not falter and kept the score the same, at 2-3, going into the final minutes. Kucherenko’s side seemed content to play a defensive brand of soccer and it was working perfectly for them as they kept Portugal off the scoresheet in the final period, however were unable to score and make sure they put enough distance between themselves and the Portuguese. In the final 30 seconds, there were two incredible goals, one from Portugal on a direct kick where they were given a second bite of the cherry after missing the first. On the restart, however, Ukraine struck a decisive goal to put them up for good at 4-3 and seal the ticket to Torredembarra.
Goals: 1-0: Belchior, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Andrieiev, min. 5 (1); 1-2: Medvid, min. 4 (1); 1-3: Korniichuk, min. 1 (1); 2-3: Madjer, min. 8 (2); 3-3: B. Novo, min. 0 (3); 3-4: Korniichuk, min. 0 (3).
EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE SIÓFOK 2014
14:45 – Turkey 6-4 Norway (Division B – Group 2)
16:00 – Austria 6-8 Bulgaria (Division B – Group 2)
17:15 – Czech Republic 7-2 Andorra (Division B – Group 1)
18:30 – Italy 7(1)-7(3) Germany (Division A)
19:45 – Hungary 7-6 England (Division B – Group 1)
21:00 – Portugal 3-4 Ukraine (Division A)
Matches for tomorrow
12:45 – Bulgaria vs. Norway (Division B – Group 2)
14:00 – Austria vs. Turkey (Division B – Group 2)
15:15 – England vs. Andorra (Division B – Group 1)
16:30 – Germany vs. Ukraine (Division A)
17:45 – Hungary vs. Czech Republic (Division B – Group 1)
19:00 – Portugal vs. Italy (Division A)