A late Leo Martins strike sealed a second consecutive European title for Mario Narciso’s men in Nazare
It may be a strange new year, but it is the same old Portugal, who take another European title with a tight win over Switzerland on the final day of the Euro Beach Soccer League.
The final was thrilling right until the end, but a Leo Martin hat-trick completing goal was enough to down Switzerland.
In the day’s other match, Ukraine managed to put seven past France, most of which were sweetly struck freekicks, to snatch a third-place finish from Les Bleus.
Stankovic netted a total of eight goals in the competition, which was enough to see him take home the Top Scorer trophy, while the Portuguese claimed the MVP and Best Goalkeeper in Leo Martins and Elinton Andrade.
Portugal taste continental glory once more
Portugal claimed back-to-back Euro Beach Soccer League titles after a narrow win over Switzerland. Their victory came in a magnificent beach soccer game this evening in Nazaré and although the hosts seemed to have things under control in the first half of the game, an Alpine reaction kept everything open until the very last breath.
Leo Martins would open and close the score in what turned out to be a final for the European title, as he was the one to get Portugal ahead only two minutes into the game. Noel Ott managed to steal the ball deep into Portugal’s area and poked past Andrade to tie things up, although immediately afterwards a splendid backheel volley by André Lourenço restored the advantage for the Equipa das Quinas.
Despite beginning with a second goal by Leo Martins, the second leg would provoke a more serious reaction from the Swiss, lead by the tournament’s top scorer, Dejan Stankovic. With two goals, the captain left things level at three apiece.
Belchior made it four with a stunning torpedo freekick from his own half, leaving Elliott with no chance, but not even three minutes later, the Swiss goalkeeper got his time for revenge, equalising the score once again with a long-range attempt.
Both teams came into the third leg knowing that a single mistake could see them let the European crown slip. Minutes went by, and the score did not move. It was not until the last minute of the game that Leo Martins, eventually recognised as the MVP of the competition, lifted a lost ball and fired in one of the sweetest bicycle kicks of his life: one that clinched the continental crown for Portugal for a record seventh time.
Goals: 1-0: Leo Martins, min. 8 (1); 1-1: Ott, min. 3 (1); 2-1: André Lourenço, min. 2 (1); 3-1: Leo Martins, min. 10 (2); 3-2: Stankovic, min. 9 (2); 3-3: Stankovic, min. 8 (2); 4-3: Belchior, min. 7 (2); 4-4: Elliott, min. 4 (2); 5-4: Leo Martins, min. 1 (3);
Ukraine bring France down with freekicks to snatch third place in the EBSL
The Ukrainians seized the bronze medal in a very different 2020 edition of the Euro Beach Soccer League, following a big win over France in which an amazing precision with free kicks, combined with an Andrii Pashko hat-trick, did the job done for Sydorenko’s side.
Things were fairly evenly-contested during the first twelve minutes, as Gosselin, with his first goal of the afternoon, cancelled out Pashko’s opener. But before the first period was over, the Ukrainian top scorer swept his side ahead once again.
A two-goal lead gave Ukraine a much more comfortable cushion in the middle frame. Two more brilliantly converted freekicks, this time from Voitok and Zavorotnyi, widened the gap to 4-1, and France were being left behind.
The freekick assault went on in the third leg, and from more dead balls. Scheritsya added one for Sydorenko’s side, just one minute before Pashko completed his hat-trick for 6-1. Yet another freekick by Voitenko, sealed the win for the 2016 champions once and for all.
Despite the game being already decided, Gosselin produced a magnificent volley to add one more for Les Bleus, but there was not much Barrabe’s side could do at that point, as Ukraine grasped third place in the 2020 edition of the Euro Beach Soccer League.
Goals: 1-0: Pashko, min. 8 (1); 1-1: Gosselin, min. 2 (1); 2-1: Pashko, min. 0 (1); 3-1: Voitok, min. 3 (2); Zavorotniy, min. 1 (2); 5-1: Scherytsia, min. 8 (3); 6-1: Pashko, min. 7 (1); 7-1: Voitenko, min. 6 (3); 7-2: Gosselin, min. 3 (3);