The Lionesses defeated Switzerland while Russia totally overran La Roja in their final group game
The previous two winners of the European championship will face each other in the final showdown for the 2021.
Russia beat Spain with surprising ease to claim the Group 2 place in the Superfinal, while England put five past Switzerland.
Ukraine and Netherland shared a 12-goal thriller and the Portuguese hosts took their first win of their return following a five-year absence from the beach soccer scene.
ESP 0-4 RUS (Group 2)
The reigning champions had only managed third place in the Regular Stage of the 2021 Euro Beach Soccer League, but they had impressed so far in Figueira da Foz.
Spain, as the top-ranked team in the world, were now standing between Leonov’s players and a third European final in a row. The first period ended in a tense stalemate, but at the restart keeper Akylbaeva fired home, her third of the campaign, to break the deadlock.
Zubilova netted a brace in the final third, and Zaitseva also struck in a late spell of Russian dominance, handing Spain a rare loss, as well as an even rarer goalless performance.
The Russia reward for their win on Saturday? A place in the Superfinal against England, and the chance to make it three consecutive European titles.
Goals: 0-1: Akylbaeva, min. 10 (2); 0-2: Zubilova, min. 8 (3); 0-3: Zaitseva, min. 4 (3); 0-4: Zubilova, min. 1 (3);
ENG 5-2 SUI (Group 1)
An undefeated England had already despatched Portugal and Czech Republic in Group 2, but so had Switzerland, and this game would see the winner just one game away from the continental crown.
The previous winners were first off the mark just seconds into the match, when Molly Clark fired home her fifth of the campaign. Keeper Haughton sent a blistering strike across the pitch for two, and there was just time for Clark to make it three before the first break.
The 2017 Best Player in the World, Sarah Kempson, then struck a second-period brace to take their final tally to five.
The Swiss managed to break through the English backline twice through Kalin and Bachmann, but it was too little too late, and the Lionesses held on to their three-goal cushion through the third period to seal a Superfinal face-off against Russia tomorrow.
Can they reclaim the European crown?
Goals: 1-0: Clark, min. 11 (1); 2-0: Haughton, min. 4 (1); 3-0: Clark, min. 0 (1); 4-0: Kempson, min. 11 (2); 4-1: Kalin, min. 7 (2); 5-1: Kempson, min. 5 (2); 5-2: Bachmann, min. 1 (2);
UKR 7-5 NED (Group 2)
Neither side had managed to do enough to reach the first-ever Women’s EBSL Superfinal, but final group points were up for grabs in Saturday’s match between Ukraine and Netherlands.
Chelly drew first blood midway through the opening period, but this triggered an avalanche of goals from the women in yellow… Vypasniak (2), Tykhonova, Terekh, Babenko and Dekhtiar blasted the Dutch defence apart in the first 12 minutes, putting the points seemingly out of reach of the Oranges.
Maikel Schats’ side managed to stem the flow of goals in the second period and Sylvana pulled one back, but in the third, Chelly completed her hat-trick and a Bouchra strike brought Netherlands close to a potential comeback. Vypasniak, however, also scored a third in the last period to take the final score to 7-5, edging the thrilling tie for the European debutants.
Goals: 0-1: Chelly, min. 7 (1); 1-1: Tykhonova, min. 6 (1); 2-1: Terekh, min. 5 (1); 3-1: Vypasniak, min. 3 (1); 4-1: Babenko, min. 3 (1); 5-1: Dekhtiar, min. 2 (1); 6-1: Vypasniak, min. 0 (1); 6-2: Sylvana, min. 6 (2); 6-3: Bouchra, min. 8 (2); 7-3: Vypasniak, min. 3 (3); 7-4: Chelly, min. 2 (3); 7-5: Chelly, min. 1 (3);
CZE 2-5 POR (Group 1)
Neither side had registered points so far in the maiden Women’s Euro Beach Soccer World Cup, and a tight tussle ensued as chances were wasted and keepers were tested in the opening period.The local crowd were given the chance to cheer when Ema finally broke the deadlock in the second period, but an immediate response came from the Czechs when Pilouskova struck back.
Erica took the lead for Portugal again with a fine finish but, once more, Mody was there to cancel it out at the match’s midway point.
In the final period, the hosts moved into a superior gear, and three goals – courtesy of Carolina, Erica and Flores – finally tipped the balance, giving Portuguese beach soccer legend Alan his first win as head coach of the national team.
Portugal finish the group stage in third on their return to the beach soccer scene.
Goals: 0-1: Ema T, min. 10 (2); 1-1: Pilouskova, min. 9 (2); 1-2: Erica, min. 9 (2); 2-2: Mody, min. 5 (2); 2-3: Carolina, min. 9 (3); 2-4: Erica, min. 6 (3); 2-5: Flores, min. 2 (3);
For full details on the Women’s EBSL Superfinal, including fixtures, results and standings, head to beachsoccer.com.