Leonov’s side put eight past a stunned England to claim their third consecutive European title
Russia have done what they do best and claim another European title, the maiden edition of the Women’s Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal!
They beat England in decisive fashion to cruise to victory, and they also claimed the MVP, which went to Iana Zubilova as well as the Best Goalkeeper which was won by Anna Akylbaeva. England’s Molly Clark, scoring seven goals in four games, took home the Top Scorer trophy.
In the playoffs to decide the finish positions, Spain left it very late to edge Switzerland and take third, while Portugal marked their return to European beach soccer with a win over Ukraine.
ENG 2-8 RUS (SUPERFINAL)
The two previous winners of the European championships were out to claim the first-ever edition of the Women’s Euro Beach Soccer League when they met in Figueira da Foz on Sunday. undoubtedly two of Europe’s top teams, it is never dull when these sides meet.
The Lionesses had come out on top when they played against each other in the EBSL Regular Stage earlier in the year, which England went on to win, but Russia drew first blood in the Superfinal, and it was captain Kempson who saw an unlucky deflection bounce into her own net for the first goal.
Bazhanova then finished clinically to make it two to Russia, but just before the first whistle sounded, Gemma Hillier slotted home a set piece to make it 1-2.
Russia, however, were playing at a different level today, as Petrova, Cherniakova, Zubilova and then Zaitseva stunned the English defence, to take the score to 6-1 at the beginning of the final period.
The tournament Top Scorer Molly Clark hit back with a wonder goal straight from kick-off, but Petrova’s second and then another own goal, this one bouncing off the back of England keeper Scadding, saw the final whistle sound with the scoreline at 2-8.
An unexpectedly one-side final in the end, but there is no doubting the strength of the Russian side – champions of Europe for three seasons running!
Goals: 0-1: Kempson (OG), min. 8 (1); 0-2: Bazhanova, min. 7 (1); 1-2: Hillier, min. 1 (1); 1-3: Petrova, min. 11 (2); 1-4: Cherniakova, min. 5 (2); 1-5: Zubilova, min. 3 (2); 1-6: Zaitseva, min. 11 (3); 2-6: Clark, min. 11 (3); 2-7: Petrova, min. 7 (3); 2-8: Scadding (OG), min. 4 (3);
SUI 2-3 ESP (3rd place) *AET
Switzerland had finished the last two European championship (previously Euro Beach Soccer Cup) in third place, and they were looking to match it today against the world’s top-ranked team.
Jessica scored either side of the first break to give La Roja an initial lead but Bachmann and Gebert, who had been in inspired form throughout the tournament, pulled the game back to 2-2.
When normal time ended and the scores were still all square, the match spilled over into extra time, where a fine finish by Sara seized a dramatic win for Spain.
Both teams finish a position behind where they had the last two editions of European championships after a tight tussle on the final day in Figueira da Foz.
Goals: 0-1: Jessica, min. 1 (1); 0-2: Jessica, min. 11 (2); 1-2: Bachmann, min. 10 (2); 2-2: Gebert, min. 8 (2); 2-2: Sara, min. 2 (ET);
POR 2-1 UKR (5th place)
Just as they had done the previous day, Portugal left it late to down their opponents, and for the first two period of their final match in Figueira da Foz, neither the hosts nor Ukraine could break through the other’s defences.
Wasted chances and some brilliant goalkeeping featured right up until the last third, when Kostiuk netted the first goal to have the Ukrainians in the stands on their feet.
Just a minute later though, keeper Jamila fired a looping shot from her own area to level as the local fans roared their delight.
Meira then hit a hopeful long shot which snuck in at the near post to snatch the game for Portugal with four minutes left! A fifth-place finish in the bag, this new Portugal team are well and truly among Europe’s top teams already.
Goals: 0-1: Kostiuk, min. 10 (3); 1-1: Jamila, min. 8 (3); 2-1: J Meira, min. 4 (3);
CZE 6(1)-(3)6 NED (7th place)
After disappoint group stages, Czech Republic and Netherlands met to settle the matter of who would take final-day points.
Mody racked up an impressive tally of four in her last match in Figueria da Foz, and got the ball rolling after seconds of the game. Aaike equalised and this set the pace for the game as neither team managed to break away. Mody’s last goal came in the final minute to force extra time and then penalties.
A thrilling 6-6 scoreline was finally settled from nine metres where the Dutch held their nerve to convert three spotkicks, enough to wrap up a seventh-place finish.
Goals: 1-0: Mody, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Aaike, min. 10 (1); 2-1: Mody, min. 2 (1); 2-2: Rosa, min. 10 (2); 2-3: Sylvana, min. 9 (2); 2-4: Rosa, min. 9 (3); 3-4: Mody, min. 9 (3); 3-5: Chelly, min. 8 (3); 4-5: Hruskova, min. 4 (3); 4-6: Sylvana, min. 7 (3); 5-6: Cerveakova, min. 3 (3); 6-6: Mody, min. 0 (3);
For full details on the Women’s EBSL Superfinal, including fixtures, results and standings, head to beachsoccer.com.