Portugal took the silver medal, while Morocco won bronze
Spain are the new kings of beach soccer as they beat Portugal 3-0 in the final of the 3rd Mediterranean Beach Games “Heraklion 2023” tournament. The “Rojas” won the title undefeated by achieving 4/4.
After the end of the race, Ardil Navarro was thrilled, saying “I am very happy and proud of the gold medal, which we won for the first time in the Mediterranean Beach Games. We were focused in all the matches and especially in the final we played a great game”.
For Portugal, Rui Coimbra said that “it’s good to get the silver medal, but the gold is better. Spain were better in the final and deserved to win”.
In the bronze medal match, an important distinction was recorded for Morocco, which won the bronze medal of the event, prevailing 5-3 over Egypt in the “battle” of Africa.
Morocco claimed third place in the tournament after two failed attempts in the minor finals of the previous two Mediterranean Beach Games. They lost to Lebanon in Pescara in 2015 and to France in Patras in 2019. Egypt, who had won the silver medal in Patras, were left off the podium.
“We are excited! We got the bronze medal and gave joy to our country, which is in mourning because of the earthquake,” said an emotional Moroccan team player Ibrahim Abagli (Abagli).
Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed Ahmed, visibly distressed, mentioned: “We lost after a strong match against a very good team. We wanted to get on the podium, but unfortunately we didn’t make it.”
After two defeats in the group stage, Italy celebrated their first and only win in the competition with a 4-3 victory over France to finish in 5th place. The youthful “Squadra Azzura” handed the “throne”, after two gold medals in Pescara (2015) and Patras (2019), leaving France in penultimate place in the final standings.
Italian Marco Giordani, who was the top scorer of the tournament, said: “We are definitely not happy with the 5th place we won, after winning gold in the two previous tournaments.”
“We came to the tournament with ambition. We could have done better, but in the end we finished in 6th place which we are not happy about,” said France captain Quentin Gosselin.
Saturday 9 September
Morocco 2-7 Spain
France 8-1 Greece
Egypt 3-2 Italy
Sunday 10 September
Spain 2-1 France
Greece 3-11 Morocco
Portugal *5-3 Egypt *(After Extra Time)
Monday 11 September
Morocco 2-0 France
Greece 1-5 Spain
Portugal (5)4-4(4) Italy
Tuesday 12 September
France 3-4 Italy
Morocco 5-3 Egypt
Spain 3-0 Portugal
Source/Photo: Mediterranean Games / heraklion23.gr