La Roja are champions of the ANOC World Beach Games European Qualifier after beating Portugal in the final
– Spain win Qualifier in Catania
– Italian hosts claim final place at World Beach Games
– Spain’s Chiky wins MVP and Top Scorer
For the second time in two months, Spain have beaten Iberian rivals Portugal to a trophy, with Chiky Ardil running riot against Europe’s top ranked nation once again, claiming not only the Top Scorer award with 11 goals, but the MVP too.
The Best Goalkeeper went to Dona, as Cristian Mendez’s scooped all the available trophies.
Italy had a scrap of their own as they fought furiously against France to clinch the final place at the 2023 ANOC World Beach Games in Bali.
In the playoff matches, Ukraine beat Switzerland to third place by a single goal and Germany just edged Turkey in a low-scoring battle to clinch seventh, thanks to goals form Joscha Metzler and Marcel Nowak.
Chiky masterclass stuns Portugal as Spain claim Catania Qualifier
With both teams already qualified to Bali, Portugal and Spain closed the European Qualifier in what could be considered a competitive test ahead of the Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal in Cagliari next week
The first period was a tight affair with both goalkeepers showing all their quality to keep the nil-nil in the scoreboard until the first period’s last minute when Dona served Chiky Ardil who put a bicycle kick past Andrade to break the deadlock.
Chiky’s afternoon of inspiration was just getting started as in the second period he scored his second and third goal in only twenty seconds, giving Spain a comfortable margin of three goals that was shortened by Bê Martins’s goal one minute later. But Chiky still hadn’t had enough and blasted Spain’s fourth goal to restore the three-goal lead going into the final twelve minutes.
Kuman also added his name to the scoresheet, taking his chance when he was one-on-one with the goalkeeper two minutes into the third period, just before Bê Martins scored his second from the penalty line. La Roja’s sixth goal was scored by the inevitable Chiky Ardil who thus became the competition’s top scorer.
Italy win final ticket to Bali
It was all or nothing for Italy and France with the last ticket to the World Beach Games in Bali 2023 up for grabs.
In front of their own crowd, the Italians had the better start with Zurlo scoring from the penalty line five minutes into the game, sending the Squadra Azzurra into the second period ahead.
Carpita denied the French an equalising goal with three consecutive saves and immediately after that, Gori showed up on the far post to turn in a pass from Remedi. Motivated by the goal, the Italians hit a third one minute later, with Carpita serving Zurlo directly in the attack, and the forward scored with a bicycle kick. Less than five minutes into the second break, Belhomme netted in similar fashion – a well-struck bicycle kick that saw France take a step closer to the Italians.
Sciacca was the protagonist of a skilful individual piece of play that was only stopped by Salazar, but the French goalkeeper was unable to save Zurlo’s bicycle kick with six minutes to go. The number nine’s hat-trick sealed the result by four goals to one win, qualifying Italy for the ANOC World Beach Games Bali 2023.
Spain 6-2 Portugal
Playoffs for fifth/final qualification spot
Italy 4-1 France
Playoff for third
Ukraine 4-3 Switzerland
Playoff for seventh
Germany 2-1 Turkey
MVP: Chiky (ESP)
Top Scorer: Chiky (ESP)
Best Goalkeeper: Dona (ESP)
For full details on the ANOC World Beach Games European Qualifier Catania 2022, head to beachsoccer.com.