Switzerland and Turkey claim Division A and B crowns

Final day in Siofok had penalties and some surprises but now the Superfinal and Promotion Final are set

Spain wins to clinch spot in Estonia and Superfinal


The 6-5 win for Spain over Hungary was as exciting as they come, and it included tactical moves, goals, and late game drama. The hosts found themselves in an early hole, but they fought back and found themselves only down by one with just over 60 seconds left. The Spanish transition defense and offense was able to corral the Hungarian offense and the Spanish ended up being victorious. The win was Spain’s first of the weekend but they did enough to secure their place in the Superfinal in Estonia in late August. The loss is a tough one to swallow for the hosts as they nearly were able to win, but now they will go to Estonia and play in the Promotion Final, trying to avoid relegation to Division B.  


Spain and Hungary had everything to play for in this match and the intensity was more than evident in the opening minutes, with both sides needing their goalies in top form. Luckily for the Golden Team and La Furia Roja, both stoppers were in fact on top of their game. The score stayed level going into the final minutes of the period with neither squad being able to secure a goal, despite many good chances. Llorenç decided to take matters into his own hands when he nailed home the first goal of the game, putting the Spanish side up 1-0 going into the middle frame. Hungary was still asking plenty of questions but they could not find the equalizer and it was Spain who countered to take a 2-0 lead on a strike from Antonio early in the middle frame. The hosts got on the board just before the midway point in the period when Turos rocketed a shot past the Spanish keeper, Dona, and cut the deficit in half. Spain had their own reply as Llorenç scored his second to put the score at 3-1, which is how the period would end. 


Both sides were playing inspired beach soccer in the final period as neither side wanted to lose or even let the other team score, but someone had to. Llorenç scored his third of the day to give his side a three goal advantage, but the Hungarians replied with a score from Abel, leaving the score 4-2 for Spain, early in the final period. The two sides went back-and-forth, exchanging goals one after the other, as defense was becoming optional, but the Spanish National Selection was able to build a big enough lead then hold on for the 6-5 win. 


Goals: 0-1: Llorenç, min. 2 (1); 0-2: Antonio, min. 10 (2); 1-2: Turos, min. 7 (2); 1-3: Llorenç, min. 2 (2); 1-4: Llorenç, min. 11 (3); 2-4: Abel, min. 10 (3); 2-5: Cintas, min. 6 (3); 3-5: Szacsko, min. 4 (3); 3-6: Pajon, min. 4 (3); 4-6: Abel, min. 2 (3); 5-6: Fekete, min. 1 (3).


Switzerland stays undefeated after Division A rout


The 7-3 win for Switzerland was very fast-paced for both teams, but the Swiss started very slowly by their standards, in regards to goals, but the action was non-stop. Switzerland scored first but were quiet most of the first period and into the second, due in part to the very tight Ukrainian defense. Ukraine played fast a long with the Swiss but they could not get the shots to fall and they ended up falling victim to the offensive juggernaught that is Switzerland. The win gives La Nati first place in the Division A group the competition, having not lost all weekend. Ukraine will still be heading to the Superfinal, along with Switzerland, but as the runner-up in the group. 


As is almost always the case with Switzerland, their offense was clicking from the outset, they were passing well, taking shots on goal, and getting good looks, but early on the Ukrainian defense was able to thwart the attacks and keep the score level at 0. The Swiss are typically not known for their defense but in the opening period they limited Ukraine’s chances, keeping them off the board and uncomfortable on the offensive end. La Nati could not be held back for long and the prolific goal scorer, affectionately known as the Swiss Bomber, Stankovic, slotted home the first goal on a free kick, and the subsequent 1-0 score is how the frame would end. Stankovic added to his goal total with another two amazing strikes, to give him and his team three goals for the day, leaving the score at 3-1 before Schirinzi added another for the Swiss. The 4-1 score held going into the final minutes of the period when Stankovic continued his tear, scoring his fourth goal and giving his side a 5-1 lead, which would eventually turn into a 6-1 advantage going into the final break. 


Ukraine was looking at a big deficit but they did not fret and they tried to slowly chip away at the lead. The Blue and Yellows scored immediately after Ott put the Swiss lead at 7-1, and then Hladchenko scored, which put the score at 7-3 for the Swiss. Ukraine tried desperately to find more goals wherever they could but the offense was not able to find any more goals. The Swiss side closed out the game with a big 7-3 victory. 


Goals: 1-0: Stankovic, min. 2 (1); 2-0: Stankovic, min. 9 (2); 2-1: Zborovskyi, min. 7 (2); 3-1: Stankovic, min. 6 (2); 4-1: Schirinzi, min. 4 (2); 5-1: Stankovic, min. 3 (2); 6-1: Spacca, min. 2 (2); 7-1: Ott, min. 6 (3); 7-2: Zborovoskyi, min. 6 (3); 7-3: Hladchenko, min. 2 (3). 


Azerbaijan tops group with tantalizing OT win


The 6-5 overtime victory for Azerbaijan over England was one of the most amazing matches of the weeked, with both teams scoring in bunches and taking leads, then giving them back, ultimately ending in a tie after regulation. The extra frame was a microcosm of the entire game, with one team, in this case Azerbaijan, scoring but the opponent having the chance to answer but in the extra frame the English could not find the reply. The win gives Azerbaijan top in Division B Group 1 and they will head to Estonia for the Promotion Final with a very high seed. England still qualified for the Promotion as third in the group. 


The two sides had both already qualified for the Promotion but the group standings were still undecided and more importantly, the seedings were still to be decided, so much was still riding on this game. Azerbaijan took control early by scoring on a rocket from Orkhan, but the Azerbaijani had not seized complete control as Temple slotted home his first of the day. The Land of Fire replied immediately, on te restart in fact, to regain the slim one goal lead. That lead held almost the rest of the period, but Day knocked home a rebound for the Three Lions, which leveled the score at 2 going into the first break. The second period had near misses but also spectacular strikes, including two blasts from Azerbaijan, pushing their lead to 4-2, but I was a last second penalty kick awarded to Evans that brought the English back to within one goal at 4-3 heading into the last period. 


England has seen themselves down before in this event included, but they have a knack for making things interesting and winning or, in the very least, giving their side a chance to win, and the final frame drama began on the 3rd period restart when Day added his second score of the match. England was not finished yet, not even done with his exploits in the same minute, as he scored his third, giving his team their first lead, at 5-4. The Azerbaijani were pressing and looking for the equalizer but the door did not open for them and going into the final minutes of the match, despite being on their heels, the English team was up 5-4. All of that changed when the Azerbaijan goalie took a shot at net and the shot was deflected in, leveling the score at 5-5 with only minutes to play. Neither side could score another goal in regulation and the score stayed 5-5 going to overtime. Azerbaijan scored quickly to take the 6-5 lead but a penalty kick on the restart gave England the chance for an equalizer but they were unable to convert and the match finshed with Azerbaijan winning by a score of 6-5. 


Goals: 1-0: Orkhan, min. 8 (1); 1-1: Temple, min. 7 (1); 2-1: Asif, min. 7 (1); 2-2: Day, min. 1 (1); 3-2: Sabir, min. 10 (2); 4-2: Ramil, min. 0 (2); 4-3: Evans, min. 0 (2); 4-4: Day, min. 11 (3); 4-5: Day, min. 11 (3); 5-5: Sabir, min. 4 (3); 6-5: Renat, min. 2 (et).


Turkey too much for Czech Republic in group clinching win


The 6-2 win for Turkey over the Czech Republic was a very dominant performance and showed the other Division B teams that will be in Estonia for the Superfinal that they are a very formidable force. Turkey played well on offense and defense and it was especially impressive as they gave up a first minute goal that could have sent other teams’ confidence spiraling. The Czech Republic stunned Turkey with the early goal and they fought from start to finish, and they tried to mount a late comeback but the deficit was too large. The win gives Turkey first place in Division B Group 2 and they will be heading to Estonia as a result. The loss was not devastating for the Czech Republic as they still were qualified for the Promotion Final, where all teams will fight for the right to play in Division A in 2016.


Turkey and the Czech Republic both have very stout defenses but the early going of the match saw only offense, with Baran scoring first for the Czechs and then two straight goals from Turkey put them on top for the first time on the day. The Turkish goals came from their talismanic goal scorer, Cem, and their very sturdy goalkeeper, Mutlu. The score stayed at 2-1 going into the first break, as the defenses settled in and began limiting the opponents’ chances. The scoring floodgates closed in the early going of the middle frame, but Turkey was able to find the back of the net for the third time, giving them a 3-1 lead going into the final minutes of the period. The Turkish added another, the first from Volkan, and they used that goal to take a 4-1 lead in the final break. 


Turkey went into the final period with a three goal lead but they wanted more and each player looked like they were on the verge of scoring but it was Baris who net the first goal of the period, and his second of the day, putting the score at 5-1 for Turkey. The Czech Republic was still not out of the running, specifically after they scored their second, the first from Vondracek, which brought the score to 5-2. Turkey did have more up their sleeves and when the final whistle sounded, the Turkish side ahd earned the 6-2 win. 


Goals: 0-1: Baran, min. 10 (1); 1-1: Cem, min. 7 (1); 2-1: Mutlu, min. 3 (1); 3-1: Baris, min. 5 (2); 4-1: Volkan, min. 3 (2); 5-1: Baris, min. 7 (3); 5-2: Vondracek, min. 5 (3); 6-2: Emrah, min. 3 (3).


Romania books tickets to Promotion Final with penalties victory


The 3(3)-3(2) shootout win for Romania over Moldova was unpredictable and it seemed like both teams could win at any point. The fast start from Moldova was followed by an answer from Romania, then Moldova took the top off the defense and seemed to be running away but a late push by the Romanians sent the game to overtime and then the all-exciting penalty shootout, which included blocks, saves, and spectacular makes. The win secured Romania’s spot in the Promotion Final in Estonia at the end of August and gives them two wins out of three games in Siófok. The loss eliminated Moldova from participating in the Promotion Final but if this match was any indicator, they will be back again next year, as a tough match for anyone. 


Romania started the match with a little more pace on their shots and speed on their shots but it was Moldova who struck first on a shot from Podlesnov. The goal energized the Moldovans as the possession and momentum arrow shifted to their side. The pendulum swung back to the Tricolorii as they hit pay dirt on a shot from Dobre that settled the score at 1-1 going into the first break in action. Moldova opened the second period with two goals, connections from Cotruta and Negara and the game looked to be getting away from Romania, but the changes quickly in beach soccer. I. Poste made sure his team did not fall any further behind when he blasted a shot on the restart into the back of the net, to put the score at 3-2 for Moldova. The outpouring of goals stopped and the rest of the period was played to a draw with the score sitting at 3-2 in favour of Moldova going into the last 12 minutes. 


Moldova was playing inspired beach soccer for the first two periods and their intensity continued into the final frame, as they were taking chances and more shots on goal than the Romanians. The aggressive attitude did not hurt their defense either, as they were able to keep Romania relatively quiet in the early going of the frame. Romania roared to life at the halfway point in the period when Tase scored the equalizer, leaving the score at 3-3 going into the most important and final minutes of the match. The sides scrambled for the regular time win but the goal could not be found and the match headed into overtime tied at 3. The extra frame went scoreless and the see-saw battle went into penalties  with the same score, 3-3. 


Goals: 1-0: Podlesnov, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Dobre, min. 1 (1); 2-1: Cotruta, min. 11 (2); 3-1: Negara, min. 7 (2); 3-2: I. Poste, min. 7 (2); 3-3: Tase, min 6 (3).

Penalties: Iordachi, make; Maci, make; Pantua, make; Dobre, make; Negara, saved; I. Poste, miss; Podlesnov, miss; Tase, make. 


Norway heading to Estonia for Promotion Final after sound win


The 4-0 win for Norway over Andorra had high-quality play from start to finish as the Nordic team steadily picked apart the Andorra defense while showing a stiff back line of their own. Norway scored twice very early but Andorra quickly recovered and went on their own shutout streak to keep things close, but their offense could not find any ground and the score stayed that way until the Norwegians broke the goal drought in the second frame. The win assures Norway will be playing in the Promotion Final at the end of August, with hopes of qualifying for Division A. Andorra was unable to find a win in Siófok but they played tight matches throughout the weekend and they will hope to change things in the EBSL 2016.


To avoid any doubt, Norway knew they had to start strong and win so that they could dispatch of the Andorrans and secure their spot in the Promotion Final in Estonia at the end of the month. That strong desire for a great performance showed when they score the scored the first two goals of the match, in the first two minutes, one from Senja and one from Jacobsen, whuch gave them the early 2-0 lead. The two sides battled defensively until the end of the 12 minutes and the score remained the same going into the second period. The Andorran defense was holding strong, as they had not allowed a goal since the second minute of the first period, but halfway through the second frame things cracked again as Alex scored on a missile of a shot from a free kick, which set the score at 3-0 for Norway.


Both teams were not comfortable with the score as the Norwegians wanted to further separate themselves but Andorra knew they were not out of proceedings, due to their strong defensive play. Apart from two bad minutes in the first period and only minor mistakes, they played a defensive gem. It was their offense that could not crack the superb play of the Norwegian defense and that continued in the last period, as Andorra was shutout and Jacobsen scored his second on the day, giving his team the 4-0 win after the last minute converted penalty kick. 


Goals: 1-0: Senja, min.11 (1); 2-0: Jacobsen, min. 10 (1); 3-0: Alex, min. 6 (2); 4-0: Jacobsen, min. 0 (3).




Results Today:

Sunday 09.08.15

10:45 – Norway 4-0 Andorra (Division B Group 2)

12:00 – Moldova 3(2)-3(3) (pso) Romania (Division B Group 1)

13:15 – Turkey 6-2 Czech Republic (Division B Group 2)

14:30 – Azerbaijan 6-5 (aet) England (Division B Group 1)

15:45 – Switzerland 7-3 Ukraine (Division A)

17:00 – Hungary 5-6 Spain (Division A)


Final Standings:

Division A

Winner – Switzerland

Runner-up – Ukraine

3rd Place – Spain

4th Place – Hungary


Division B Group 1

Winner – Azerbaijan

Runner-up – Romania

3rd Place – England

4th Place – Moldova


Division B Group 2

Winner – Turkey

Runner-up – Norway

3rd Place – Czech Republic

4th Place – Andorra


Individual Awards

Best Goalkeeper – Voitenko (UKR)

Top Scorer – Stankovic (SUI)

MVP – Ott (SUI)

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