Euro Beach Soccer League: Italy beat Belarus and top group in CataniaThree wins in three ahead of the Superfinal against Portugal, Ukraine and Turkey
Sunday, August 18, 2019
Mission accomplished for Emiliano Del Duca’s side. After a tiring season, Italy qualified for the Euroleague Superfinal for the 16th consecutive time in Catania which will take place in Portugal in Figueira da Foz between 5 and 8 September. Since the start of the European competition, Italy have always been involved. Following wins over Germany and France, 800 fans were in attendance in Catania to see the side beat Belarus on penalties following a 2-2 draw. Italy twice responded after going behind through Paolo Palmacci and Gabriele Gori. It was a great tournament for Palamacci who hit five goals at the tournament to go up to 221 Italy goals. Italy won the stage of the tournament on seven points and the Azzurri have qualified for the Superfinal along with Belarus while Germany and France were knocked out. Italy will be in Group 2 alongside Portugal, Ukraine and Turkey. Spain, Belarus, Russia and Switzerland will compete in Group 1. Emiliano Del Duca was satisfied with what his team displayed. “The guys have honoured the shirt, congratulations to them for fighting till the end despite it being an intense period. We beat one of the most physical sides in Europe, it wasn’t easy but we did it. We also showed that we can win while struggling. I thank the Catania crowd who enthusiastically supporter the team and this result is for them also. Goalkeeper Simone Del Mestre was also smiling after a great display. “I only did my job, the whole team did well to stay focused until the last penalty. It’s even nicer to do well here, I played in Catania for years and it will also be in my hard. Team Manager Ferdinando Arcopinto also discussed the organisation of the event. “The event in Catania has been a success on and off the pitch. A great organiser, a passionate crowd and Italy topped the group so everything has gone well.”
In the first half, Italy did well to deal with Belarus’ physicality. Simone Del Mestre helped keep the team in it with three magnificent saves before Savich opened the scoring. Del Mestre’s form continued and he saved a penalty from a Drodz after the break. After, Palamacci brought the home side level with his fifth goal at the tournament. It brought Italy back into the game and Carpita, Ramacciotti and Gori all forced saves from the Belarus goalkeeper. Ten minutes in a bizarre incident, Belarus scored from a Palmacci strike that struck Piatrouski and flew in.
A minute later, Zurlo’s powerful penalty was saved. The unpredictable nature of beach soccer was on show as Italy went from pressing to a winner to chasing an equaliser. With time running down, Gabriele Gori equalised with a bicycle kick. Ramacciotti went close three times to firing Italy head while Del Mestre continued to make more important saves. There was no winner in extra-time as Del Mestre continued to make saves before denying Samsonov in the shootout.
ITALY 2-2 BELARUS 3-2 on penalties (0-1; 1-1; 1-0)
Italy: Del Mestre, Carpita, Corosiniti (Cap.), Chiavaro, Ramacciotti, Josep Jr, Marinai, Palmacci, Gori, Zurlo. Coach: Emiliano Del Duca
Belarus: Ustsinovich, Drozd, Samsonov, Piatrouski, Miranovich (Cap.), Ryabko, Savich, Hapon, Chaikouski, Makarevich. Coach: Nicolas Alvarado
Officials: Ingilb Mammadov (Aze), Layrynas Arzuolaitis (Lit), Antonio Madeira (Svi), Cristobal Montoro (Spa).
Goals: 12’ first period Savich (B); 4’ second period Palmacci (I), 10’ second period Piatrouski (B); 3’ third period Gori (I)
Penalties: Savich (B) goal; Chiavaro (I) goal; Samsonov (B) miss; Gori (I) goal; Chaikouski (B) goal; Zurlo (I) goal
Bookings: Chiavaro (I), Makarevich (B)
Matchday 1- Friday 18 August
Belarus 4-1 France
Germany 4-5 Italy
Matchday 2 – Saturday 19 August
Belarus 3-2 Germany
Italy 6-3 France
Matchday 3 – Sunday 20 August
France 7-7 Germany (4-5 on penalties)
Italy 2-2 Belarus (3-1 on penalties)
Table: Italy 7 points; Belarus 6; Germany 1; France 0