• Id: 53168

Iberian favourites survive scares

Spain Beach Soccer
Juan Manuel Martin of Spain celebrates during the match against Hungary. Harry Engels/Getty Images
Portugal and Spain staged comebacks to end in strong position for semis

Underdogs Ukraine and Hungary both took leads into the final period of their Beach Soccer matches against more fancied opponents Portugal and Spain on Thursday, only for the favourites to escape with unconvincing victories.

Building on their opening win against Azerbaijan on Wednesday, world no.18 Ukraine scored four goals in the second period to lead world no.4 Portugal 4-1 just before the final intermission.

But Portugal scored three straight goals to level the scores with less than four minutes remaining, eventually leading to extra time. Bernado Santos then scored the only goal of extra time to give Portugal a 5-4 victory.

It was the second consecutive day Portugal trailed by at least two goals and came back to win, a feat that striker Nuno Belchior attributed to his side's mental strength.

"The mind is very important," said Belchior, who scored twice against Ukraine. "At the end of the second period, we said, 'Let's go and win this' so we came back in the game very strongly. We believed in the win."

Earlier, a devastating spurt by Spain's previously dormant attack allowed the world's no.5 team to defeat Hungary 5-2 in Group B and virtually guarantee progression to the semi-finals.

World no.21 Hungary showed for the second successive day they are not out of their depth in the 'group of death', and opened the scoring through a spectacular overhead kick by Peter Abel with just 1.6 seconds remaining in the first period.

Hungary made it 2-0 less than a minute into the second period and were poised to deliver a huge upset until Spain finally showed the form that took them to the 2013 World Cup final.

After scoring just one goal in their first 55 minutes of play at this tournament, Spain piled on five unanswered goals in 17 minutes - scored by five different players - to shellshock the Hungarians, who could not keep up.

"We started playing badly against this physical team," Spain's captain Nicolas Alvarado said. "But over the last four minutes they got tired and couldn't handle it any more."

 


    • PublishingList: NEWSARTICLE.SUGGESTED.NEWS
    • Id: 56231
    • Area: News (code:800)
    • Section: General (code:8000)
    • Kind: News Article (code:800000)
    • Hide from news list: False

    Russia beat Italy for Beach Soccer gold

    Portugal take bronze after dramatic match with Switzerland
    • PublishingList: NEWSARTICLE.SUGGESTED.NEWS
    • Id: 55487
    • Area: News (code:800)
    • Section: General (code:8000)
    • Kind: News Article (code:800000)
    • Hide from news list: False

    Italy to face Russia in Beach Soccer final

    Striker Gori inspires underdogs, while goalkeeper Bukhlitskiy is key for favourites
    • PublishingList: NEWSARTICLE.SUGGESTED.NEWS
    • Id: 54527
    • Area: News (code:800)
    • Section: General (code:8000)
    • Kind: News Article (code:800000)
    • Hide from news list: False

    Mistakes sink Spain as Russia advance

    Winners-take-all clash sees Russia advance to the semis, while Spain crash out
    • PublishingList: NEWSARTICLE.SUGGESTED.NEWS
    • Id: 54270
    • Area: News (code:800)
    • Section: General (code:8000)
    • Kind: News Article (code:800000)
    • Hide from news list: False

    Switzerland and Italy reach semi-finals

    Swiss scored five in nine minutes to reach the semis, while Italy win 5-4
    • PublishingList: NEWSARTICLE.SUGGESTED.NEWS
    • Id: 53499
    • Area: News (code:800)
    • Section: General (code:8000)
    • Kind: News Article (code:800000)
    • Hide from news list: False

    Italy stun Russia to set up tense Beach Soccer finale

    Gori double turns game on its head and now Russia face Spanish showdown
    • PublishingList: NEWSARTICLE.SUGGESTED.NEWS
    • Id: 53168
    • Area: News (code:800)
    • Section: General (code:8000)
    • Kind: News Article (code:800000)
    • Hide from news list: False

    Iberian favourites survive scares

    Portugal and Spain staged comebacks to end in strong position for semis
    • PublishingList: NEWSARTICLE.SUGGESTED.NEWS
    • Id: 52467
    • Area: News (code:800)
    • Section: General (code:8000)
    • Kind: News Article (code:800000)
    • Hide from news list: False

    Wonder goal helps make up for FaceTime birth

    Portugal's Fonseca scored twice after watching his son being born – on his phone
Live