Portugal beat Italy 8-5 to celebrate on home soil in Nazaré as they won their first stage at the Euro Beach Soccer League. One year ago at the Superfinal in Catania, Madjer and co were able to beat Italy 5-4 and it was a clearer result this time around.
As in the previous two matches against Switzerland and France, Massimo Agostini began with a team of Del Mestre, Marinai, Del Duca, Ramacciotti and Gori. Carpita was the goalkeeper for the second period and there were mass changes after the first three minutes. Italy were always chasing as Coimbra opened the scoring after two minutes and seven seconds from Jose Maria’s assist. All four goals in the first period came from the left foot and the only positive for the Azzurri was Gori who was clever enough to win and put away a penalty to temporarily make it 1-1.
If the Viareggio forward is one of the rising stars of beach football, then the established legend is Madjer and it was him who brought Portugal ahead once more with a flying finish off Alan’s ball who then made it 3-1 himself with an effort on the turn.
Wounded but not defeated, Italbeach closed the distance just 36 seconds into the second period with a placed Ramacciotti effort but Jose Maria scored less than a minute later with a spectacular effort. Jose Maria’s was a display of individual brilliance but the goal to make it 5-2 through Ricardinho was a real team effort as Carpita conceded for the first time at the tournament with Zurlo scoring his first goal at the other end. Coimbra surprised Carpita with a free kick, then a strange bounce misled Andrade, allowing Ramacciotti to complete his brace. The second period finished 6-4 and a comeback seemed possible in the final period but Jose Maria and Leo Martins ended it as a contest before Marinari scored from the sport to make it 8-5.
Between 25th and 27th August, Italy’s adventure at the Euro League will continue at Warnamunde in Germany. They finished the current stage in third with two defeats and one win.
Matchday One (7th July)
ITALY 0-4 Switzerland
France 5-10 Portugal
Matchday Two (8th July)
ITALY 1-0 France
Portugal 7-6 (AET) Switzerland
Matchday Three (9th July)
France 3-5 Switzerland
ITALY 5-8 Portugal
Standings: Portugal 8 points, Switzerland 6, Italy 3, France 0