Penalty shoot-outs decided three of the four matches for medals in the women’s and men’s beach soccer tournaments at the 3rd European Games Krakow-Malopolska 2023. The gold medals were won by the national teams of Spain and Switzerland. The Poles lost the bronze match to the Portuguese.
The fans who came to the stands of the Beach Arena in Tarnow on Saturday could not complain about a lack of emotions. It was interesting in each of the six matches played. It started with the clash between Poland and Ukraine for seventh place. The red-and-white team was already leading by 2:0, only to lose three goals in the final minutes of the match and lose by 2:3. 5th place, in turn, went to the Azerbaijani team, which defeated Moldova by 4:2.
The medal clashes started with the match between the Poland and Portugal in women’s tournament. The two teams met for the second time during the Games – earlier in the group stage, the Portuguese won 2:1. On Saturday, they also triumphed, this time after a penalty shootout. In normal time it was 2:2. In the penalty shoot-out, the heroine was goalkeeper Jamila Marreiros, who defended two shots by the Polish women.
The bronze medal match of the men’s tournament and the final of the women’s competition also ended in penalty shoot-outs. In the former, the Spaniards defeated the Portuguese after an extremely exciting encounter. The spectators saw as many as 10 goals (it was 5:5), but in the penalty shoot-out the players of both teams lost their effectiveness – the Portuguese lost 0:2 after four misses.
In the women’s final, the Ukrainians faced the Spanish. The Ukrainians came closer to triumph, twice taking the lead. However, the Spaniards equalised each time, and in the penalty shootout they were flawless and won 5:3.
The final of the men’s tournament, in which the Swiss played against the Italians, was also a great spectacle. Although the match ended in a 5:2 victory for the former, the clash was even for a long time. The Helvetians triumphed in the third period, when they went from 2:1 to 5:1. The highlight of the match was a wonder goal by Dejan Stankovic, who became the tournament’s top scorer with 11 goals.
5th place: Czech Republic – Italy 2:3
Bronze medal: Portugal – Poland 2:2, 3:0 in shoot-out
Final: Ukraine – Spain 2:2, 3:5 in shoot-out
7th place: Poland – Ukraine 2:3
5th place: Azerbaijan – Moldova 4:2
Bronze medal: Portugal – Spain 5:5, 0:2 in shoot-out
Final: Switzerland – Italy 5:2