The Euro Winners Cup 2016 was the first time women’s teams were permitted to compete for the Beach Soccer crown.
Twelve teams from across Europe descended onto the beaches in Catania for the week-long beach soccer tournament.
Portsmouth got off to a flying start, winning their first two group stage matches to secure their place in the quarter-finals – the first English team to do so.
Pompey were then beaten by German side Beachkick Ladies Berlin, narrowly losing 4-3 after having turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead.
But the tournament wasn’t over there for the Blues, with two more games to determine the 5th-8th placed teams.
Up first was Spanish side Sogesport on Saturday, May 28th. Goals from Molly Clark, Jade Widdowson and Katie James powered Pompey to a 3-1 victory, which saw them into the 5th/6th place play-off game the following day.
In their way stood hosts Domusbet Catania and in an exciting game Portsmouth came out on top winning 6-4 to finish the fifth best Women’s Beach Soccer side in Europe.
Shannon Sievwright opened the scoring for Pompey in the first period before a goal fest second period saw the scores at 5-3. Catania levelled the scores before taking a quick lead with a second goal. Sarah Kempson and James added a second and third goal to restore Pompey’s lead.
The host’s levelled once again to bring the score to 3-3 before Kempson scored her second quickly followed by Widdowson. 5-3 going into the third and final period, it looked like Pompey’s game.
Two minutes into the final period and Vanessa Meyer scored Pompey’s sixth goal. Catania did reduce the advantage to just two goals but it couldn’t change the result.
Beachkick Berlin won through to the final with an 8-5 semis success over Catanzaro, while Grasshoppers Zurich edged out Zvezda 4-3. Grasshoppers went on to also win the final by the odd goal, beating Berlin 5-4.
Source / photo – portsmouthfcladies.co.uk