58 - QUARTERLY REVIEW
Group Two winners Spain claimed maximum points. Moldova were the winners in the second tier before the competition moved to Spain. World champions Portugal joined the party in Galicia but they were beaten to top spot in Division A, Group Two by Switzerland while hosts Spain turned on the style for the home fans by winning all three matches to claim Division A, Group One. Czech Republic and England were the winners in the second tier - both booking their places totCatania with one event to spare. That final leg took place in Siofok, Hungary, as Marco Octavio’s Belarus proved the surprise package in the top division, beating Russia and Portugal en route to winning the group while Italy recovered from defeat against Ukraine to top Division A, Group Two. Azerbaijan claimed Division B to ensure their place at the Promotion Final in Catania, where they would cap a process of rapid recent improvement to move into Division A. The Azeri ascension was confirmed against Hungary both sides posting 100 per cent records in their group campaigns before Azerbaijan claimed promotion with a 4-3 victory on penalties. Portugal and Ukraine battled it out in the Superfinal, as the former recovered from defeat to Russia to top their group while the latter posted wins against Spain, Belarus and Germany. In the grand showpiece, Ukraine gained revenge for their defeat to Portugal in 2015’s final by sealing a gutsy 2-1 win, which ensured their first Euro Beach Soccer League title. Russia and Spain completed the top four, before all the nations present in Catania headed to Jesolo for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup qualification showdown. The 10-day event would send four nations to the Bahamas for next year’s showpiece event, with Poland undoubtedly the biggest surprise package. Led by inspirational veteran Boguslaw Saganowski, Poland beat Russia and Ukraine to progress to the World Cup first, before being joined by world champions Portugal, Switzerland and hosts Italy. Poland would go on to cap their qualification by beating Italy in the semis before clinching the title with a 6-3 win against Switzerland, rounding a European season full of surprises and shocks.