Portugal moved to the top of Group B at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Ravenna with an 11-2 hammering of CONCACAF hopefuls El Salvador. The Portuguese, who are among the favourites here on Italian sand, showed themselves up the task with some devastating finishing and fine play from their extensive cast of stars.
The Europeans scored two gals inside the first minute of the game, clearly signaling their intent. First Madjer – considered one of the best practitioners of the beach game in all the world – found the back of the net with a lovely strike and then Belchior followed up with a spot-kick. Madjer added two more to bring the score to 4-0 at the end of the first period.
Things didn’t get much better in the second period for the Central Americans, who finished runners-up in CONCACAF qualifying behind Mexico. When the whistle went for the end of the second period, they were on the wrong end of a 9-1 scoreline. Coimbra (2), Alan (2) and Bruno Novo did the damage for Portugal with captain Augustin Ruiz pulling one back for the Salvadorans.
Madjer and co. took their foot off the accelerator in the final period, but still managed to inflict more damage on the hapless Salvadorans. Coimbra and Belchior added two more goals and Frankie Velasquez grabbed a second for El Salvador as the final score stood at a heavily lopsided 11-2.
Group B will be in action again on 3 September when table-toppers Portugal and Argentina lock horns and Oman take on El Salvador.