Azerbaijan`s 3-1 win over France was tight and the two sides were so equally matched that you could not slip a piece of paper between them. Azerbaijan took a bite of the cherry first and scored but France followed with their first goal. The defense took over for stretches and allowed the offenses to recalibrate their settings for an emotional final period that saw Azerbaijan pull away and do just enough to get the victory. The win gives Azerbaijan 13th place in all of Europe, while France finishes the competition in 14th place.
The opening minutes were full of goals as Azerbaijan nailed home the first goal but France quickly answered with the equalizer from Pagis, which knotted the score at 1. The up and down action swing in the direction of Azerbaijan as they scored with just over a minute left in the frame to restore their one goal lead at 2-1 going into the first break. France was not happy with their first period deficit and started the middle frame by playing with an edge and attitude. The shots were coming and going but they did not fall at the outset. Azerbaijan was not able to score in the middle period as they were using all of their energy to withstand the French attacks, and the period ended with the Azerbaijani still up 2-1.
France began the final frame on the defensive as Azerbaijan was ready to change their strategy from the very defensive strategy. France stood their ground and found their own offensive rhythm, which led to a slug fest of shots between the two teams, but nothing connected in the early going. Things got very physical with neither side wanting to budge and the tone was set for an exciting finale to the 13th place match. The first goal of the period came from the Azerbaijan goal poacher, Hikmat, who nailed home his teams, third goal, going up 3-1 with five minutes remaining. The Azerbaijan defense held tough and did not allow France to get back into the game and the whistle sounded with Azerbaijan up 3-1.
Goals: 0-1: Sabir, min.9 (1); 1-1: Pagis, min. 7 (1); 1-2: Asif, min. 1 (1); 1-3: Hikmat, min. 5 (3).
FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP 2015 - EUROPE QUALIFIER JESOLO-ITALY
09:00 - Poland 3-2 Greece - Playoff for 15th Place
10:15 - France 1-3 Azerbaijan - Playoff for 13th Place
11:30 - Estonia vs. England - Playoff for 11th Place
12:45 - Turkey vs. Germany - Playoff for 9th Place
14:00 - Hungary vs. Romania - Playoff for 7th Place
15:15 - Belarus vs. Ukraine - Playoff for 5th Place
16:30 - Spain vs. Italy - Playoff for 3rd Place
17:45 - Switzerland vs. Russia - Final