21st January 2017: 4 more competitive games this morning in Vienna as 7 of the 8 teams still had a chance to make the semi-finals! First up was a competitive game Russia v Italy, Russia taking the honours there. Next up Czech Republic v Turkey, they needed at least a draw to be sure of a semi-final slot, but the win in fact put them top of Pool A with 7 points. It was then time for Pool B to take to the court and this pool was even tighter than Pool A. Switzerland and Belarus prevailed to take the 2 remaining slots in the semi-finals.

Upcoming games this afternoon will be LIVE STREAMED here.

Pool C 16:00  TUR – AUT
Pool C 17:10 ITA – POL
Semi Final 1 18:30 CZE – SUI –
Semi Final 2 20:00 BLR – RUS

Match 9: Russia v Italy 5-3 (2-1) 

An explosive start to the day as Russia and Italy took to the pitch! A three pronged attack from Russia saw Alina KHALIMOVA  with a full dive to reach the ball and open the scoring! Italy answered quickly with a goal from open play. Russia went ahead again, a shot from close range from captain Alina KHALIMOVA again. The score remained 2-1 at the break.

An incredibly tight second half ensured with Italy levelling the score again, Elettra Bormida (her second of the game). Two quick goals from Russia and the scoreline of 4-2 was getting away from Italy. With 5 minutes to play and a must win game, Italy opted for a power play. The team worked incredibly hard and were rewarded with a goal 4-3.  A baseline flick on the run from Alina GORYACHEVA all but sealed the victory for Russia as there was nothing the defence could do with no goal keeper. 5-3.

Speaking to Russia’s manager Mikhail SNEGIREV post game he said they were “very happy to be in the semi-final. They would wait with interest on their opposition. About his captain Alina KHALIMOVA “We are delighted with her and her performance. But really it is all about the team and working together.” The girls will now take some rest and work on their tactics for this afternoon, but to sum up their tactics in a word he said that “attack” is their main aim. They know that they have enough firepower up front to win games.

Watch the Highlights here:

http://hockeytv.at/video/indoor-hockey/euro-hockey-indoor—junior-women—vienna-2017/21-01-2017/russia-u21w-italy-u21w/21936-tor-1:0-russia-u21w-4

Match 10: Czech Republic v Turkey 5-4 (3-2) 

Czech and Turkey played out another incredibly important and hard fought game. Turkey went ahead twice without reply from Czech, but Czech patiently worked themselves back into the game scoring twice to level the scores. The dominance changed in the game as Czech calmly settled into the game and went ahead as Natálie NOVÁKOVÁ was determined to get past the Turkish keeper and after several efforts flicked the ball from an impossible angle beating the keeper and defence. The score remained 3-2 at the half.

A more measured approach in the second half . Turkey earned a corner in the 23rd minute which was expertly padded away by the Czech keeper. A nice build up as Czech switched the play from right to left leaving  Lucie SANKOVÁ  with an easy strike as the GK was fully committed. Czech led 4-2 and looked more comfortable on the ball. Turkey had chances to change the scoreline and did indeed bring the game back to 4-3 as captain Fatma Songül GÜLTEKIN  pounced on a rebound save. A wonderful reverse flick from SANKOVÁ extended the Czech’s lead. Once again captain Fatma Songül GÜLTEKIN  stuck home from a PC strike to score her hat-trick and bring the score back to a one goal deficit. 5-4. And that’s how the score remained.

Watch the Highlights here:

http://hockeytv.at/video/indoor-hockey/euro-hockey-indoor—junior-women—vienna-2017/21-01-2017/czech-republic-u21w-turkey-u21w/21960-tor-0:1-%3Cnull%3E-u21w-1

Match 11: Poland v Switzerland (0-2) 

A both teams needed a win to guarantee their place in the semi-final it was a cautious start to the game. Both teams happy to hold possession and outlet from the defence, looking for the gaps. Switzerland were first to find the gap and a 3 pass goal from their D to find Sofie STOMPS free on the right and her strike hit the backboard and delighted the Swiss support here in Vienna. A second chance fell to Switzerland who were awarded a pc just before the half, but the Polish keeper was quick off her line and fully committed to stop the strike from Switzerland. Moments before the half Switzerland went ahead again via the talented and dynamic Léonor BERLIE, who twisted and turned her marker to make herself free from the strike, again from the right side. The score was 0-2 at the half and a mountain to climb for Poland. A power-play for Russia in the last 10 minutes produced a goal to bring the score back to 1-2. In a fantastic finish, where both teams threw everything at the game, with incredible discipline, the score ended 1-2. Swiss Coach Mathias SCHAEBEN said “I am so proud of my girls, we hoped to make the semi-final and avoid the relegation

Watch the Highlights here:

http://hockeytv.at/video/indoor-hockey/euro-hockey-indoor—junior-women—vienna-2017/21-01-2017/poland-u21w-switzerland-u21w/21981-chance-poland-u21w-4

Match 12: Belarus v Austria 6 – 1 (3 – 1)

Nothing less than a win would be good enough for hosts to get through to the semi-finals, but a very determined Belarus would be the force to stop them!

Belarus set out their stall early in the game with 3 quick goals early on, Austria did claw one back immediately after the second goal, bringing the score to a reachable 3-1.

However they were forced to soak up endless attacks from a better Belarus side, who were stronger. A power-play in the last 1/4 but to no avail as Belarus pushed hard and scored 3 more to seal the win and a place in the semi-final.

http://hockeytv.at/video/indoor-hockey/euro-hockey-indoor—junior-women—vienna-2017/21-01-2017/belarus-u21w-austria-(w)-u21w/21995-chance-belarus-u21w-3

Photograph: Russia v Italy (Frank Uijlenbroek (c)) Full galleries on our Facebook page