22nd January 2017: The Final Day of the EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championships and with relegation for one team and medals to be won, it was another fantastic day here in Vienna. In a tight final which ended 1-1 and needed a shoot out to decide the winner, which for the first time in 20 years is Czech Republic.

First up we had the conclusion of the Pool C games. Poland finished 5th with a draw with Turkey who finished 8th here in Vienna and will now play in the Championships II in 2019. Italy and hosts Austria were battling it out for the 6th and 7th positions. Austria beat Italy 2-1 and secured 6th, with Italy in 7th place.

In the afternoon we had the medal games and with Russia in the bronze medal game we were sure of a new Champion as Belarus and Czech Republic would battle for that honour. No matter what happened in the Bronze game, Switzerland would equal their highest ever ranking at EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championships for Women matching a 4th position in 2003.

Match round-up:

Match 17: Poland v Turkey 2-2 (1-1) 

Turkey needed nothing short of a win to try and stay in the Championship Pool, Poland meanwhile were going for 5th position, if they won or drew.  With incredible skills Fatma Songül GÜLTEKIN the Turkish captain beat the keeper to put Turkey ahead. A minute later a great steal from Bianca STRUBBE and Poland equalised. The score remained 1-1 going into half time.

In the second half Turkey scored a perfect training ground pc the ball was played back to the injector who slipped it past the keeper into the bottom right corner, Turkey 2-1. Poland, wanting to be sure to finish top of the Pool used a power play to their advantage and equalised via Karolina GROCHOWALSKA. The draw means Turkey are relegated and Poland finish 5th.

Watch back the game here

Match 18: Italy v Austria 

The final Pool C game would determine who would finish 6th and 7th here in Vienna. Austria earned a pc in the 3rd minute, which hit the foot of the defender on the line, a stroke was awarded and Austrian captain Miriam GERÖ calmly slotted it in, putting Austria in the lead 0-1. And so the score remained into the break.

In the second half they doubled their lead via a tight angled shot from Ruth KONRAT. Italy opted for a power play late into the second half and were rewarded with a goal from the spot, as the Austrian defender had saved a pc on the line, but off her foot. Rebecca CONFORTO slotted home from the spot, but it was too little, too late to change the result, 1-2 to Austria.

Speaking to Austria’s head coach Andreas DOLGE after the game, he explained that this was his first Championship with the girls and they are re-building the team at the moment “We did a step in the right direction, we know we are lacking a bit in goal scoring and ‘man-to-man’ marking, but we are working on these things.” Overall he was “Happy with the tournament, but it would have been good to finish higher, as always!”

Watch back the game here

Match 19: Bronze Medal Game: Switzerland v Russia

Russia opened the scoring from the penalty spot as an Austria player had saved the ball off the line, but it had hit her foot…  Switzerland were quick to respond with a goal from play as Léonor BERLIE twisted and turned and flicked the ball on her reverse! 1-1. The second half was played at a slower pace, both teams happy to hold possession and wait for the openings, forcing errors if possible. Switzerland were rewarded with a pc in the 27th minute, but a solid save from the Russian keeper kept the game level. The final result, a draw led us to the first shoot-out of the Tournament! With Russia being the eventual winners

Watch back the game here

Match 20: The Final: Czech Republic v Belarus 1 – 1 (0 – 1) (1 – 0 SO)

A tense start to the final as both teams tested eachother’s nerve here in Vienna. The Czech team aware of the fire power that Belarus have! The opening goal of the game came from Belarus with a sweep after a full along the the baseline from Filipovich who has been lethal at close quarters all weekend. 0-1 to Belarus. Belarus pressed hard and won 2 corners, but the Czech defence held well and kept the score to 0-1. Czech had a good chance to equalise just on the halftime whistle, but an excellent save from the ‘postman’ under control meant the score remained 0-1. Immediately after the break Czech equalised as Natálie NOVÁKOVÁ had broken away from her marker and was able to drive the ball home. The second half started as tense as the first, with both teams having chances. Czech had the best chance to go ahead in the 38th minute as the keeper was committed, but the Belarus defence arrived in numbers to save the day! The final score was 1-1 and like the Bronze medal game, it was decided by a shoot out, which Czech won, just one shoot out converted to lift the Cup!

VIENNA - 2017 EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championship (W) 20 CZE v BLR (Final) Czech win after shoot out Czech Republic Euro Champions Cup giving by Walter KAPOUNEK. FFU PRESS AGENCY COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK
EHF Board Member Walter Kapounek presents the Cup to Czech Captain Veronka Novakova (Frank Uijlenbroek (c))

Watch back the game here

Final Ranking: 

1. Czech Republic (Champions)
2. Belarus
3. Russia
4. Switzerland
5. Poland
6. Austria
7. Italy
8. Turkey (Relegated to EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championships in 2019)

Top Scorer: 
Iuliia SARTAKOVA (RUS) with 10 goals

Best Player: 
Monika POLEWCZAK (POL)

Best Goalkeeper: 
Tereza KOPŘIVOVA (CZE)

Photograph: Czech Republic are crowned EuroHockey Indoor Junior Champions! (Frank Uijlenbroek (c))