Austria and Poland will meet in the final of the EuroHockey U16 Championship in Vienna on Sunday. An exciting final day of the group stage saw hosts Austria win 2:1 after a high-level-fight against Italy for the final. Poland went through after a tough match against Belarus and 3:3 draw.
Austria took the lead early on (3.) after a captain Emil Sperl converted a penalty stroke with the hosts putting a lot of pressure on Italy. But the Italians fought back late in the first half, finding the bottom right of the goal with fine shot (28.). Only four minutes later Austria took the decisive lead again, when Lucas Loser netted the ball on his second attempt against the Italian goalkeeper after.
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The second half saw Italy fighting back, putting pressure on the Austrians, but no team managed to score – which put Austria and the packed stadium in Vienna into celebrations.
The opponents in the final on Sunday will be Poland, who had more trouble than expected in their game against Belarus. The underdogs took the lead three times, but Poland always managed to come back, scoring the 3:3 with from a penalty corner with only three minutes to go. In the second match of Group B Russia beat the Czech Republic by 6:1, thereby securing their spot in the bronze-medal-game against Italy.
The second game in Group B saw Croatia fighting the Ukraine and losing by 2:6 – a bit too high after an even game but finding motivation for their relegation-game on Sunday against Belarus. The second relegation game will see the Czech Republic taking on Ukraine.
Source: Austrian Hockey
Photographs: Austrian Hockey