9th August 2017: As the pools finish and the shake up is complete it’s Scotland, France, Wales and Russia progress to the semi- finals and a chance to play in the Championships in 2019. Ukraine, Portugal, Czech Republic and Switzerland will be playing in the relegation Pool C on Friday to try and stay in this division. 

Round up Day 4: 

Russia 2-2 Wales

Russia and Wales played out an entertaining 2-2 draw which saw the Welsh top Pool B and both sides securing qualification for the semi-finals.

Wales started the game very strongly and put pressure on the Russian defence. Despite the Welsh pressure there were no clear cut opportunities in the first quarter. The best chance for a goal came from a snap shot from the top of the D straight at Marat Gafarov on the Russian goal.

Gafarov was called into action early in the second quarter when he leapt to his left to save a penalty corner which was arrowing towards the bottom right corner. The score remained 0-0 at half-time.

Early in the second half Wales got the break through. Gareth Furlong slammed the ball into the bottom left corner to make it 1-0.

Furlong scored his and Wales’ second goal when he sailed a penalty corner into the top corner to make it 2-0.

It prompted Russia to kick into action and they stepped up their performance in the third quarter. Anton Kornilov made it 2-1 with an exceptional finish on 37 minutes.

The goal spurred the Russians on and they made it 2-2 a short while later. The tore into the Welsh D and Marat Khairullin slotted the ball low into the net to equalise.

A tense ending to the match found neither side able to grab a winner and the match ended a 2-2 draw with Wales winning the group.

 

Switzerland 1-2 Czech Republic

Czech Republic ran out 2-1 winners over Switzerland in their last Pool B match in Glasgow.

It was a stunning opening quarter for the Czechs scoring two goals to surge into an early lead.

Thomas Vohnicki opened the scoring in just three minutes when he rammed the ball home from close range.

It was 2-0 when Thomas Pauer scored a very similar goal to the opener on seven minutes. Pauer arrived to the right of the goal and finished neatly to give his side a comfortable early lead.

Switzerland pulled one back towards the end of the third quarter. Gael Wyss-Chodat popped up to tap the ball home after it was forced under the goalkeeper to give the opportunity.

A late Swiss onslaught was not enough to prise open the Czech defence and the match ended in well-earned Czech victory.

 

France 7-1 Portugal

France won their final Pool match when they ran out 7-1 winners against Portugal.

Portugal flew up the pitch from the whistle and very nearly scored in just 12 seconds, but the effort skidded just wide of the target.

It was the French however who took the game by the scruff of the neck and started to play some excellent hockey.

The opening goal came on 18 minutes when Pieter Van Straaten scored with a reverse stick shop to make it 1-0.

Francois Goyet made it 2-0 a few minutes later when he scored to double the French advantage.

It was 3-0 when Hugo Genestet sent a drag flick from a penalty corner into the right corner of the net.

Etienne Tynevez scored a fourth before half time to make for a comfortable score line at the break.

France went 5-0 up towards the end of the third quarter when Jean Laurent-Kieffer deflected the ball past the keeper after some good build up on the left.

Genestet hit the net again when he launched the ball against the backboard from a penalty corner to make it 6-0. Genestet completed his hat-trick as the match came to a close then Portugal retaliated at the death with a well-earned strike through David Franco.

 

Scotland 2-1 Ukraine

Scotland won their final match of Pool A with a 2-1 win over Ukraine to qualify top of the table and set up a semi-final meeting with Russia.

On the day we saw the 100th Scotland cap for Chris Grassick Scotland left it late to clock up the victory with two Alan Forsyth goals.

Ukraine enjoyed some good possession in the early stages without particularly hurting the Scots. Oleksandr Diachenko had their only real shot on goal but it was easily blocked by Tommy Alexander.

Scotland settled into the match in the second quarter and nearly opened the scoring. A quick break found Kenny Bain in space on the right, he picked out Lee Morton sliding in at the near post but the goalkeeper made a solid save to deny the strike.

Later in the quarter Scotland fashioned another good opportunity down the right. The ball found its way to Alan Forsyth in the D, he turned the defender and went searching for the bottom corner with a reverse stick shot, but was denied by another good save.

Ukraine began the third quarter with a goal. They broke into the Scots D from the left and the ball found its way to Oleh Polishchuk who turned and squeezed the ball past Alexander from close range to make it 1-0.

Scotland set about retaliating when they ploughed through the Ukraine defence and Cammy Fraser, on the turn, cracked the ball toward goal but it was well saved.

Into the fourth quarter and Scotland fashioned the best chance of the match. Grassick found Bain on the left who slid the ball across goal but Ben Cosgrove couldn’t connect for the goal.

Then Cosgrove came close again when another slick passing move found Cosgrove sliding towards goal but his deflection went wide.

Scotland eventually equalised and the goal came via a penalty flick. Alan Forsyth stepped up to strike it and found the bottom right corner to make it 1-1.

Forysth struck again toward the end of the match from a powerful and precise penalty corner to make for a 2-1 victory for Scotland.

 

Final Rankings: 

R GP W D L GF GA GD P
Pool A
Scotland 1 3 3 0 0 10 3 7 9
France 2 3 2 0 1 13 4 9 6
Ukraine 3 3 1 0 2 9 9 0 3
Portugal 4 3 0 0 3 4 20 -16 0
Pool B
Wales 1 3 2 1 0 13 3 10 7
Russia 2 3 1 2 0 6 5 1 5
Czech Republic 3 3 1 1 1 4 4 0 4
Switzerland 4 3 0 0 3 3 14 -11 0

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Photograph credit Duncan Gray