At the EuroHockey Indoor Championships II in Espinho England and Croatia opened the second day.

The Croats came out very strong and scored two goals in the first moments of the match. The English players fuelled their spirits and, in less then two minutes, scored three goals and took the lead. That was the turning point of the game, since the Croats were not able to find the momentum again and lost the match to England by 10-4. With this victory, the English national team confirmed the first place in the Pool A, and the qualification to the promotion group, while the Croats, with this loss, saw their dream to reach the EuroHockey Division One disappear.

The second game of the day starred the Scottish and the French national teams. The game was very even since the beginning, with both teams making the best of their little opportunities. The half time came with a score of 3-2 favourable to the French. In the second part nothing really changed; a very tactical game, played in a slow pace with both teams afraid to risk too much. 5-4 was the result favourable to the French national team. With this victory, France would be placed in the promotion group, on the other hand Scotland would have to play in the relegation group.

The first Pool B game brought us Ukraine and Portugal. Both teams already knew that they had no chances to fight for the promotion. The game started with a slow rhythm with the goals appearing from defensive mistakes. By the end of the first half the game has 3-2 in favour of the Ukrainians. The second part was completely different. Both teams increased the rhythm and the hockey level arose. Espinho choired the name of Portugal but it was not enough. The match ended in a tie. 5-5

Everyone had great expectations for the last game of the Morning. Belgium and Denmark, both already qualified for the promotion group, did not disappointed. The level of hockey was great, but there was a team that was more consistent: Belgium. The game started kind of even, but, little by little, the Belgians were getting further and further away from the Danish team that just could not stop committing mistakes. The final result was 10-4, and the first position of the pool B, in favour of Belgium.

The pool D took of with the game between Scotland and Ukraine. The first half remembered us of a chess game. The teams were very preoccupied about not committing mistakes. By the end of the first half the score was 1-1. The second half was very similar until there were only 7 minutes to play. That’s when the Ukrainian team scored two goals in less then two minutes. The Scottish team responded with a player with goalkeeper privileges but it did not avoid their defeat. 1-5 was the result in favour of the Ukrainian national team. This result, in conjugation with Portugal’s result, means that Scotland is the first national team to be demoted in the EuroHockey Espinho 2016.

Still in the pool D, Croatia and Portugal gave to the spectators a good Hockey game. Portugal was winning by the time the half time came by 1-3. In the second half, the Croats tried everything to change the tides of the game of their efforts where not enough. Portugal came out victorious, for the first time in this event, with the 6-1 result meaning that the Portuguese team is still alive and fighting for the maintenance in the second division.

France and Denmark were the protagonists of the first game of the promotion group, the Pool C. The start was very similar to all the other games of this evening. Both teams were very cautious, looking for mistakes to create goal chances. By the beginning of the second half, the result was 1-3 in favour of Denmark. In the second half both teams continued to play in a very safe way. When losing for 2-4, the French national team risked it all with a player with goalkeeper privileges, and the strategy almost paid of. 5-6 was the result in favour of the Danish National Team.

The last match of the day was also the most intense. England and Belgium had both three points at the beginning of the confrontation and a victory in this match could be vital to get the main objective: the promotion to the first division. By the end of the first half the result was 2-2. On the second half the Belgians scored 3 goals and the English woke up. From that moment on, England started to perform better and was able to score 2 goals in a short period of time. The Belgians suffered afterwards, but they were able to secure the victory. 4-5 was the final result.

Results: 

Time Teams Title Scoreline
19:15 ENG – BEL Pool C 4 – 5 (2 – 2)
17:50 FRA – DEN Pool C 5 – 6 (1 – 3)
16:40 CRO – POR Pool D 1 – 6 (1 – 3)
15:30 SCO – UKR Pool D 1 – 5 (1 – 1)
12:30 BEL – DEN Pool C, Pool B 10 – 4 (3 – 3)
11:20 UKR – POR Pool D, Pool B 5 – 5 (3 – 2)
10:10 SCO – FRA Pool A 4 – 5 (2 – 3)
09:00 ENG – CRO Pool A 10 – 4 (3 – 2)

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For Results from the EuroHockey Indoor Championship I, Prague – click here

For Results from the EuroHockey Indoor Championship III, Vantaa – click here