At the final day of the EuroHockey Indoor Championships in Minsk, we started the day with the final games of the Pool C, relegation pool with much at stake for all 4 teams. Ukraine were the only team from the 4 that were already safely into the Championship Division in 2018, the other 3 Austria, Czech Republic and Belgium could all stay or leave depending on the results. Ultimately it was Czech Republic who joined Ukraine safely into the Championships in 2018.

Pool C – Relegation Pool:

Ukraine v Belgium 3-3 

Ukraine, knowing that they are safe in this division got off to a better start going ahead via Yuliia SHEVCHENKO in the 9th minute. Their second goal was a well worked move which ended in Nataliia HONCHARENKO tapping in at the back post. Belgium did have a good chance with a good corner routine, but the Ukraine defence held and the score remained 2-0 at the half. In the second half, again Belgium had a chance early on to reduce the scoreline via a PC but again the Ukriane defence held strong. Yana KOROTAIEVA scored a beautiful strike on the run, giving the keeper no chance. Minutes later Belgium did claw back with a good  solo effort from a free hit, Tiphaine DUQUESNE  dummying the keeper and putting Belgium on the scoreboard. In the 32nd minute Marie RONQUETTI put a PC away, bringing the score line to 3-2. Belgium, now with their tails up pressed hard for the final quarter of the game, creating more chances than Ukraine, opting for a powerplay which delivered a third goal in the 38th minute and brought the game back on even terms. Belgium, now with a chance to perhaps stay in the division if they won this game, pressed hard, but without a keeper and conceding a corner in the last minute which UKR mis-trapped. A huge performance in the second half from Belgium, but in the end the game stayed level 3-3.

 

 
Team Minute Shirt # Player Action Score
Ukraine 9 11 SHEVCHENKO Yuliia Field Goal 1 – 0
Ukraine 14 21 HONCHARENKO Nataliia Field Goal 2 – 0
Ukraine 25 18 KOROTAIEVA Yana Field Goal 3 – 0
Belgium 28 19 DUQUESNE Tiphaine Field Goal 3 – 1
Belgium 32 17 RONQUETTI Marie Penalty Corner 3 – 2
Belgium 37 17 RONQUETTI Marie Field Goal 3 – 3

 

 Czech Republic v Austria 3-3 

In the Final C Pool game of the EuroHockey Indoor Championships, it was still all to play for for both teams. A lively start Czech Republic needed only a draw to stay in the Division, but a win would be required by Austria. AUT won a PC in the first minute and opened the scoring with a direct shot from captain Corinna ZERBS. In the 3rd minute CZE won a PC which was upgraded to a stroke and scored by Adela BIZOVA. In the 7th minute Julia BUSCH put Austria ahead via a fantastic reverse strike from the end line. Another great strike from Corinna ZERBS in the 29th minute brought the score to 3-1 to Austria. An incredible second half as Czech clawed their way back to draw level at 3-3 and this was enough to finish second in Pool C and stay in the Championship Division and qualify for the World Cup!

 
Team Minute Shirt # Player Action Score
Austria 2 10 ZERBS Corinna Penalty Corner 0 – 1
Czech Republic 3 13 BIZOVA Adela Penalty Stroke 1 – 1
Austria 7 11 BUSCH Julia Field Goal 1 – 2
Austria 29 10 ZERBS Corinna Field Goal 1 – 3
Czech Republic 38 13 BIZOVA Adela Penalty Corner 2 – 3
Czech Republic 40 13 BIZOVA Adela Penalty Corner 3 – 3

 

Final Ranking in Pool C:  

R Team GP W D L GD P
1 Ukraine 3 2 1 0 6 7
2 Czech Republic 3 1 1 1 4 4
3 Austria 3 0 2 1 -5 2
4 Belgium 3 0 2 1 -5 2

 

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Main photograph: Czech Republic celebrates (FFU PRESS AGENCY COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK and All Galleries)