It was a thrilling afternoon session here in Belarus at the EuroHockey Indoor Championships as the business end of the Tournament kicked off with the Relegation C Pool, as Belgium, Austria, Czech and Ukraine battled it out to qualify for the next Indoor World Cup and stay in the Championship Division. In addition The Netherlands and Germany played a hard fought incredibly competitive and fast first semi-final, closely followed by the second semi-final of the day – the hosts Belarus v Poland.

Belgium v Austria 2-2 

Belgium went ahead via Tiphaine DUQUESNE, the only goal of the first half. Austria equalised via Kristine VUKOVICH in the 1-1, Austria stretched their lead via  Julia BUSCH with a wonderful strike.  Belgium pressed hard and equalised again from a Charlotte vander GRACHT corner.

 

 
Team Minute Shirt # Player Action Score
Belgium 19 19 DUQUESNE Tiphaine Field Goal 1 – 0
Austria 25 19 VUKOVICH Kristine Penalty Corner 1 – 1
Austria 33 11 BUSCH Julia Field Goal 1 – 2
Belgium 38 7 vander GRACHT Charlotte Penalty Corner 2 – 2

 

Ukraine v Czech Republic 2-3

Ukraine and Czech Republic battled it out for the points as both teams want to avoid relegation from the Championship Division. Ukraine were ahead 2-0 at the half. Czech were the better of the two sides after the break with Adela BIZOVA striking a PC home. Ukraine stretched ahead again in the 39th minute as Czech had opted for a power play. They were rewarded with a goal but as the seconds ticked down it was too little too late. Ukraine took the points and are safe in this Division in 2018.

 

 
Team Minute Shirt # Player Action Score
Ukraine 7 31 VORUSHYLO Yana Penalty Stroke 0 – 1
Ukraine 20 11 SHEVCHENKO Yuliia Penalty Corner 0 – 2
Czech Republic 22 13 BIZOVA Adela Penalty Corner 1 – 2
Ukraine 39 31 VORUSHYLO Yana Penalty Corner 1 – 3
Czech Republic 40 13 BIZOVA Adela Field Goal 2 – 3

 

Ranking Pool C:

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

 

Netherlands v Germany 5-2 

Both teams were full of intent as the game started at a very high pace, with both teams having chances to get to the final. Germany opened the scoring in the 9th minute and the reply came in the 12th minute. Before the half Lieke van WIJK  struck home a stroke when an earlier PC was upgraded. In the second half both teams attacked strongly, but it was another stroke that put the World and European Champions ahead 3-1. In a feisty last 10 minutes Germany played 2 power plays and gained one goal but conceded 2 more, putting the Netherlands into the EuroHockey Final for a second time.

 

 
Team Minute Shirt # Player Action Score
Germany 9 10 DUDOROV Julia Field Goal 0 – 1
Netherlands 12 8 MUYSELAAR Mila Penalty Corner 1 – 1
Netherlands 18 11 van WIJK Lieke Penalty Stroke 2 – 1
Netherlands 29 11 van WIJK Lieke Penalty Stroke 3 – 1
Germany 32 14 MÜLLER-WIELAND Roda Penalty Corner 3 – 2
Netherlands 34 11 van WIJK Lieke Penalty Stroke 4 – 2
Netherlands 35 9 ZWINKELS Donja Field Goal 5 – 2

 

Belarus v Poland 1-1 

In the second semi-final, it was another full on cracking game with the hosts going ahead in the 11th minute. Just before the half Navitskaya pulled off a spectacular save from a stroke to keep the hosts ahead by the narrow margin of one goal at half-time. Just after the break Poland equalised and then it was ‘game on’. Poland’s MIKA and KATERLA held possession for long periods of time, patiently building up the play from the back, linking with WIELOCH. With 4 minutes to go Poland’s scorer SLAWINSKA went on the attack but Belarus’ defence held firm with clean strong tackles, ending any possibility of Poland going ahead. Belarus forced a corner with just over 2 minutes on the clock, but Poland’s keeper held her nerve and cleared the ball. At the end of the game the score remained 1-1 and we went to Shoot Outs. One round was not enough to separate the teams and with the 10th Shoot Out Poland’s Amelia KATERLA  put Poland into their first European final. 

 

 
Team Minute Shirt # Player Action Score
Belarus 11 3 KURHANSKAYA Yuliya Field Goal 1 – 0
Poland 23 15 SLAWINSKA Paula Penalty Corner 1 – 1

 

Shoot Out: 

 

Team Attacker Defender Result Score
Poland SLAWINSKA Paula NAVITSKAYA Maryna No Goal 0 – 0
Belarus PAPKOVA Krestina GABARA Anna Goal 1 – 0
Poland KATERLA Amelia NAVITSKAYA Maryna No Goal 1 – 0
Belarus BATURA Ryta GABARA Anna No Goal 1 – 0
Poland WIELOCH Joanna NAVITSKAYA Maryna Goal 1 – 1
Belarus KURHANSKAYA Yuliya GABARA Anna No Goal 1 – 1
Belarus PAPKOVA Krestina GABARA Anna Goal 2 – 1
Poland SLAWINSKA Paula NAVITSKAYA Maryna Goal 2 – 2
Belarus BATURA Ryta GABARA Anna No Goal 2 – 2
Poland KATERLA Amelia NAVITSKAYA Maryna Goal 2 – 3

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