Germany booked their place in the semi-finals of the men’s EuroHockey Junior Championships thanks to their last minute win over Belgium. Who joins them will be decided on Thursday with Pool A shaping up nicely with the Netherlands, Spain and England all in the mix.

The women’s competition also returns on Thursday after a rest day with the final two semi-final places up for grabs.

Men’s EuroHockey Junior Championships

Pool A: England 2 (W Calnan, D Scott) Netherlands 2 (T Beins, N Schoenaker)

England and the Netherlands shared the points from a hotly contested draw to leave Pool A wide open with the former ending the day on four points and the latter sitting on two.

Germany’s Hannes Muller on the attack. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek/World Sport Pics

Both sides held the lead at different times, the Netherlands going in front via Teun Beins’ corner in the eighth minute. But any thought this would be a pushover was quickly put to bed as Tom Sorsby drew the best of Hidde Brink.

Into the second quarter, England from a series of six corners, the fifth of which was dragged in by Will Calnan, his sixth goal of the campaign after just two games.

And they went in front in the 43rd minute via Duncan Scott with an exceptional sharp volley after Rhys Smith’s cross popped up at head height.

Asked how much he saw of the chance coming his way, Scott said: “Not much, I was just hoping the defender missed it. You’ve just got to get yourself in those positions and once they come, you have got to be ready to put them in!”

The lead lasted only a few minutes when Noud Schoenaker scored a classy effort, deflecting behind his back to make it 2-2 with just three second showing on the clock before the end of the third quarter.

The Dutch threw everything forward for the closing few minutes and hit the post from the very last play, leaving them to tie for the second game in a row.

For Scott, there were mixed emotions about the result: “Going on 2-1 up, you obviously want to finish off the game strong and get the three points. As it stands, it’s all to play for going into our final game and a point is better than nothing. Now we need to turn to Spain and securing their place in the semis.”

Spain 12 (M Bordas 4, X Gispert 2, J Lara, L Garcia Alcalde, J Cabot, M Miralles, P Parilla) Portugal 0

Spain eased to their first victory of the competition as they beat Portugal with plenty to spare in Valencia with Manu Bordas leading the way. He started the run in the third minute before Jan Lara and Xavier Gispert extended the lead to three by the end of the third quarter.

Bordas’ second goal and another Lucas Garcia Alcalde made it 5-0 by half-time. Two more from Bordas stretched the lead to seven before Javier Cabot got the eighth, matching England’s total against the Portuguese. It might have been more but for some big saves from Axel Ribeiro and the underside of the bar.

Four more goals, however, did follow in the closing three minutes to put Spain ahead of England on goal difference, giving them the edge ahead of their key showdown.

 
Pool B: Ireland 4 (J Dale 2, L Madeley, K O’Hare) Austria 4 (F Steyrer 2, N Wellan, O Binder)

Ireland and Austria served up an eight goal thriller early on day two of the men’s competition with Julian Dale tying the game up with four minutes to go.

Ireland’s Julian Dale scored twice against Austria. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek/World Sport Pics

He had started the scoring off the back of strong passes down the middle from Simon Wolfe and Luke Madeley. Keith O’Hare made it 2-0 soon after from a corner before Nikolaus Wellan got one back from another set-piece. Madeley’s switch made it 3-1 before Florian Steyrer scored his first before half-time.

Steyrer then equalised from a stroke as Ireland suffered three cards in the third quarter. Oliver Binder put Austria 4-3 up in the closing quarter but Dale won a stroke which he converted for a draw.

“Are you joking me?” the Irish striker said afterwards of whether he felt any nerves. “No pressure, no nerves, just put the ball in the goal.”

“It was a great game. It’s those kind of ones you are proud to play in a green jersey. The grit, the fight; limbe were hanging off from one or two lads but they gritted through it going into the Belgium match and I absolutely can’t wait for it.”

For Austria coach Cedric d’Souza described the mad nature of the game: “They were all over us in the first half. We came back much stronger after the break. It’s important for us to keep believing, we are a small nation with a small player base.

“We missed a couple, they missed a couple – it was a humdinger but we lost 5-1 to Belgium and bounced back to lead. It shows character from a side with eight or nine of these guys who can play the next Euros.”

Germany 2 (R Hartkopf, H Muller) Belgium 1 (A Kina)

Hannes Muller’s “lucky” goal gave Germany a crucial winner for Germany over Belgium to make them the first side to qualify for the men’s EuroHockey Junior Championships semi-final.

Raphael Hartkopf opened the scoring from a corner in the ninth minute before Antoine Kina equalised just before half-time with an excellent individual goal, bursting forward at speed at picking out the bottom left corner.

Muller had a big chance to put Germany back in front in the closing five minutes when he dodged around goalkeeper Charles Masset but lifted his shot over the bar. He did grab the winner with a minute to go when he gambled on trying to intercept Alexis Lemaire’s ball across the face of goal, diving to touch in first time for 2-1.

Speaking about his last few minutes, Muller said: “It was a good game from both sides. My first effort wasn’t very good, putting it over; the second was much better! I never thought the ball would come to me; I was basically just lucky!”

For Belgian coach Jeroen Baart, he is happy enough with his side’s overall performance and says the side can go far in the competition.

“We were under pressure in the first quarter but after that, we came back into and deserved to get to 1-1. The third quarter was in our favour but wewe didn’t reward ourselves and its frustrating to lose like that.

“If we beat Ireland, then if we produced the same level in the semis we will win there. The Irish are very physical, tough side. For them, I think it was a disappointing result against Austria but they will be full on against us. We need to get our quality up and be aware of their physicality and their mental game.”

** All games on Pitch 1 will be streamed live on http://www.eurohockeytv.org

 Thursday 31 August 2017                                                                                         

09.00

WB

Ireland

v

Germany

Pitch 2

09.00

WB

England

v

France

Pitch 1 *

11.15

MB

Germany

v

Austria

Pitch 1 *

11.15

MB

Ireland

v

Belgium

Pitch 2

18.00

MA

Netherlands

v

Portugal

Pitch 2

17.45

WA

Belgium

v

Spain

Pitch 1 *

20.00

MA

Spain

v

England

Pitch 1 *