A hat-trick from France’s captain Marie Billore earns France 3 points in Pool B 

Photograph: Elena Sahzina (RUS) (EHF/Frank Uijlenbroek (c))

The second day of the Fintro EuroHockey Junior Championships opened with a really important game between France and Russia.
The 3 points on offer may well be the decider for a World Cup place or indeed a semi-final place here in Waterloo.
France went ahead with an early goal in the 4th minute via their captain Billore. France had the better chances in the first half with shots from Couteau and Shirley Laurent. Russian earned the first corner of the game in the 15th minute but the French first runner blocked the shot and the score remained 1-0 Russia equalised from another corner a minute later via their best player Elena Sahzina. France’s first corner was on target and they went ahead again in the 24th minute, Marie Billore once again on target. France had more ball possession and finished the half 2°-1 ahead. The second half started with a wave of French attacks but the Russian defence stood firm, counter attacking and levelling the score 2-2 in the 38th minute, the goal coming from Yuliia KAZAKOVA. France went ahead again with a Morgane HUVELLE goal, Russia equalised again 3-3 from a rebound off the French keeper. A cracking save from the French keeper in the 54th minute denied the Russians the chance to go ahead and that possibly gave France the impetus they needed to see out the game. France was awarded their third penalty in the 56th minute and a beautiful flick, and hat trick from Marie Billore into the left high corner, put them 4-3 ahead. In spite of several attacks from Russia, the final score was 4-3 to France, which was much celebrated by the French men’s team too!
Final score 4-3
‘4- 12 Marie BILLORE FRA (PC) 1 – 0
‘16 13 Elena SAZHINA RUS (FG) 1 – 1
‘25 12 Marie BILLORE FRA (PC) 2 – 1
‘38 4 Yuliia KAZAKOVA RUS (FG) 2 – 2
‘48 13 Morgane HUVELLE (FG) 3 – 2
‘51 13 Elena SAZHINA RUS (PC) 3 – 3
‘56 12 Marie BILLORE FRA (PC) 4 – 3

Spain assured of a semi-final slot following a 1-0 win over England

An early opening goal from a penalty corner by Begoña GARCIA in the 2nd minute of the game set the tone for Spanish dominace of the opening half. The Spaniards had a lot of ball possession, which failed to lead to circle penentrations and goal scoring chances. England settled into the game in the closing 10 minutes of the half challenging Spain a bit more. This continued in the second half with a more evenly balanced game, but neither side look threatening in the D. Spain had the best chances to extend their lead with Cristina Salvatella and Begoña GARCIA shots going wide of the post. England had two penalty corners but failed to score. The final score of 0-1 to Spain ensures them a semi-final slot as they top Pool B on 6 points.

Final Score 0-1
‘2 19 Begoña GARCIA ESP (PC) 0 – 1

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Photograph: Begoña GARCIA (ESP) (EHF/Frank Uijlenbroek (c))