18th February 2017: 4 critical games this morning as Pool A and Pool B were concluded, and the semi-final line up decided. First up in Pool A, Mannheimer made sure of their top of the table position with an impressive display of indoor hockey against the Belgian side, Pingouin. Minsk produced a feisty performance to draw against SV Armenin and make the semi-final. In Pool B the hosts had the chance to top the table, but a win over Club de Campo was necessary to achieve that, an excellent team performance achieved that. In the final Pool B game, Kampong and Slavia played out a draw, which they will carry into the relegation Pool C. 

Mannheimer HC 10 – 0 (4 – 0) Royal Pingouin HC

First up this morning was the first and last ranked team here in Wettingen, Mannheimer v Pingouin. Pingouin had a good start, but it wasn’t long before the German’s got into their stride. PIEPER was first on the scoresheet in the 5th minute.LYER added one  in the 9th minute. Mannheim’s captain HAASE added 2 corners before half time to bring the score to 4-0 at the break.

Pingouin’s RAES and BOOM connected well with some well timed runs which were shut down by the German defence. Without the ball the German’s engaged in a full court press, keeping the Belgians working hard with and without the ball.  The first goal in the second half was an easy one for NOBIS as she was free to push the ball into an open net. PIEPER added her second of the game a minute later. With the score now 6-0, it was an uphill battle for the ladies from Pingouin, small errors were punished hard by this dominate and very excellent German team. Pingouin did earn a PC in the 23rd minute, forcing the Mannheim keeper into action. Mannheimer, not in the mood for anything but a stunning performance and victory added 4 more goals before the end of the game, ensuring their top placed ranking in the Pool and a mighty force to be reckoned with for the rest of the teams.

HC Minsk 2 – 2 (0 – 1) Official SV Arminen

A draw would be sufficient for Minsk, but nothing less than a win was needed for SV Armenin to make it to the semi-final. Armenin had the better of first half, good strike from VUKOVICH which put them ahead and so it remained until the break.

A beautiful run from Minsk’s SAZHINA from turn over ball, which she put away and the sides level immediately after the break. Minsk were very much in control in the second half outletting from the back, trying not to lose possession. Armenin needed to be patient and press hard to win the ball back. Armenin’s Captain LENZINGER was feeding some good ball to the forwards, but it was Minsk who went ahead again, SYS striking on the turn. Armenin went for the powerplay in the last minutes and were rewarded with an equaliser in the last minute, but it’s Minsk that head to the semi-final, Armenin now need to try and stay in the top flight.

Speaking to a very animated Elena SAZHINA from Minsk, she was delighted with the win, proving that Minsk can compete against the top nations in Europe. She was very happy to say that this effort from the club, was not just about the players on the pitch, but the doctor, the physio, the manger and coaches – all one big team! She is now looking forward to the semi-final.

Club Campo de Madrid 3 – 4 (1 – 2) HC Rotweiss Wettingen

An uptempo game as a win for the hosts would put them into the semi-final. A misunderstanding at the back by the Wettingen defence allowed Club de Campo the chance to pop the ball into an open net in the 14th minute. The reply however was swift from the hosts with a 5 passes and goal from WÄLTI in the 15th minute. Their second came again from WÄLTI, a rocket from a corner, top right corner leaving the Spanish keeper with no chance. RWW led 1-2 at the break.

WÄLTI was again on target in the 30th minute, MAGAZ MEDRANO replied in the 32nd minute and Club de Campo felt like they were back in the game 3-2. WÄLTI got her 4th of the game in the 35th minute. Club de Campo, still determined to avoid the German’s in the semi-final kept the pressure on and got back to 3-4 in the last minute, but ran out of time to draw the game. Both RWW and Club de Campo now head to the semi-final.

SV Kampong  1-1 (1-0) SK Slavia Prague

In the final Pool B game, this game in fact was critical to the survival of both teams in the top flight of the EuroHockey Championships. Both teams would be playing this afternoon in the Pool C, relegation pool and would carry the result of this game into that Pool.

Kampong led for most of the game with a goal from MOSCH in the 10th minute. They dominated the game, but a lapse of concentration in the dying minutes led to last minute equaliser from Slavia earned them a draw against the run of play and sets up both teams nicely for a battle in the Pool C over the coming 24 hours!

Fixtures this afternoon: 

13 Pool C 16:00 PINGOUIN – SLAVIAPRAGUE

14 Pool C 17:15 ARMINEN – KAMPONG

15 Semi Final 1 18:30 MANNHEIMER – CAMPOMADRID

16 Semi Final 2 20:00 WETTINGEN – MINSK

All photographs are now online on our FaceBook page (All photos credit EHF/Frank Uijlenbroek (c))

Follow us on Twitter @eurohockeyorg / #EHI2017

Live streaming – click here