Photograph: Lieke van WIJK (NED) EHF/Frank Uijlenbroek (c)
Netherlands top Pool A with a decisive win over Germany
A fairly even start to the game saw both teams with early chances. In the 3rd minute Lieke van Wijk had her first chance to score when her team earned a corner, but it was well saved by Germany. Vivien Tahal from Germany showed some real individual skill, dribbling past the Dutch, but failed to finish in the end. More exchanges of chances early in the game saw the Dutch keeper having to engage and the German captain Sabine Knuepfer forced to take a ball off the line in the 11th minute.
The deadlock was broken in the 20th minute via Lieke van Wijk’s stroke. Indeed by half time she had her hat trick, with 2 successful short corners!
Germany started stronger in the second half and connected better with eachother forcing a corner in the 50th minute and Saenger ‘s successful shot brought the scoreline back to 3-1. Germany pressed hard again to get within reach of Dutch 3-1 lead. However Lieke van Wijk had other ideas and sealed the win with Netherlands 5th corner in the 66th minute and her 4th goal. The teams exchanged further chances in the dying minutes but the final score remained 4-1 to Netherlands.
With 6 points under their belt Netherlands join Spain in the semi-finals, however all 4 games on Wednesday are vital to determine their opposition!
Final Score 1-4
’20 2 Lieke van WIJK NED (PS) 0 – 1
‘25 2 Lieke van WIJK NED (PC) 0 – 2
‘29 2 Lieke van WIJK NED (PC) 0 – 3
‘50 8 Laura SAENGER GER (PC) 1 – 3
‘66 2 Lieke van WIJK NED (PC) 1 – 4
Host Belgium earns first three points after clear domination in first half
From the early minutes the host Belgium put a lot of pressure on the Czech defense and kept this pressure going until the half time hooter. After 10 minutes Belgium got their second PC of the game. After a bad stop on the first, Emma Puvrez fired the second behind Josefina Styblova. Four minutes later Anne-Sophie Weyns doubled the Belgian lead after a great solo action. The Czech Republic couldn’t get their foot next to the Belgium team and in the 17th minute Belgium was already leading 3-0 after another goal by Puvrez.
With the high goal differnce for Germany in mind, the Belgian girls kept looking to up their score. Three minutes before half time Puvrez came face to face with Styblova and lifted the ball cleanly over the goalie. Hattrick for Emma Puvrez and the Belgium team lead 4-0 before half time.
In the second half Belgium left some more room to play for the Czech team and the first danger came from a Czech stick. But still it was Belgium who scored again with Ronquetti putting the 5-0 on the board in the 45th minute.
Belgium played less clean in the second half and 12 minutes before half time Czech captain Katerina Lacina scored a compensation goal 5-1.
Thursday Belgium takes on Germany for a spot in the semi-finals.
’10 13 Emma PUVREZ BEL (PC) 1 – 0
’14 12 Anne-Sophie WEYNS BEL (FG) 2 – 0
’17 13 Emma PUVREZ BEL (FG) 3 – 0
’32 13 Emma PUVREZ BEL (FG) 4 – 0
’45 18 Marie RONQUETTI BEL (FG) 5 – 0
’58 12 Katerina LACINA CZE (FG) 5 – 1
Photograph: Belgium celebrate! EHF/Frank Uijlenbroek (c)