In a thrilling afternoon in the Arena Sparta Poland and Russia are overnight leaders after the second session here in Prague. Along with Austria they are assured of semi-final slots. Turkey found their form against Switzerland with a comprehensive 5-0 won.

Turkey v Switzerland

Turkey found their form against Switzerland with a comprehensive 5-0 won. The first half of the game however was without highlights as both teams matched eachother in attack and defense. The score of 0-0 was a fair reflection of the game with neither team producing a threat in front of goal.

In the opening minutes of second half Turkey’s KÜÇÜKKOÇ had an excellent spell in which she score 2, the second a really class finish with a reverse hit into the bottom right corner. Switzerland won a corner in the 30th minute but once again it was KÜÇÜKKOÇ who was the star and was out quick scewing the shot left and wide. The rest of the half was the KÜÇÜKKOÇ show as she glided through the defense and scoring it seemed at will. A real game of ‘two halves’ as Turkey found their form and take what could be vital 3 points from this game.

Turkey v Switzerland. Final score 5-0

TUR ’22 10 KÜÇÜKKOÇ Perihan FG 1-0
TUR ’24 10 KÜÇÜKKOÇ Perihan FG 2-0
TUR ’32 11 GÜLTEKIN Fatma FG 3-0
TUR ’33 10 KÜÇÜKKOÇ Perihan FG 4-0
TUR ’39 10 KÜÇÜKKOÇ Perihan FG 5-0

Belarus v Poland

The final game of the day in Pool A was between Belarus and Poland, both of whom were on 3 points from the morning session, so it was a battle for the top  overnight position. Poland opened the scoring via WITTKE as a nice advantage from the umpire, following a stick tackle led to an opportunity to engage the keeper and having beaten here slot the first Polish goal of the afternoon home. Poland fed the ball down the channel to their captain SLAWINSKA but to no avail. Belarus did equalize with a nice assist to PAKHANAVA who flicked it over the keeper on the run. A beautiful run from Polish captain SLAWINSKA handed the ball to WITTKE on a plate but it took two attempts to get the ball to cross the line and put Poland ahead for the second time in the game.

Poland had a good chance to extend their lead with a PC in the 33rd minute, but the switch strike wasn’t powerful enough and it was easily defended. However they had another chance a minute later as a well worked move saw Captain SLAWINSKI slot what was her penultimate goal. She also scored in over-time from a corner that Belarus had to defend without a goal keeper. Poland lie top of Pool A with 6 points at the end of Day 1.

Belarus v Poland; Final Score 1-4

POL ‘5 10 WITTKE Joanna FG 0-1
BLR ’16 6 PAKHANAVA Maryna FG 1-1
POL ’19 10 WITTKE Joanna FG 1-2
POL ’35 15 SLAWINSKA Paula FG 1-3
POL ’40 15 SLAWINSKA Paula PC 1-4

Austria v Slovakia

Slovak keeper VASOVA pulled off some excellent saves during the game to ensure a low scoring first half for Austria. Although RUBAS did break the defenses early in the game, some real athletisim from VOSOVA in the 8th and 10th minutes kept the Austrians at bay. The score was 1-0 at half time.

Finally the Slovak defense was broken again by a cracking shot from PULTAR in the 25th minute. Austria pilled on the pressure and forced a couple of corners STEYRER converting in the 29th minute but again VASOVA in the Slovak goal was classy and pulled off what seemed like impossible saves. Never giving up Slovakia earned a penalty stroke as the last defended stopped the ball on the line. PUCHEROVA converted, the score now 3-1. In a wonderful move from ADAMKOVA who ran the pitch fully in control and a perfect pass to KRC-JEDINA pulled one back for Slovakia in the 38th minute. The final 2 minutes were a bit scrappy and in the end Austria held on for the win.

Austria v Slovakia. Final score 3-2

AUT ‘4 24 RUBAS Rafaela FG 1-0
AUT ’25 19 PULTAR Marianne FG 2-0
AUT ’29 13 STEYRER Lisa PC 3-0
SVK ’33 8 PUCHEROVA Barbora PS 3-1
SVK ’38 11 KRC-JEDINA Barbora FG 3-2

Russia v Czech Republic

In the final game of Day 1, both teams had different agendas. Czech needed to get points on the board after their earlier loss to Austria. Russia with 3 points already hoped to finish the day top of Pool B and be assured of a semi- final slot. Russia got off to a better start with a quick opening goal from EROSHINA. A good leg save from Czech goal keeper in the 3rd minute contained Russia, but a direct strike in the 11th minute doubled the Russians lead. Slovakia, like in their earlier game had chances not converting two corners in the 13th and 15th minutes. A third corner in the 18th minute and  a sweet strike from CERMAKOVA narrowed the scoreline to 2-1. However Czech conceded a stoke in the last moments of the half and BORISOVA converted. 3-1 at half time.

Just after the break HRACHOVA, CZE scored much to the delight of the crowd making it a real battle here in Prague. Czech had a well worked PC saved in the 31st minute. Czech pilled the pressure on for the final 10 minutes of the game. But in pressing forward were exposed at the back and in the 35th minute BORISOVA found herself one on one with the keeper and scored 4-2 to Russia. Czech took their keeper off in a final attempt to get something from the game. Czech won  a PC in the 38th minute and another ensued but the ball was mistrapped. In spite of every last bit of energy being expended by the Czech team, it was a delighted Russian team that won the game 4-2 and now tops Pool B and along with Austria are assured of a semi-final slot.

Russia v Czech Republic. Final Score 4-2

RUS ‘2 7 EROSHINA Svetlana FG 1-0
RUS ’11 13 BORISOVA Valeriia PC 2-0
CZE ’18 12 CERMAKOVA Barbora PC 2-1
RUS ’20 13 BORISOVA Valeriia PS 3-1
CZE ’22 9 HRACHOVA Nikola FG 3-2
RUS ’35 13 BORISOVA Valeriia FG 4-2

 Pool A A

Team Pl W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Poland 2 2 0 0 6 2 4 6
 Turkey 2 1 0 1 6 2 4 3
 Belarus 2 1 0 1 7 6 1 3
 Switzerland 2 0 0 2 2 11 -9 0

Pool BB

Team Pl W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Russia 2 2 0 0 12 4 8 6
 Austria 2 2 0 0 7 4 3 6
 Czech Republic 2 0 0 2 4 8 -4 0
 Slovakia 2 0 0 2 4 11 -7 0

 

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Main photograph: Austrian captain Lisa STEYRER  (Frank Uijlenbroek (c))