21.07.2015, Brussels; Semi Finals confirmed with Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ireland and Czech Republic all still on target for promotion into the EuroHockey Championships in 2017 and to take the Championship II title.

Azerbaijan 2 Wales 1 

The match started equal, both teams fought for every opportunity to have the ball. We could see more individual actions than team-plays. This wasn’t the right way to achieve the goal. However Azerbaijan got a penalty corner which led to the first goal of this match scored by captain Aliyeva Khatira. Despite of many chances on both sides, the score table stayed unchanged until the half-time and so Wales went into the changing room with 1:0 lead. The half-time break apparently help to the Azerbaijanis, who had suddenly more chances. But none of them was used. The Welsh coach wanted to tie the match at any cost and made in 62. minute an unusual decision known rather from indoor hockey – pulled out the goalie. Also thank to that Wales worked out a penalty strike that was successfully converted by Wilkinson and the game was tied. But Azerbaijanis immediately used the empty net of Wales and scored for the second time. Wales failed to react and left the match with no point.

Austria 0 Belarus 5 

Belorussian started the match with more enthusiasm and already in the 3rd minute were rewarded by the first goal from Bahushevich. Despite Austrians tried to answer and there were a few nice actions from them, it was not enough to score and thus Belorussian Papkova stroke and raised to 2:0. Austria went in the second half with offensive tactics, they endangered the Belarusian goalie a few times, but the happiness didn’t stand on their side today. Instead of that it was Belarus that were raising their goal account. Halinouskaya, Bahushevich and in the very end Kurhanskaya decided about a clear 5:0 victory for Belarus. From the perspective of Austrians the score is maybe too high, but their unforced mistakes in offensive actions were urging to punishment.

France 4 Ukraine 3 

Ukrainians started actively and scored the first goal in 6th minute.
French answered by a nice deflection goal between the legs of French goalie. France played more calm and they had the ball on their sticks more. They gradually added 2 goals, but Ukraine managed to tighten the score to 2:3 thanks to Khilko. In the beginning of the second half Ukraine put France under pressure, gained a penalty corner and converted it, but the goal was then withdrawn. This moment brought uncertainty into the Ukrainian team and they started to produce too many unforced mistakes. France used that and Billore scored her second goal in 41st minute. Ukraine managed to score once more, but they didn’t have enough power to tie the game and thus French took all 3
points worthily.

Ireland 3 Czech Republic 0 

Ireland confirmed a favorite role and was dominant from the very beginning. As Czechs finally got out of pressure and were close to Irish circle, Irish got the ball and scored the first goal of the match from a breakaway. The Irish pressure continued, but Czechs were defending bravely. They capitulated in 31st minute after a drag flick from Irish penalty corner. In the second half Czechs started better, they had a few offensive attempts, but Ireland didn’t allow them to enter the circle. Irish players controlled the game and tried to enter the Czech circle what was difficult because of good working Czech defense. Finally in the beginning of the last quarter Ireland scored again, Beatty shot with an Argentinean backhand. Ireland confirmed by this won it’s ambition to promote into the top EuroHockey  Division.

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