23.07.2015, Brussels; Denmark, Malta, Lithuania and Slovakia are fighting for the honour of the title of EuroHockey Champions Division IV, and also the opportunity to be promoted to the EuroHockey Championships Division III in 2017.
Games on 22nd July went as follows:
Hungary – Denmark 1-2
Denmark took charge of the game from the beginning getting the lead after 5 minutes by the leading goal scorer of the tournament, Tobias Grand. Denmark kept the possession but were able to convert it into goals. As the half time went on, Hungary gained more and more ground on the Danes, being dangerous on the fast breaks. In the second half Hungary finally got money back on their investment when Levente Botka evened out the score and keeping the pressure on the Danes.
Denmark however got one back just 6 minutes later when they converted a PC and took the lead. The last 20 minutes of the game both teams had their opportunities but the score ended 2-1 for Denmark to the relief of the Danish bench and the disappointment of the Hungarian.
Slovakia – Norway 8-2
Slovakia took the lead after less than 30 seconds when Matej Jelacic made his first out of 5 (!) in the game.
Norway was stunned and conceived another two goals within the next 19 minutes. After that they got better organized and reduced the lead to 1-3 after 22 minutes and again to 2-3 by a superb solo run from Arunpreet Garcha who just a minute earlier missed a big opportunity for Norway.
Slovakia took the initiative back and in three minutes went from 3-2 to 6-2.
After half time both teams created chances but it was only in the final minutes of the game more goals came – both times for Slovakia and both times Matej Jelacic putting him in second place for overall top score of the tournament so far.
Cyprus – Malta 1-3
Battle of the islands – the clash of the day was definitely between the two islands of the tournament where a victory would ensure a place in the semifinal on Friday.
Both team was focused and disciplined from the beginning, challenging each other and creating chances. It was Cyprus who took the lead after 26 minutes only to get one back on a PC in extra time just before the break. In the second half both teams contested for taking the lead but it was Malta who had the upper hand, scoring the crucial second goal with 20 minutes to go. Malta then stepped back, leaving the initiative to Cyprus. The tactic was clear. Defend the lead and then hit back on fast breaks. And that was just what happened of 59 minutes, where they got a penalty stroke which was converted to the final score of 1-3.
The last ten minutes Malta kept ball possession, defending the lead until the final whistle.
Finland – Lithuania 1-5
Finland played their best game so far. They took the host nation by surprise and scored after only 2 minutes. Unfortunately for Finland the lead only lasted 4 minutes and 7 minutes later they were down by one goal. But it did not break them and they kept fighting throughout the first half even though Lithuania got the 3-1 goal after 23 minutes. In the second half Finland continued to create chances and Lithuania took the foot of the pedal, saving their resources for the coming semifinal. As the second half went on, Finland’s resources also died out and they conceived two more goals within the last 10 minutes, leading to the final 5-1 victory for Lithuania. (pictured)