Final Day Roundup – EuroHockey Championship II, 2020

22/01/2020

Switzerland wins, Belarus second, Portugal third

The championship saw an insane last day. Three out of four matches were still about a lot. Only the match between Turkey and Italy had only statistical value. Both teams were already saved, played a quick final match in Group C and finally parted deservedly with a 4-4 draw,

while Slovakia and Denmark were concerned with nothing less than keeping their place in the class. Slovakia put an end to the trembling early on and won 6-1, making it clear that Denmark had to relegate.

In Group D, all four teams still had a chance to make the two promotion spots before the last day. Switzerland and Belarus started with the best cards, closely followed by the surprise team from Portugal. Croatia was also lurking but was desperate for a win and three points in its last match against Belarus. For Croatia, it looked very good for a long time. The team had improved over the course of the tournament and pressed for speed in an open game. Belarus, until then stylistically confident and stable, showed unexpected problems. In the last three minutes, however, the events came thick and fast. The Belarusian keeper held everything and was then voted the best goalie of the tournament, with the forwards scoring at the front. 3:2 was the hard verdict and made it clear that Belarus could take one of the two promotion spots.

But which one? That was decided in the final match, in the twentieth game of the tournament. Switzerland was allowed, Portugal had to win: Both teams started off very cautiously and fought a tactical battle with a lot of waiting. Portugal 1-0 was the can opener for this match. Switzerland opened, allowing chances, but the Swiss keeper Lars Kleikemper brilliantly shattered all of them. The hosts went up the pace and scored twice: 2-1 was the final result, making it clear that Switzerland and Belarus would finish in that order. Portugal in third and Croatia in fourth place was left behind.

The best goal scorers were awarded: David Franco and Vasco Ribeiro (both POR) with 10 goals each.

As best keeper: Ramen Vitko (BLR)

Best player: Boris Stomps (SUI) 

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