Day 4, 4 August 2021
The final Day of Pool A and B matches in Lousada (POR) started with Pool A match Belarus vs Malta. Malta needed a win to secure a place in the semi-finals where a draw would be sufficient for Belarus.
Belarus v Malta 9-0
It was clear that Belarus was the stronger side of the 2 teams in the first quarter. They kept pressing and didn’t give the Maltese side time to keep possession of the ball. In the 3rd minute, a field goal by Uladzislau BELAVUSAU was followed by one from Vadzim BANDARCHUK 4 minutes later. Belarus received several penalty corners in the 1st period, but time after time the defense of Malta saved the attempts or Belarus failed to inject or stop correctly. Finally, in the 15th minute, a PC was stopped on the line with the body of a defender. The penalty stroke was converted by Aliaksandr HANCHAROU; 3-0.
The 2nd quarter was similar to the 1st with several chances for Belarus. The 4-0 was a beautiful goal. Dzianis TSALUIKA came into the circle on the right side, went to his backhand and his shot went, via the post, high in the top far corner. 2 minutes later the same Dzianis TSALUIKA converted a PC and Mikhail PAULOVICH made the 6th in the 27th minute which meant the halftime score was 6-0.
In the 2nd half, Malta was better structured in the back and was able to get some small opportunities in the Belarussian circle. It lasted until the 41st minute that the 7th goal was scored by Dzianis KHATYLIOU. Dzianis TSALUIKA converted a nice drag flick (8-0) some seconds before the end of the 3rd quarter, scoring his 3rd of the game.
Nothing much happened in the last quarter. Malta got a huge opportunity to score their first goal, but their attempt went just wide. Yauheni HAURYLAU was the only person to score making the final result 9-0. The 2 sides met 4 years ago for the last time on the same level when the event was played in Sveti Ivan Zelina (CRO) where Belarus also beat Malta 9-0.
It meant Belarus became 1st in Pool A as they have a better goal difference than Turkey: +9 vs +3.
Czech Republic v Lithuania 6-0
The Czech Republic and Lithuania were up next. A draw would be sufficient for Czech Republic to become 1st in pool B where Lithuania needed a good result. Depending on the result of SVK-POR a draw could be sufficient for the Baltic nation, but they would have to wait until the end of the day before this would be clear.
The 1st 14 minutes of the game were more or less played at the midfield. No real chances for both teams, except 1 PC for the Czechs. In the last minute of the period, an attacker of Czech was able to dribble through the circle where he found Jan ŽELEZNÝ to score in the open net.
The 2-0 was again scored by Jan ŽELEZNÝ in the 21st minute after some sloppy defending. The ball was loose in front of the goalkeeper and Jan ŽELEZNÝ was quicker than the defender to double the score. Štěpán KLABAN made it 3-0 to the Czech Republic via a field goal just before the end of the 2nd period.
Via his 3rd penalty stroke of the tournament, one in every game, Tomas PROCHÁZKA scored the 4-0 when an attacker was brought down in the circle. Adam UHLÍŘ in the 53rd minute and again Tomas PROCHÁZKA in the 55th minute from the top of the circle, made the final score 6-0 to the Czech Republic. They became 1st in Pool B.
Slovakia v Portugal 2-2
Last up were Slovakia and Portugal. Two years ago in Gibraltar, the result between these teams was 8-5 to Portugal. What would it be now?
Matej HRUSKA put the Slovaks ahead in the 6th minute via a PC, but a minute later the equalizer was scored via Rodrigo CASTRO. José SANTOS scored a nice goal in the 39th minute, putting the home nation ahead for the first time this match.
Slovak goalkeeper Jakub BOGÁR made some excellent saves in the match, making sure his team stayed in the game. Captain of Slovakia Matej JELAČIČ got a huge opportunity 3 minutes before the end to secure the 2-2 via a penalty stroke, which he did. Final result 2-2.
This meant Portugal is 2nd in Pool B, with Slovakia being last.