Ukraine, the Netherlands, and Germany all made big steps toward potential medal matches as they both won twice on the opening day of the women’s EuroHockey Indoor Championships in Hamburg.
They all sit on six points after day one while Austria, Türkiye, and the Czech Republic will all be looking to bounce back on day two.
UKR v CZE (Pool A) 7-3
Ukraine opened the tournament in an emotional fashion, playing some wonderful intricate first-time hockey which proved too strong for the Czech Republic.
Olha Honcharenko’s first-time deflection from a long pass put them 1-0 up before Yuliiia Shevchenko doubled the lead from a corner. The Czech Republic bounced back with quick goals from Natálie Hájková and a great move finished by Nikol Babická.
Ukraine returned to the front with a glorious move from Maryna Khilko’s finish, edging them 3-2 up at half-time. They took control in the second half with Kateryna Shokalenko’s brilliant top-circle shot extending their advantage and further goals from Oksana Ponomarenko and Honcharenko made it 6-2.
Hájková got one back for the Czechs with less than two minutes left but Honcharenko completed the scoring in the closing seconds.
NED v AUT (Pool A) 7-0
The Netherlands eased to a 7-0 win over Austria in their opening fixtures with Elin van Erk putting them on the road to victory with a sixth-minute corner goal.
Mabel Brands added another in the 15th minute and Lieke van Wijk made it 3-0 with a stroke before half-time. They were largely in control from there on despite some neat work from Daria Buchta and fine goalkeeping by Stella van Rahden.
The Dutch, though, eased clear in the last 12 minutes with Noor de Baat scoring twice with Anna de Geus and Donja Zwinkels also on the mark.
GER v TUR (Pool A) 11-2
A Lisa-Altenburg-inspired Germany lit up the morning session with a big 11-2 win over Türkiye who were contesting their first-ever fixture in the top tier of the European Indoor Championships.
It was their penalty corner accuracy that made the initial inroads – Sonja Zimmerman’s clever whip and flicks twice found the net in the first quarter, backed up by one from Altenburg and a field goal from Pia Maertens.
Emine Bahçivan countered with a first goal for the Turks, a lovely team move, but Altenburg was soon firing again to make it 5-1 at half-time. The diminutive forward and Maertens added one each in Q3 before Altenburg bolstered her tally to five goals in the final quarter. Anne Schröder got in on the act with two of her own before Zeliha Kendir added a final goal for Türkiye.
NED v CZE (Pool A) 3-0
The Dutch made it two wins from two – and also two successive clean sheets – when they got the best of the Czech Republic with a neat 3-0 win.
For the most part, the Czech side attempted to play a tight defensive game, looking to counter as the Dutch held much of the possession.
The Oranje got the breakthrough eight minutes in and some extra insurance via Anna de Geus in the third quarter. Noor de Baat scrambled in the third to put them in great shape going into the second day of the tournament.
TUR v UKR (Pool A) 6-7
Ukraine joined them there on six points but in a very different style as they produced a mighty comeback to eventually deny Türkiye their first win. The Turks led 3-1 and 5-2 at different stages and it was level until four minutes from the end when Ukraine went in front for the first time.
A blistering hat trick from Fatma Songül Gültekin had the debutantes flying high in the first quarter as they led 3-2. Olha Honcharenko got one back via a neat finish from captain Perihan Çinar kept a healthy gap at half-time and that was extended to 5-2 via another from Çinar into an open net.
Ukraine, though, never lost faith and they started their fightback with Honcharenko and Kateryna Shokalenko slotting goals before the latter nailed a corner shot for 5-5.
Türkiye roared back, Zeliha Kendir rounding the goalkeeper for the lead once more but Honcharenko got her third and fourth goals of the match – and seventh of the day – to nick a memorable win.
GER v AUT (Pool A) 8-0
Germany duly ran up their second win of the day with a strong victory over Austria who initially showed strong resolve before the quality of the hosts came to bear.
Cecile Pieper and Lisa Altenburg put them 2-0 up in the first six minutes while Austria could not take full advantage of a couple of corners they picked up.
Sara Strauss extended the lead to three before half-time before getting her second in Q3; Viki Huse made it 5-0 soon after. Altenburg and two more from Strauss’s closed out the day’s action in a 8-0 result.
Day two sees the men’s competition get up and running with six matches taking place while there are three more women’s fixtures at the Hamburg Sportshalle. It all starts at 9.30am (CET) while the final game gets underway at 19.30 (CET).
You can watch every game of the 2022 EuroHockey Indoor Championships via www.eurohockeytv.org; a €3.99 tournament pass is available for all countries EXCEPT Germany for games involving Germany. those games will be geo-blocked due to live broadcasts on local channels.
Further details here: https://eurohockey.org/2022/11/30/eurohockeytv-to-broadcast-eurohockey-indoor-championships/
For a detailed preview of each women’s team, click here.
For a detailed review of the men’s teams, click here.