Friday 9th December: Germany will meet the Netherlands in the women’s EuroHockey Indoor Championship final as they got the results they needed, leaving Ukraine and Austria to contest the bronze match in Hamburg.
The Germans will go into the decider as favourites following their big comeback win over the Dutch early in the day, a result which helped them top the group with five wins from five.
Austria v Ukraine 2-2
It was also a good day for Austria who recorded four points to earn a place against Ukraine for third place; the Czech Republic and Türkiye contest the fifth/sixth playoff.
First up, Austria’s first result was against that next opponent, Ukraine – a 2-2 draw. In a chance-filled first quarter, both goalkeepers were in strong form while Lisa Steyrer hit the post from a corner. The lead goal came in the 18th minute when Daria Buchta found space on the left endline and picked a great shot by Alina Fadieieva.
Ukraine equalised from a corner from Yeveniya Kernoz in the Q3 but Austria returned to the lead with a picture perfect goal from Steyrer, a passing move all around the right.
And they looked set for a first win of the competition until the last moments when Ukraine and Kernoz struck their second corner, 2-2.
Czech Republic v Türkiye 3-2
The Czech Republic got their first win of the competition with a 3-2 success against Türkiye who missed out by a single goal for a third successive game.
Natálie Hájková broke the deadlock in the fourth minute with a smart near post touch from Adela Lehovcova’s pull-back but the Turks swapped the lead before the end of the first quarter.
The first came from captain Perihan Çinar following Merve Aslan’s interception set up a fast counter. Fatma Songül Gultekin then finished off another counter, exchanging passes with Zeliha Kendir, to make it 2-1.
The Czechs, though, began to control the ball and their low defensive block was impenetrable from then on. Lucie Duchkková equalised with a corner goal and the crucial winner came from captain Katerina Lacina in the 26th minute, a sharp rebound after Hájková drew an initial save.
Çinar did hit the inside of the post in the last five minutes while Lacina missed a stroke that would have made it an easy closing phase but the Czech Republic held on for the win.
Germany v The Netherlands 4-2
Germany confirmed they will contest the final as they came back from 2-0 down to beat the Netherlands 4-2.
Laura van Heugten snapped up a close range rebound to put the Dutch in front in the second minute and stayed just clear when Viktoria Huse shot wide from a penalty stroke after Lisa Altenburg was tripped.
The lead was doubled via a Mabel Brands switch-flick but Germany began the comeback before half-time when Huse picked a perfect diagonal pass which Cecile Pieper picked up and potted into the goal.
Pia Maertens equalised with a beautiful shot off her right foot on the run, making it 2-2 at half-time and then through into the final quarter thanks to Natalie Kubalski’s heroics.
Maertens was, again, the gamebreaker with a sublime run down the left and once more deployed an early shot off her right foot to chip into the goal. And the flying forward then set up Anne Schröder to put extra daylight between the teams in the final moments.
Austria v Türkiye 5-2
In the second session, Austria confirmed they would be in the bronze medal match with an impressive 5-2 success against Türkiye.
They led from the eighth minute through Johanna Czech and never looked back, scoring from a corner and she produced a carbon copy moments later for 2-0. Marta Laginja added yet another into an unguarded net from a set piece for a healthy lead.
Perihan Çinar pulled one back but Fiona Felber beat the high press to put the game completely out of sight. She pushed into an open goal twice, making it 5-1; Çinar got a consolation goal via a defensive deflection to finish the game.
Germany cruised to a perfect five wins from five as they proved too strong for the Czech Republic 8-2. Early goals from Lisa Altenburg and a beautiful Sonja Zimmerman deflection set the tone and a penalty corner from Viktoria Huse bumped the score up to 3-0 at half-time.
Classy efforts from Altenburg, Sara Strauss and Pia Maertens came in the third quarter before Altenburg completed her hat-trick in the final quarter.
She is now on 12 goals from five games this tournament while Maertens ended the group stages on 10 with her second of the game in the 38th minute. Either side of that, Adela Lehovcova scored twice to get the Czechs on the scoreboard.
Ukraine v The Netherlands 1-12
The final match of the group stage was a decider to see who would join the Germans in the final with the Netherlands showing a clean pair of heels to Ukraine with a comprehensive win.
Laura van Heugten found the next inside the first minute and once Noor de Baat scored the second before the end of the first quarter, it always looked like it would be a comfortable result.
Anna de Geus scored the second from mid-circle and Elin van Erk extended the lead to 4-0 by half-time. Two Donja Zwinkels goals, one from Pam Imhof and a stroke from Lieke van Wijk put eight between the sides by the end of Q3.
Kateryna Kasianova did register a Ukraine goal but four more Dutch goals in the final quarter saw them through with a 12-1 final outcome.
The final takes place on Saturday at 15.35 (CET) between Germany and the Netherlands; the bronze match is at 14.10 (CET) with Ukraine facing Austria while the fifth/sixth place fixture between the Czech Republic and Türkiye is at 12.45 (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/
Photograph: Germany celebrates! (EHF / World Sport pics (c))