Austria will meet the Czech Republic in the final (2.30pm CET) of the women’s EuroHockey Indoor Under-21 Championship at the Maihof Halle in Lucerne on Sunday following big semi-final wins.
Ukraine and Türkiye will battle for bronze while hosts Switzerland are in pole position to finish in fifth place in Pool C following their win over Poland.
Women’s EuroHockey Indoor U21 Championships – round-up
Austria 7 (K Proksch 2, J Czech 2, M Monghy, K Bauer, I Klausbruckner) Türikiye 2 (S Goceber 2)
Austria produced a brilliant performance to reach the final of the competition as they showed the composure to hold off a pumped up Türkiye in front a large, passionate crowd.
The Austrian side took the lead in the fifth minute from the penalty line with Katharina Proksch confidently flicking into the top left corner. Captain Joanna Czech added the next from a corner when their opponents were short-handed with Sila Erkoç receiving the first of two yellow cards in the game.
It remained like that for a long time before Austria got what looked like a killer goal in the 29th minute, Proksch lifting the ball over the goalkeeper from the left of the D for 3-0.
Türkiye took off their goalkeeper for the final quarter but were instantly caught with Marilena Monghy putting in a fourth goal. It gave a deceptive look to the scoreline but the Turks started to make inroads with Sumeyra Goceber getting two back in quick succession.
It ignited hopes of a famous comeback as the noise level rose and rose. Austria stayed calm and steadied the game with Czech scoring from another stroke in the 34th minute.
Katharina Bauer and Isabella Klausbruckner added further goals for good measure to send them through to the final and a chance to win the competition for the first time.
Czech Republic 7 (K Topinkova 3, N Hajková 2, K Kopecká, L Duchková) Ukraine 1 (K Popova)
2017 champions Czech Republic joined Austria in the final after a blistering first half performance put them out of range of Ukraine.
Three goals in the first 10 minutes made the big difference as Natálie Hajková scored from a corner and then from play before Kamila Kopecká tacked on her ninth of the tournament so far.
Katerina Topinkova extended the lead to 4-0 within seconds of the start of Q2 and while Ukraine rallied with a reply from Kateryna Popova before half-time, further goals from Lucie Duchková and Topinkova meant there was no drama in the final stretch.
Pool C: Italy 2 (M Piccinocchi 2) Croatia 0; Switzerland 4 (B Hipp, N Pöhler, R Müller, P Appel) Poland 3 (N Dejneka 2, M Czujewicz)
Switzerland have the advantage in the chase for fifth place from Pool C following their important 4-3 win over Poland. All their goals came in the first half as they recovered from the concession of an early goal to lead 3-1 and then 4-2 at half-time with goals from Benita Hipp, Nele Pöhler, Ria Müller and Paulina Appel.
Natalia Dejneka got one back in the second half but three yellow cards slowed their chances of nicking a result and the Swiss took the result, much to the delight of the full house in the Maihof Halle.
Earlier, Italy got their first win of the competition when they edged out Croatia in a 2-0 result with Mathilde Piccinocchi credited with both goals. The first was awarded just before half-time and then she fired in the clincher in the 28th minute.
Switzerland next face Croatia on Sunday morning at 10am (CET) before Poland face Italy at 11.15am.