Switzerland lead the way after day one at men’s U21 indoors in Nymburk

Posted On 19/01/2023

Switzerland were the sole side to end day one of the men’s EuroHockey Indoor Under-21 Championships with six points out of six to lead the way in Pool A in Nymburk, Czech Republic.

They head their group ahead of an impressive Austria who won their only game while Group B is anyone’s guess with Denmark and Poland on four points and the Czech hosts on three points.

** All games from the competition will be live-streamed via www.eurohockeytv.org with commentary from Nick Irvine. This stream is free of charge for those registered with an account.

** Scores will be posted to the EuroHockey social media accounts while full tournament statistical information is available here: https://tms.fih.ch/competitions/1466 

Pool A 
Switzerland 6 (L Kraxner 3, J Flück 2, L Stomps) Italy 3 (F Dionisi Vici, D Saoncella, M Succi)
Two slick Leonard Kraxner goals in the closing quarter earned Switzerland the opening win of the championship to finally see off Italy in the opening game in Nymburk.

A lively battle, Dario Saoncella got Itally up and running on the counter but Lars Stomps powered in a corner and Kraxner got his first of three goals for a narrow 2-1 half-time lead. Two more from Jens Flück put them 4-1 clear but Marcello Succi and Felix Dionisi Vici got Italy right back in it before the end of Q3.

Kraxner, though, quelled any nerves as the Swiss started on the front foot.

Ukraine 3 (D Zheleznyi 2, Y Dzemukh) Türkiye 3 (I Bakar 2, R Kayar)
Isa Bakar’s equaliser inside the last 20 seconds saw Türkiye snatch a point from their tussle with Ukraine. Earlier, Ukraine had looked to be flying high in the first quarter when Yuri Dzemukh rocketed a set piece into the top corner and Dmytro Zheleznyi added a second for 2-0.

They looked comfortable at stage but the Turks had the best of the second and third quarters, creating plenty of chances, Ramazan Kayar cutting the gap in the 14th minute. But they could not make more use of their openings and were stung when Zheleznyi got a corner goal from a breakaway.

That came during a period of five yellow cards – three for Ukraine, two for Türkiye – in a five-minute spell before the big comeback arrived. Bakar pulled one back from a corner with five minutes left and then had the final say to make it a point each.

***

Austria 7 (Marcin Nyckowiak 2, P Bräutigam 2, F Losonci, F Hackl, J Winkler) Italy 2 (M Succi, L D’Amico)
Austria produced a classy first performance of the tournament to outdo Italy with five first half goals setting them on their way to victory. Captain Fülöp Losonci started the ball rolling with a corner effort before Marcin Nyckowiak whipped in two brilliant goals on the spin for a 3-0 advantage in the first quarter.

Paul Bräutigam added another great finish for the fourth and then Florian Hackl picked out the bottom corner for 5-0 at half-time. Josef Winkler added another before Italy had their best spell, getting two back via Marcello Succi and Leonardo D’Amico in Q3 but Bräutigam finished off the win for Austria while Italy end day one with two losses.

Switzerland 4 (L Kraxner, Y Hug, T Capellano, L Grandchamp) Türkiye 1 (A Alperen)
Switzerland ended the day as the only side with two wins from two as they defeated a Türkiye side stymied by a 23rd minute red card which left them unable to force a way back into the tie.

Léonard Kraxner got the only goal of the first half as the Swiss enjoyed a decent amount of control on the game. The pattern shifted when Isa Bakar received a second yellow card for drilling with 17 minutes left but his side did almost immediately find an equalising goal. Atas Alperen drove home from the top of the circle from a turnover on halfway.

Finally, Switzerland started to exploit the spaces and they went back into the lead through Yannick Hug and got an extra insurance when Tommaso Capellano made it 3-1. Captain Loris Grandchamp completed the scoring.

Pool B
Poland 17 (M Wiśniewski 5, E Witczak 3, J Hołosyniuk 2, J Mikołajczak 2, M Pawlak 2, R Pawlak 2, S Tyranowski) Slovakia 1 (R Garaj)
Poland proved too strong for Slovakia as Mateusz Wiśniewski top-scored with five goals to get the 2017 champions off to a great start. It was a rough start for the Slovaks who were playing in the top tier for the first time since 2000, before any of their current side was born. Nonetheless, they battled until the end and got on the scoreboard via captain Richard Garaj late in the game.

Croatia 5 (L Mesarić 3, F Zlatar, B Hrupec) Denmark 8 (H Nørgaard 3, M Thorsted, O Sørensen, U Nielsen, R Westrup, A Jacobsen)
Denmark produced an excellent second half performance to record victory over Croatia following a cracking battle. They led on four different occasions, first moving in front through captain Hector Nørgaard in the seventh minute. Luka Mesarić levelled before Nørgaard and Fran Zlatar advanced the score to 2–2 at the end of Q1.

Croatia went in front in Q2 via Bruno Hrpuec but a Magnus Thorsted stroke and Nørgaard’s corner got the Danes back on top only for Mesarić to lock it up at 4-4 at half-time.

Denmark huddle. Picture: Will Palmer/World Sport Pics

Denmark, though, bossed the second half and while Val Kuhar brilliantly saved a second stroke, they never looked back once Oliver Sørensen made it 5-4. Three goals in quick succession at the start of Q4 killed off the contest with Ulrik Nielsen, Anders Jacobsen and Rasmus Westrup all on the mark before Mesarić completed his personal hat trick with the last play of the session.

Poland 3 (R Pawlak, M Pawlak, J Hołosyniuk) Denmark 3 (H Nørgaard 2, O Sørensen)
Denmark held on for an important draw, leaving Poland disappointed they could not end the day on full points as both ended the day on four points after two games.

The Danes led twice in the first eight minutes with Oliver Sørensen breaking the deadlock after two neat passes off the boards and Hector Nørgaard scoring from a corner, outdoing Robert Pawlak’s low shot. It made it 2-1 at the end of the first quarter.

Maksymilian Pawlak equalised at 2-2 and Jakub Hołosyniuk put his side in front for the first time in the 16th minute with a lovely flick following a Robert Pawlak pass. From there, they had lots of corners and chances but could not do enough with them and the game was eventually split when Rasmus Westrup dug the ball out for Nørgaard to score his fifth goal of the day.

Czech Republic 17 (A Vañko 4, S Klaban 3, J Trejbal 3, J Brzák 2, J Toms 2, L Stibor, M Plachy, P Dubina)  Slovakia 0
The Czech Republic powered to a big win to start their weekend in Nymburk as Slovakia again struggled to keep pace with their neighbours. There was four goals for Adam Vañko  along with hat tricks for Štèpán Klaban and Jan Trejbal as they built a 9-0 half-time lead and then continued on in the second period with eight different scorers registering.

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