Poland and Czech Republic complete U-21 men’s semi-final line-ups

Posted On 21/01/2023

The semi-final line-up was confirmed with Poland and the Czech Republic both winning their key fixtures to join Austria and Switzerland in the running for the title. 

Poland ran up a 10-1 win over Croatia to confirm their place while the Czechs are in the final four for the first time since 2004 courtesy of a 6-2 success against Denmark.

The Austrians confirmed they will top Pool A with a victory over Türkiye with the Swiss second on goal difference. Full round-up of fixtures below.

** 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 

Austria 9 (F Losonci 2, F Hackl 2, Marcin Nyckowiak 2, Mateusz Nyckowiak, M Kelner, J Winkler) Türkiye 2 (K Özdemir 2)

Austria’s big win ultimately saw them do enough to win Pool A on goal difference ahead of Switzerland as they got the beat of Türikye 9-2 as five goals in the last six minutes bolstered their tally.

Austria did not have long to wait to get on the scoreboard through Josef Winkler and then Florian Hackl added another. But it was tight in this early phase and Kerem Özdemir pulled one back; cutting the gap to 3-1 at half-time and then at 4-2 in Q3.

But the run of goals in the closing minutes saw Austria win well with Fülöp Losonci, Hackl and Marcin Nyckowiak all ending with two each.

Ukraine 1 (D Zheleznyi) Switzerland 5 (L Thijs, L Kraxner, J Flück, Y Hug, T Capellano) 

Switzerland – already assured of a semi-final spot – needed a 10-goal win to jump up to top of the group but it never looked likely despite an impressive win over Ukraine. Dmytro Zheleznyi put Ukraine – who needed to avoid a heavy defeat to escape the 9th place playoff – in front at the end of the first quarter with a neat finish.

The Swiss, though, did their damage in quarters two and three. Louis Thijs and Léonard Kraxner swapped the lead by half-time and further corners from Yannick Hug and Tommaso Capellano along with a Jens Flück goal made it 5-1 with 10 minutes remaining.


Pool B

Croatia 1 (F Gjurinski) Poland 10 (R Pawlak 4, S Cyprych 3, M Wiśniewski 2, D Turij)

Poland confirmed their place in the semi-finals with a comprehensive win, turning on the style in the second half with a series of breathtaking goals. A draw or better was what was required but the big scoreline also gave them a big chance of topping the table no matter what happened between Denmark and the Czech Republic.

Set moves from Robert Pawlak and Szymon Cyprych got their noses in front 2-0 in Q1 and a second Pawlak corner made it 3-1 at the big break, Fran Gjurinski scrambling in a reply from close range. After that, they produced some glorious hockey with Cyprych cashing in with two beauties from play. 

Pawlak ended with four goals to rise to 11 overall while Mateusz Wiśniewski added two more in the final quarter.

Czech Republic 6 (Š Klaban 2, J Brzák 2, L Stibor, M Hána) Denmark 2 (M Thorsted, R Westrup)

The Czech Republic qualified for the final four for the first time since 2004 as they won their showdown with Denmark to complete the semi-final line-up.

The Czechs began perfectly, Lukáš Stibor scoring from the left baseline. Denmark rode their luck for a while with their goalkeeper Christopher Meiland making some crucial saves and they got level when Magnus Thorsted’s stroke just about snuck over the line.

But the hosts restored the lead just before the break when Štepán Klaban provided the assist for Jan Brzák to make it 2-1. Klaban then put daylight between the teams with one of the first plays of the second half, his diving cross taking an unfortunate defensive touch into the goal.

Klaban extended the lead to 4-1 from a corner; Rasmus Westrup countered that in the closing quarter as Denmark hoped for a big comeback but Matyáš Hána’s cool one-on-one goal quelled their nerves. Brzak added another to get the crowd going.

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