Men’s EuroHockey Indoor U21 Championship final
Austria 10 (F Losonci 4, F Hackl 2, M Nyckowiak, M Kelner, T Mimmler, J Winkler) Switzerland 2 (L Thijs, M Ribaudo)
Austria produced an outstanding first half performance to storm to the men’s EuroHockey Indoor U21 Championship title with a 10-2 victory over Switzerland in Nymburk, retaining the title they won in 2019.
It was a breathtaking opening from the five-time champions. It took 52 seconds for Marcin Nyckowiak to fire home with interest after Fülöp Losonci’s first shot was blocked.
Maximilian Kelner added a corner in the third minute and Tobias Mimmler went all the way from his own circle to score the third goal from the left of the D just before the end of Q1.
Two corner goals from Losonci stretched it out to 5-0 and Florian Hackl popped home a rebound with a dainty flick as it became six with just 16 minutes played.
Switzerland came out fighting in the second half and had one back when Louis Thijs tidied up a messy penalty corner against a doubly short-handed Austrian defence in the 23rd minute.
But hopes of a big comeback were cut off when Josef Winkler chipped in a lovely goal on the right post toward the end of the third quarter for 7-1.
Mattia Ribaudo scrambled in another Swiss effort only for Hackl to reply instantly from the top of the circle and Losonci completed his hat trick from the penalty spot to make it 9-2 and made it double figures in the last 20 seconds.
Earlier, Poland earned a medal for a seventh consecutive Europeans as they took bronze ahead of the Czech Republic who ended fourth, their best outcome since 2004.
Four Marcello Succi goals earned Italy a fifth place finish over Ukraine who, despite the defeat, secured their best ever finish, outdoing the seventh place in 2013. Denmark came back from 3-0 down to defeat Croatia 5-4 and claim seventh place. Reports below on those playoffs.
Third-fourth place playoff
Czech Republic 2 (A Vanko, J Trejbal) Poland 5 (R Pawlak 2, M Wiśniewski, J Mikołajczak, J Hołoysniuk)
Poland earned a medal for a seventh consecutive Europeans as they got the best of the Czech Republic who ended fourth, their best outcome since 2004.
Poland went in front in the first quarter following a clever stepover on the left board which allowed Szymon Cyprych time to cross to Mateusz Wiśniewski to deflect in. Robert Pawlak doubled the lead from an 11th minute corner and they moved three clear when Kamil Staszewski broke along the right sideline and picked out Jakub Mikołajczak.
Adam Vanko got one back before half-time for the Czechs from a corner, making it 3-1 at half-time. Q3 went back and forth with both defences rock-solid, only allowing narrow glimpses of goal.
But Poland had their winning moment with five minutes to go when Emil Witczak was felled in the circle and Jakub Hołoysniuk stepped up to score a stroke.
Jan Brzák was shown yellow soon after and they spurned a couple of corners but did get a lifeline with three minutes to go when Jan Trejbal slid in their second goal. But Pawlak had the final say, robbing the ball and flicking into an open net for 5-2.
Fifth-sixth place playoff
Italy 5 (M Succi 4, S Zoppi) Ukraine 3 (V Cherniuk, O Boiko, O Yasinskyi)
Four Marcello Succi goals earned Italy a fifth place finish over Ukraine who, despite the defeat, secured their best ever finish, outdoing the seventh place in 2013.
Succi starred from the opening phases, a brilliant pirouette opening the scoring and then he guided in a Dario Saoncella cross for 2-0. Ukraine, though, were making lots ot chances, missing out from three corners and only denied by a full-length Francesco Guiggi stick save.
Vladyslav Cherniuk got Ukraine on the board when his shot squeezed in; Olekandr Boiko rebounded for 2-2 and then Yurii Dzemukh played a great behind the back pass to Oleksandr Yasinskyi 20 seconds later for a 3-2 half-time lead.
A deft Succi touch over the goalkeeper levelled the game once more in Q3 and they led once more when Simone Zoppi planted a corner into the backboard. Succi then cashed in the last two minutes as Ukraine threw everything forward.
Seventh-eighth place playoff
Croatia 4 (F Zlatar 2, L Wehr, N Sluga) Denmark 5 (H Nørgaard 2, M Thorsted, R Westrup, F Moll)
Denmark produced a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down to win the seventh place playoff and record their best finish in the competition since 2007. Two goals from Fran Zlatar and one from Lijan Wehr had Croatia in great shape but the Danes came back strong with Hector Nørgaard putting them on the board and a Magnus Thorsted corner closed the gap to 3-2 going into the final quarter.
Goals in quick succession by Rasmus Westruo, Nørgaard, Rasmus Westrup and Frederik Moll transformed the complexion of the game, making it 5-3 before Noa Sluga pulled one back at the end.
Men’s EuroHockey Indoor U21 Championship – final rankings
- Czech Republic
Player of the tournament: Robert Pawlak (Poland)
Top scorer: Robert Pawlak (Poland) – 14 goals
Goalkeeper of the tournament: Lukas Schiesser (Austria)
** All games from the competition are available to watch back via www.eurohockeytv.org with commentary from Nick Irvine. This stream is free of charge for those registered with an account.
** Full tournament statistical information is available here: https://tms.fih.ch/competitions/1466