Day three of the Belfius EuroHockey Championships saw a royal visit, our first semi-finalists confirmed and a series of thrilling matches at a sold out Wilrijkse Plein stadium in Antwerp.
Women’s Pool B got the action under way with Germany hitting Belarus for 13 while England held off the advances of Ireland for a narrow 2-1 win. On Monday, Germany will play England at 13.30 (CET) with the winner going into pole position while Ireland and Belarus hope to keep chase in the second game at 15.45 (CET).
Pool A also gets back into gear in the late games with the Netherlands facing Spain at 18.00 (CET) and the Belgian hosts up against Russia at 20.30 (CET).
Then it was time for round two of the men’s competition. In Pool A, Belgium became the first side to reach the final four with a hard-fought 2-0 win over England. Spain bounced back from their opening defeat to see off Wales 5-1. This group returns to the fray on Tuesday with a Spain-England battle with second spot on the line while Belgium face the Welsh.
Pool B, meanwhile, saw Ireland come from 3-1 down in the last five minutes to draw 3-3 with Scotland. The result, though, means both sides need a major shock if they are to overhaul Germany for a semi-final ticket. The Netherlands, meanwhile, became the second side to reach the final four courtesy of a thrilling 3-2 win over Germany. Ireland face the Germans on Tuesday with Scotland meeting the Dutch.
England 2 (S Petty, G Ansley) Ireland 1 (B Barr)
England survived a late Irish onslaught to win their first game in Pool B of the EuroHockey Championship in Antwerp with first half corner goals proving decisive.
Suzy Petty and Giselle Ansley scored one each before the big break for an imposing 2-0 lead and while Beth Barr got one back with 17 minutes to go, they held for a narrow 2-1 success.
Germany 13 (R Grote 4, P Maertens 2, A Schroder 2, N Lorenz 2, S Oruz, L Micheel, C Pieper) Belarus 0
Germany powered past Belarus to record an imposing victory in the opening game of Pool B of the women’s Belfius EuroHockey Championships.
Five first half goals set them on their way and they barely looked back with another five in the third quarter extending their lead into double figures with Rebecca Grote top-scoring with four.
Spain 5 (P Quemada 2, A Iglesias, V Ruiz, J Romeu) Wales 1 (G Furlong)
Spain bounced back from their opening day loss to Belgium to beat Wales with something to spare, putting them right back in the race for the semi-final places.
They built a 2-0 lead by quarter-time through Alvaro Iglesias and Pau Quemada to be in prime position before moving 4-0 clear via Vincenc Ruiz and Josep Romeu. Gareth Furlong did get one back from a corner but Quemada’s second earned a strong victory.
England 0 Belgium 2 (T Boon, A Hendrickx)
Belgium survived a high-class international contest as they made it two wins from two, making it through to the semi-final with a game to spare, impressing their own King Philippe who was among the sold out crowd at Wilrijkse Plein.
Penalty corner goals from Tom Boon and Alexander Hendrickx proved the difference but the Red Lions were also indebted to Vincent Vanasch who had an excellent game to keep his second clean sheet of the competition so far.
Ireland 3 (S O’Donoghue 2, T Cross) Scotland 3 (K Bain 2, C Falconer)
Ireland fought back from 3-1 down in the final five minutes to draw their Celtic derby with Scotland, leaving both sides to reflect on a close-run battle.
Tim Cross and Shane O’Donoghue both scored in quick succession in the last five minutes to complete the comeback and earn a point. O’Donoghue had earlier given Ireland a first-quarter lead before Kenny Bain’s double and one from Craig Falconer saw Scotland lead 3-1 before those late goals.
Germany 2 (T Herzbruch, L Windfeder) Netherlands 3 (M Pruijser, B Bakker, T Brinkman)
Thierry Brinkman finished off an outstanding team move to score the vital goal in a thrilling 3-2 victory for the Netherlands over Germany to secure the first semi-final spot from men’s Pool B in Antwerp.
The Dutch led three times in a pulsating contest that flowed from end-to-end at real pace as two of the main title contenders showed what they can do. Mirco Pruijser and Timm Herzbruch exchanged first half goals before Billy Bakker and Lukas Windfeder did likewise in the third quarter, laying the base for Brinkman’s memorable winner.
Monday, August 19 schedule (all times CET; Wilrijkse Plein, Antwerp)
Women’s Belfius EuroHockey Championships
Pool A: Spain v Netherlands, 18.00; Belgium v Russia, 20.30
Pool B: Germany v England, 13.30; Ireland v Belarus, 15.45
ALL GAMES ARE AVAILABLE ON WWW.EUROHOCKEYTV.ORG VIA AN EVENT PASS OF €9.99 (GEO BLOCKED IN BELGIUM)
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