Following the two semi-finals, today Austria and Poland are our Finalists at the EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championships 2019.

Semi-final: Austria v Italy 5 – 1 (3 – 1)

Austria led by their World gold medalist UNTERKIRCHER dominated the first semi-final in front of a boisterous home crowd.

UNTERKIRCHER scored in the 2nd minute, but unphased by this, Italy equalised a minute later via LAGO. A thumping strike from a PC via UNTERKIRCHER in the 13th minute put Austria ahead again. WELLAN added to the tally at half time as Austria led 3-1 at the half.

Italy had chances in the second half as they continued to attack, forcing Austria’s keeper to make a couple of good saves in the 28th minute. UNTERKIRCHER, our man of the match was on fire in the second half causing havoc in the Italian defence and adding 2 more goals for the game to finish 5-1.

Speaking to the Italian Coach Richard KOTRC post game he said “When someone say me before the Tournament that we would be in the semi-final I would not have believed them! We played a strong game, against strong teams. Yes for sure we make some mistakes but for Italy indoor hockey is not simple. Now we have a chance of a medal, we are waiting to see who we play. Tomorrow is another day. Maybe we win a medal or maybe not, but I am very proud of my team. “

Semi-final: Poland v Switzerland 5 – 2 (1 – 2)

A very tight semi-final as Switzerland had the better of the first half SCHWEHR getting on the scoreboard twice after SUDOL had put Poland ahead in the 7th minute. SUDOL got his hattrick in the second half adding two more in the 23rd and 30th minute, with KARULAK also scoring in the 32nd minute. However, Switzerland had many chances in the early part of the second half, but failed to convert them, leaving an experienced Polish side to take advantage and ensure their final place and a repeat of the 2017 Final!

Pool C: Croatia v Russia 1 – 7 (0 – 2)

Earlier today the Pool C, Relegation Pool began in earnest as Belarus, Russia, Turkey and Croatia battle it out to stay in the division.

Russia found their stride in this afternoon’s game v Croatia. They started with a goal from MURADIAN in the 7th minute. CHUGUNOV got the second, a one on one v the keeper as Russia started to take control of the game. This was the score at the break.

BONDARIUK added a 3rd just after the break and from then on it was Russian domination over a tired looking Croatian team. A fine display from Russian captain ARUSIIA who added two to his tally of superb individual skilled goals.

The final score of 1-7 to Russia was a fair reflection of the dominance, especially in the second half.

Russia now has 3 points and may save their slot in the top division is they can overcome Belarus tomorrow. Croatia, lying bottom of the pool with no points will be relegated regardless of the outcome of their game v Turkey.

Pool C: Belarus v Turkey 3 – 4 (2 – 1)

An incredibly tight game as Belarus and Turkey sought to secure their place in the 2021 EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championship. Belarus took control of the first half going ahead 2-0, the second a rocket of a PC from KOCHKIN. Turkey countered via ATAŞ, who twisted and turned to get himself space in the D for the shot.

In the second half, TAŞKAYA drew Turkey level, but Belarus went ahead again via their captain KOCHKIN. Two quick goals from ELAGÖZ in the 33rd and 38th minute swung the game in favour of the Turks and they end the day top of Pool C with 6 points.

All photographs: World Sport Pics, Frank Uijlenbroek (C)

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