Earlier Pool C concluded with Turkey and Russia securing their places at the 2021 EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championships and Belarus and Croatia were unfortunately relegated.
Final Austria v Poland 3-3 1-1 4-3 (after shoot out)
The final got underway in a packed out Stadehalle in Vienna. The home crowd was quickly silenced by SUDOL who snatched an early goal for Poland in the 2nd minute in a high tempo start. (0-1) A pc for Austria in the 7th minute earned by UNTERKIRCHER forced the Polish keeper ZEWERDA into a quick reactive save, to keep Poland ahead. Again UNTERKIRCHER is causing havoc in front of the Polish goal this time earning a penalty stroke, again ZEWERDA denies Austria as he padded the effort away.
PC Austria in the 16th minute which was deemed to hit a foot and upgraded to a stroke. Once again ZEWERDA was on his game and saved the stroke, keeping the score 0-1.
The breakthrough came in the 18th minute as UNTERKIRCHER found him once again on the scoresheet as he somehow made space between 2 Polish defenders, his 13th of the Tournament.
Poland earned a pc in the 19th minute, the direct strike saved by Austrian keeper, a second pc awarded on the half time whistle was again well defended by the Austrians. The score remained 1-1 at half time (a fair reflection of the high-level game being played by both sides).
After the break, Austria was awarded a pc in the 24th minute but once again well defended by Poland to keep the score level. With Austria down to 5, Poland found space to go ahead in the 26th minute via KOPERSKI. Poland went 1-3 ahead via a beautiful strike from SUDOL in the 31st minute.
Some stalwart defending from Poland and KUROWSKI, in particular, saw Poland soak up tremendous pressure, but finally, Austria broke through, DRUSANY getting on the score sheet and narrowing the gap to 2-3.
Again Poland soaked up waves of attacks from Austria, but the hero of the day (and Tournament) UNTERKIRCHER was on target with a converted pc in the 40th-minute, putting the teams level 3-3 as the seconds counted down.
A superb final that ended 3-3 and led to a shootout and even the first round couldn’t separate the teams as we went to sudden death shoot out. WELLEN scoring the winner!
Speaking to Head Coach Tomaz SZMIDT after the game “It was a tough final, although we know the Polish team we weren’t expecting how strongly they started the game. In the end, I am very proud of my boys and how they played all tournament and I am especially proud to bring this Trophy back to Vienna.”
3/4 playoff Italy v Switzerland 1 – 2 (0 – 1)
HOFSETTER put Switzerland ahead in the 14th minute in this close encounter for the bronze medal with Italy. A turnover ball that was snatched by Switzerland and a perfect pass to him on the penalty spot which he converted. Italy equalised from a pc in the 24th minute. SIOR getting his 4th of the Tournament. The score remained 1-1 at the half. A very even second half ensued with both teams having chances to go ahead. Some tense moments towards the end of the game and it took a converted pc from STOMPS to split the teams in the 38th minute. Italy took off their keeper and threw everything at Switzerland but some brave defending kept them out and Switzerland take the bronze medal.
Belarus v Russia 2-7 (0-2)
A dominant Russia overcame Belarus in a display of firepower that they hadn’t displayed until this game at the Championship. MURADIAN scored in the 18th and 20th to put Russia ahead in the first half. He added another in the 31st to get his hattrick! The other hattrick hero was KOTKOV in the 21st, 26th and 29th. His final goal saw him dive at full stretch to convert. Belarus had chances, especially from corners as their captain KOCHKIN was frustrated with 3 going slightly wide of the post. TRAFIMCHUK did get on the scoreboard in the 33rd and TSALUIKA in the 39th but it was too little, too late as their efforts failed to save them in the top flight in 2021.
Turkey v Croatia 9-3 (3-2)
Turkey, wanting to finish the Tournament on a high and take the 5th ranking slot on offer. It was, however, Croatia who went ahead via captain MUCIĆ in the 2nd minute. ELAGÖZ equalised in the 6th minute. Once again POSAVEC put Croatia ahead in the 12th, but this was countered by AYDIN and then TAŞKAYA put Turkey ahead for the first time in the game 3-2, and that was how it remained until half time.
ELAGÖZ got his second in the 22nd and ATAŞ added to the growing tally in the 24th minute putting Turkey 5-2 ahead. ELAGÖZ got his hattrick in the 33rd minute.
Turkey dominated the final minutes of the game and the final score of 9-3 was a reflection of this.
|Rank||Team||Played||Wins||Draws||Losses||Goals For||Goals Against||Goal Difference||Points|
Best Player: Fabian UNTERKIRCHER (AUT)
Top Scorer: Fabian UNTERKIRCHER (AUT)
Best Goal Keeper: Jonas VEREST (SUI)
All photographs: World Sport Pics, Frank Uijlenbroek (C)
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