20th July 2018, Santander: After a weather delay due to very heavy rain the business end of the games got underway. First up should have been the two Pool C games; Ireland v Spain and France v Belarus, the former was the game that fell to the weather and was rescheduled for later in the day.
Belarus got the better of the French with an important 1-0 win and more importantly 3 points in the Pool C, as they attempt to save their status in the Championship division. Spain had a solid 4-1 win over Ireland almost ensuring a Championships slot.
The first semi-final Germany v Belgium got underway with just a 20-minute rain delay. Belgium pulled off a historic win as they made their first U18 EuroHockey Final. Their best finish to date was 3rd in 2007.
The second semi-final, The Netherlands v England showed just how strong the Dutch girls are. They won 6-1 and never looked in any danger of not qualifying for their 10th U18 EuroHockey final.
Round-up Pool C:
France v Belarus 0-1
A single goal from MIHUNOVA in the 44th minute was the ultimate decider in this closely fought game in the C pool. This result gives Belarus a much-needed boost as they took all 3 points on offer and a chance to stay in the Championship division. They now face host Spain in their last game here in Santander.
Spain v Ireland 4-1
A difficult day for both teams as their scheduled game due to start at 9.45 was cancelled due to a rain delay. The rescheduled game was played at 16.45, so the players had some extra unexpected rest time!
Nevertheless, the game was played at 16.45 and Spain were the ultimate winners 4-1 and assured their place in the Championships in 2021. BARRIOS (Laura) opened the scoring for Spain in the 11th minute. Captain STRAPPATO doubled the lead in the 14th minute. Ireland did have chances in the first half as their forwards pressed hard for an opening goal. But BARRIOS (Sara), at close range put Spain ahead 3-0 in the 44th and then 4-0 47th minute. Ireland’s captain PERDUE did get on the scoresheet in the 54th minute, but it did not change the result.
Spain is almost sure of a place in the Championships on 6 points, but mathematically it is possible that if Ireland beat France and Belarus beat Spain then we will determine the pool on goal difference!
Germany v Belgium 0-1
The first girls’ semi-final was between Germany and Belgium. Belgium started the game very aggressively with some good chances for the attackers. But the German goalkeeper in their way every time. It was finally DUQUESNE who opened the score on the rebound of a penalty corner for Belgium. The score was 1-0 in favour of the Belgians at halftime. Germany came back with better intentions from the break, looking for the equalizer. They put a high pressure on the Belgian defence. With 3 minutes left in the last quarter, Germany took their goalkeeper off. This resulted in 6 corners in a row for the German girls, with Belgium defending with only 2 players on the last one. But the Belgian defence resisted until the end of the game. Belgium qualified for the first time in history for the final of the U18 Championships.
Speaking to the Belgian Head Coach Emily Calderon after their game she said “We really came here to make history and we really focussed on that. We wanted to follow in the footsteps of the red panthers’ performance last summer. So we are really proud and excited to be in the final.”
Netherlands v England 6-1
A demonstration of Dutch power as The Netherlands waltz into their 10th EuroHockey U18 Final!
A date with the Belgian’s never seemed to be in doubt as they went 3-0 ahead in the first quarter, goals from FOKKE, BENNINGA and TUKKERS as England tried to adapt to the pace of the game. England clawed one back via a REDGROVE flick from a pc just after halftime to give England a fighting chance. The Dutch response was fast as BEETSMA tapped in from close range in the 38th minute. A lovely reverse finish from VAN DER VELD in the 50th minute brought the score to 5-1 and beyond the English. A final goal from BEETSMA in the 58th minute as she found herself behind the keeper, marker-free to tap home for her second and the Dutch girls 6th. The game ended 6-1.
|12:00||GER – ENG||3rd/4th Place||Pitch 1|
|16:45||ESP – BLR||Pool C||Pitch 2|
|17:00||BEL – NED||Final||Pitch 1|
|18:45||IRL – FRA||Pool C||Pitch 2|
All games from Pitch 1 will be live-streamed on www.eurohockeytv.org
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All photographs courtesy of World Sport Pics (c) – you can see the galleries on our FaceBook page