Belfius EuroHockey Indoor Championship II Women (Brussels, January 21): Belgium soared to gold at the Belfius EuroHockey Indoor Championship II in Brussels, delighting their home fans with a glorious run of five wins, without conceding a single goal.
Their 3-0 win over England assured them of first spot and promotion to the top tier of European competition for 2020. Austria joined them with a 7-0 win over Croatia to assure them of second spot with a breathtaking last game. In Pool C, Lithuania snatched fifth place overall with a 5-3 win over Scotland who ended seventh while Sweden were sixth after a 3-2 loss in their final game against Wales.
Match 17: Scotland 3-5 (2-4) Lithuania
Lithuania confirmed their place in the second tier of the EuroHockey Indoor Championships for 2020 when they got the result they needed against Scotland with a 5-3 win. They opened the scoring after four minutes as Ugne Chmeliauskaite netted a free shot at the top of the circle.
One minute later, Emily Dark equalised when her shot on goal went in off the foot of one of the line-stoppers and slowly rolled in. Sandra Adomaviciute showed her strength to restore the Lithuanian lead and two minutes later, Chmeliauskaite increased the advantage.
Dark dribbled free and shot into the right of the goal to reduce the gap but within 60 seconds, Erlanda Nomeikaite scored a penalty stroke for a 4-2 half-time lead. Chmeliauskaite completed her hat trick early in the second half and while Vikki Bunce got one back, it could not prevent them finishing in seventh place.
Match 18: Sweden 2-3 (0-1) Wales
Wales finished the tournament on a high with their first win of the weekend with a narrow success against Sweden. Heather Francis put them in front in the seventh minute and while the Swedes created a number of chances, they were unable to convert, meaning just one goal came in the first half. Lena Lindström did level the tie in the second half but Megan Lewis-Williams’ drag-flick restored the Welsh advantage with 10 minutes to go. Francis made the result safe with two minutes left before Lindström grabbed her second of the game.
Match 19: Belgium 3-0 (2-0) England
Belgium completed the perfect weekend with a fifth win from five games, earning the gold medal without conceding a single goal in front of their noisy home crowd in Brussels. The game started with a good save from the Belgian goalkeeper; Elodie Picard, who was later named the best net-minder from the tournament. Her side subsequently took the lead in the fifth minute thanks to a super tip-in from Charlotte Englebert.
They continued to control ball possession and Justine Rasir doubled the score for Belgium in the 15th minute for a 2-0 half-time lead. England came out of the blocks well in the second half, creating lots of pressure but Picard managed to repel their advances, keeping out five corners. Rasir then closed out their tournament with her second goal for 3-0 and the Belgian tournament clean sheet when Laurine Delforge saved on the line.
Match 20: Austria v Croatia 7-0 (6-0)
Austria were clearly the stronger side as their 7-0 win earned them the second promotion place as they finished second, knocking England into third while Croatia finish fourth. They were on the scoreboard from just two minutes in via Corinna Zerbs and they never looked back. By half-time, it was 6-0 with Daria Buchta getting a first half hat trick while Lisa Steyrer also scored twice. Buchta netted her fourth in the second half to rubber-stamp their ticket to the A division
Player of the tournament: Laurine Delforge (BEL)
Top goalscorer: Laurine Delforge (BEL)
Best goalkeeper: Elodie Picard (BEL)
Best young player: Daria Buchta (AUT)