Turnarounds, emotion, passion, a lot of public and uncertainty. This was the first day of EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championship II Men, in Paredes. Portugal and Czech Republic lead Pool A with 6 points both.
Ukraine 3-3 Sweden
Sweden started the match dominating its opponent and reached half time with a 1-0 result. In the second half, Ukraine emerged revitalized and scored the equalizer at the first opportunity. Sweden was not intimidated and answered with a good finish from the Swedish captain, Elias Lennevi.
After a time-out, Ukraine galvanized itself for an incredible turnaround in less than two minutes. Leading by 3-2, the Ukrainians tried everything to keep the ball away from their goal, but, with only two minutes remaining, Sweden scored again and sealed the final result. The first match of EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championship II Men, Paredes, ended with a 3-3 tie.
Slovakia 3-4 Czech Republic
The Slovaks came to this match with a strong attitude and quickly reached 2-0. Right before half-time, the Czechs awakened and narrowed the gap (2-1).
5 minutes after the break, Czech Republic converted a penalty and tied the match (2-2). Through the conversion of another penalty, the Czechs confirmed the turnaround in the scoreboard (2-3). Czech Republic would score for the last time, taking advantage of the momentum. From 0-2 to 2-4, the concentration of the Czech Republic surprised everyone and everything.
Already near the end, Slovakia reduced to 3-4 through the conversion of a short corner, however with little time on the clock the efforts of the Slovaks were not enough to avoid their loss.
Wales 6-6 Denmark
Wales came in strong with the opening goal at 2 minutes. The Danes reacted fast and scored two in a minute thanks to the talented # 10, Peter Laage-Petersen. Then, everything changed! Wales benefited from a penalty and did not waste the opportunity to set the draw. That goal was the prelude for what followed. Four more goals until the half-time. With the 6-2 result in favour, Wales reached the second-half with what seemed a comfortable advantage. But this was meant to be an absolutely crazy match, and crazy it was.
With a completely different mindset, Denmark was utterly determined to change the course of the match. Goal after goal, the Danes came close to Wales reducing the gap to only 1 goal with 5 minutes to play. The recovery was in the air, and a last-minute goal confirmed the Danes epic recovery. Without a doubt, the best match of the morning.
Portugal 5-3 Ukraine
Before a well-composed audience, the Portuguese lynxes came in with confidence, scoring just three minutes after the beginning of the match. Afonso Caramalho gave the last touch. Portugal
managed to withstand Ukraine pressure for five minutes, but the Ukrainian goal appeared at minute 9. The Portuguese recovered their focus and extended the lead with two more goals, but, once again, Ukraine responded immediately with a goal that cooled Portuguese enthusiasm.
In the second half, Ukraine started strong and scored right away. The game was tied, and the outcome was unpredictable until Afonso Caramalho, the “usual suspect”, started to show up again. The Portuguese unlocked the opposing defence and scored two goals thanks to Caramalho’s superb ball control and tremendous finishing ability.
Slovakia 4-3 Sweden
Another well-balanced game. Slovakia scored right after the beginning of the clash, but then allowed Sweden’s recovery. The Swedish No. 9, Finn Zeilfelder, gave the lead to Sweden with two goals, but Michal Holasek, from Slovakia, scored the equalizer late in the first half.
The fatigue was notorious on both sides, but Slovakia, more concentrated, gained a two-goal advantage, which would be reduced by the third goal of the Swedish number 9 (Finn Zeilfelder). The scoreboard would not change until the end, with Slovakia managing to hold the minimum advantage until the end of the match.
Wales 0-7 Czech Republic
Dominating since the start of the match, Czech Republic reached Half-Time winning by 5-0. In the second half the audience assisted to absolute control by the Czechs, that still managed to extend the lead to 7-0. With this result, Czech Republic leads Pool A with 6 points.
Portugal 9-4 Denmark
The game began with the home team wanting to press the opponent, however, five minutes after the beginning of the match, an unfortunate move gave the advantage to the outsiders. The second and third goals came immediately. In a great move of insistence on the part of Vasco Ribeiro and converted by Ruben Teixeira, the Portuguese national team diminished the difference in the scoreboard, however, Denmark responded promptly. Portugal was losing 1-4, and it looked like Denmark was going to amply their advantage.
In a good press phase before the break, the Portuguese national team managed the recovery. The first half ended with a result of 4-4, confirming another crazy game in his tournament.
The break did not cool the Portuguese momentum and the turnaround was consummated in the first minute of the second period. After a bad start in the match, Portugal was now on top. With goals from Caramalho, Jorge Sá, Vasco Ribeiro and Carlos Magalhães, Portugal consummated another fantastic win, leaving excellent indications