On the second day of the EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championship II in Zelina we had two sets of games, one in the morning and again in the afternoon.
Sweden – Slovakia 2 – 2 (0 – 0)
The first match of the day 2 were playing Sweden and Slovakia. Both teams had their chances and three points lead them straight to the final. The first period ended without goals because both teams played good and hard defence. The second period gave us lots of excitement from both sides.
Five minutes into the second period and Slovakia had a lead. Čapova scored a field goal for Slovakia. Six minutes later the same player scores another one for Slovak side. But then Sweden came back. In the 33rd minute, Fronda scored and Sweden was back in the match. Sweden continued to press Slovakia and sought an equalizer. And they did it three minutes later with a Paula Justus goal from a penalty corner and Sweden came back from two goals down. Sweden had a penalty corner for victory but the Slovak team managed to defend their goal. The match finished with a draw 2 – 2 and both teams stayed in the game for the final.
Wales – Croatia 1 – 2 (1 – 2)
The second match of the day 2 gave us a clash between two teams that lost yesterday. Only victory could mean something if they want to see final. The match started fantastically. Una Litvić scored for Croatia in the third minute from the penalty corner. A quick lead for Croatia was cancelled by Cari Davies one minute after Croatian goal. And then both teams slightly calmed down and put their interests in defence. So crowd didn’t see any goal till one minute before the break.
Again Una Litvić scored the stunning goal from the penalty corner. She found the left top corner of Wales keeper Pryce. The stands explode. The first period finished with a one-goal lead for Croatia (2-1).
The second period was more tactical with few chances on both sides. And then Croatia had an opportunity from the penalty corner. First one, then a second one, then even a third one in a row and Croatia could not find a net. The last one hit the post and Wales managed to defend. Until the end of the match, there were not any big chances and Croatia won three points and earned themselves the opportunity to play against Slovakia for the final.
Sweden – Wales 6 – 1 (2 – 1)
Match where Sweden played for position in the final and Wales for pride and glory because they had not had a chance to fetch the final.
Two minutes from the start and Sweden had a lead. Their best scorer Gunaj Zulfiyeva scored from great individual action. Sweden pulled back and waited for mistakes on the Welsh side. But Wales played well and managed to score in the 11th minute by Izzie Howell. For the next goal, we had to wait till two minutes before the break. Paula Justus showed nice skill and managed to put the ball behind Gemma Pryce, the Welsh keeper. Sweden had a goal lead on the break.
In the second period Sweden increased the pace and in the first minute of the second period, Paula Justus struck another one for two goals lead.
In the next minute, there was 4 – 1 on the scoreboard for Sweden. Again Zulfiyeva for Sweden.
Before the end of the match, Sweden managed to score two more goals for their place in tomorrow´s finals.
Croatia – Slovakia 2 – 2 (2 – 1)
The last match of the day 2 was a clash between Croatia and Slovakia. Croatia needed a victory and for Slovakia, a draw was enough. Croatia started to press Slovakia but Slovakia defended well. And in the 9th minute, Dobiasova scored from the penalty corner for Slovakia. Two minutes after Croatia succeed to draw from the penalty corner (Litvić Una). In the same minute, a turnover by Croatia and another goal scored by Litvić Eva increased the volume with Croatian fans.
In the second period, Čapova put in field goal equalizer. Results that gave the ticket to the final.
Croatia put Slovakia on the pressure but they could not found the way beside Slovakian keeper. Croatia had few penalty corners but the result didn´t change. Meanwhile, a dog entered the pitch for a quick chase for the ball! A few minutes before the end Croatia pulled their keeper and tried to find a goal for the victory and the final but there was no change on the scoreboard.
Tomorrow for the third place will play Croatia against Wales and in the big final for promotion, we shall have Sweden against Slovakia.