Germany are Champions!
After 29 games, highs, lows, extraordinary goalkeeping and skills we have our Champion in Berlin!
The opening score of the final went to Poland, one pc strike was what separated the teams in the first quarter! A deflection from Gräve and the teams were back on equal terms after 15 minutes. 1-1 at the break! A stroke in the 31st minute, struck by Saenger, and a minute later a counter-attack from Tatarczu brought them back level to 2-2. A consultation on the final whistle as Germany is awarded a pc. A bullet from Saenger and Germany are Champions of Europe for the 17th time!
The bronze game was a cagey affair as both teams patiently awaited their chances. A saved stroke by Spain’s 16-year-old second keeper Carlota Alvarez was the memorable moment of the half! Austria forced the opening goal, but it was canceled out a moment later by Spain! 1-1 at the 3/4 break! Austria went ahead in the 33rd minute via Felber, beating Spain’s Ruiz who has been exceptional throughout the tournament. With 2 minutes to go, Austria took advantage of the powerplay from Spain and went ahead 3-1, Spain ran out of time and it’s Austria who will take the bronze medal here in Berlin! Captain Miriam Gero was delighted with their performance and on the missed stroke “It was hard but we trusted in our defensive system and in the end no one cares if it’s a field goal or what, and it worked out fine!”
Earlier today in Berlin the classification games were played Czechia faced Belgium in the 5th/6th playoff. Czechia had the better of the first half going ahead 2 without reply. Belgium pressed hard and were rewarded with a pc in the 33rd minute which they converted and made for an intense last few minutes! Czechia held out for a narrow win and secured 5th place here in Berlin.
Switzerland and Ukraine played out the 7th/8th placing game. Ukraine was more clinical in their finishing, going ahead 3-0 in the first half. Switzerland went for a power play (without their keeper) in the final quarter, Ukraine countered and we had a free-flowing and goal-packed quarter! The game ended 4-8 in favour of Ukraine.
Topscorer: Fatma Songül Gültekin
Best Goalkeeper: Marta Kucharska
Best Player: Berta Agulló
* You can rewatch the action live from Berlin from the women’s EuroHockey Indoor Championship on www.eurohockeytv.org. Note the 9th/10th place playoff was not streamed.
** For full match stats, results and tables, click here
Photograph: Champions! (World sport pics / EuroHockey (c))