Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Championships III (Apace, Slovenia – January 21): Turkey completed a perfect weekend with five wins from win in Apace, closing out the tournament with an 8-2 final win over Slovakia, earning promotion up to the second tier for 2020. The Slovaks reached the final courtesy of their 3-3 draw with hosts Slovenia.
Slovakia 3-3 (2-2) Slovenia
Slovakia’s Natalia Fondrkova’s 32nd minute equaliser earned Slovakia their ticket to the final, denying Slovenia a first victory of the competition. Slovenia led twice, first of all via Julia Nachtsheim’s penalty corner and then at 3-2 after goals from Petra Dervaric and Tjasa Vrecic before Slovakia bounced back.
Turkey 8-3 (5-2) Slovakia
Already assured of a final spot, Turkey eased to their third big win of the tournament as first half goals from Sinem Alpakan, Fatma Songul Gultekin (two), Melis Kosker and Esen Ayla put them in front 5-2 at the break. Three more goals in the second half put them on course for a comfortable win.
Slovenia 1-6 (0-3) Turkey
Turkey completed the group stage with a perfect record with a 6-1 win over Slovenia, scoring the first four goals with Ozge Calayir netting two before Perihan Kucukkoc and Meryem Oymak were on the scoreboard. Julia Nachtsheim got one back but Melis Kosker and Fatma Songul Gultekin completed the Turkish win in the last 10 minutes.
FINAL: Turkey 8-2 (5-2) Slovakia
A hat trick from Fatma Songul Gultekin saw Turkey shake off Slovakia and complete their perfect record from the tournament, taking gold and promotion up to the second tier in Europe for 2020.
They did not have it all their own way as the Slovaks were first to score, Gabriela Surinova scoring a field goal in the first two minutes. Perihan Kucukkoc equalised in the sixth minute and Esen Ayla put them in front 2-1 with a penalty stroke. Gultekin’s first goal extended the lead but Natalia Fondrkova pegged it back to 3-2 in the 16th minute.
But a second goal from Gultekin and one from Melis Kosker made it 5-2 at half-time and the Turks never looked back after that as their higher pace of play proved too much for Slovakia.