MATCH 7: CZECH REPUBLIC 2-3 SCOTLAND
Scotland defeated Czech Republic 3-2 to qualify for the Women’s EuroHockey Championship II semi-final at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Scotland’s goals were struck by Amy Costello; Kaz Cuthbert and Louise Campbell as the Scots clocked up a great victory on home turf.
It was a tentative opening to the match with neither side able to create any clear openings until Sarah Jamieson had an effort on the turn towards the end of the first quarter, but her low shot zipped past the left post.
Fiona Burnet was next to come close, she found space in the D but couldn’t get her shot away before being hounded by Czech defenders.
Right at the start of the second quarter Scotland goalkeeper Nicola Cochrane made an outstanding save low at her right post to stop the Czech Republic from taking the lead.
Scotland then took over and dominated the remainder of the half, creating a number of chances to score. A swift counter-attack by Louise Campbell found Jamieson bursting into the D, but she was smothered out by the defence and goalkeeper.
Then Charlotte Watson almost scored with an improvised overhead smash that bounced just wide of the post.
Campbell came so close as the half neared an end; her deflection from a fizzed pass from the right looped just over the bar.
Scotland took the lead right after half time and it came through a powerful Amy Costello penalty corner blasted against the backboard. The Scotland and GB player sent an absolute rocket past the goalkeeper to make it 1-0.
The Scots were piling on the pressure and came close with a series of penalty corners. One of the routines paid off when captain Kaz Cuthbert dove to deflect the ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-0. It was her third goal of the tournament and a two-goal cushion for the Scots.
Cuthbert nearly struck another when her spin and shot was saved low at the start of the fourth quarter. Then the Czechs pulled one back through a lovely penalty corner routine with Adela Lehovcova applying the finish to pull it back to 2-1.
Scotland’s response was instant and it came through an exceptional deflected strike by Campbell that saw the ball fly into the roof of the net to restore Scotland’s two-goal lead.
Cochrane made a great save towards the end before a Czech counter-attack saw Veronika Decsyova convert to make it 3-2.
Scotland, however, kept good possession as the minutes ticked away and saw the game out well to clock up their second win of the tournament.
Scotland Women’s Head Coach Jen Wilson said, “I’m delighted to get the win tonight, the players have shown great progression and are showing their excellent qualities at this tournament. The quality of the goals was really pleasing, and to score our third right after the Czech Republic scored their first shows the great reaction of the players. The players will enjoy this tonight but we have a very tough game against Austria tomorrow. We’ll look to continue our good performances.”
MATCH 8: UKRAINE V AUSTRIA 1-2
Ukraine versus Austria finishes 1-2 on Day Three of the 2019 Women’s EuroHockey Championships at Glasgow National Hockey Centre.
Austria opens the quarter with an injury, seeing a quick substitution at 29 seconds. Ukraine takes advantage, sending a quick ball into the circle but there’s no one there. Austria’s Keeper Stella van Rahden lets it run into the goal.
Undeterred, Ukraine keeps up the attack, finding Number 31 and Captain Yana Vorushylo but Austria’s van Rahden is out for the save. It’s a long corner. Ukraine drives into the circle but a mistake from the Austrian defence sees the first penalty corner of the match. Ukraine sends the ball out strong but catches a foot in the circle.
Austria takes the ball quickly, working the ball up the right-hand side of the field. A great cross comes from Number 17 Marta Laginja but the angle is too sharp. Ukraine picks up the loose ball and attempts to clear but the ball is caught and sent back into the circle. The shot at goal comes quickly but it’s wide.
Ukraine’s Number 20 Viktoriia Stetsenko works well down the wing, finding Number 11 Yuliia Shevchenko, who drives into the circle but Austria’s Keeper is there again. The ball is cleared. Austria’s Number 12 Sophie Salat lifts the ball high but it’s too long and runs off the baseline.
With 2 minutes to go in the first quarter, Ukraine is awarded their second corner of the match. Austria’s Number 9 Alexandra Sandner breaks the line, leaving three defenders. A spectacular stick saves on the line from Austria’s Captain Corinna Zerbs maintains the 0-0 scoreline as the clock runs down.
Both teams start strong in the second. Ukraine’s Number 11 Yuliia Shevchenko takes the first strike at goal. van Rahden gets the touch but it’s not enough! The ball trickles towards the line, just as the Austrian defence get a stick to the ball on the line but it’s over! 1-0 in this close, close match.
Austria respond. Number 18 Stefanie Podpera sends the ball to Lisa Steyrer who scrambles to keep possession in the circle, takes the shot but it’s too tight! She connects with the sideboard.
Austria keeps up the pressure. Number 19 Laura Kern gets the touch towards goal but it’s not strong enough and Ukraine clear.
Momentum stays with Austria as they drive up the right-wing. They’re working hard but to no avail. Undeterred, they try again but Ukraine’s Keeper Alina Fadieieva is there. Ukraine gets the break as the klaxon sounds.
Ukraine keeps up the pressure at the start of the 3rd quarter. Number 3 Kateryna Samokhodchenko goes for the tomahawk but it’s high and wide.
Austria works hard for possession, working the ball up through the middle of the field to find Number 23 Nathalie Matousek. She turns and slots the ball past Ukraine’s Keeper. It’s 1-1!
Austria keeps up the attack, pushing to go ahead in the 3rd quarter but they can’t find their way through the Austrian defence. A chink of hope emerges for Austria as the quarter draws to a close: Corinna Zerbs to Johanna Czech, who finds Alexandra Sandner. She takes the strike but Ukraine’s Keeper is there as the klaxon sounds.
In the first minutes of the final quarter, Ukraine is awarded another attacking corner but it isn’t converted. Ukraine keeps driving and Austria’s Karin Stiefelmeyer comes out for the save, leaving her goal open. A mistimed strike for Ukraine rescues Stiefelmeyer as Austria clear. Ukraine drives again, with Number 22 Olha Honcharenko making a great run down the left but Austria’s Keeper is there again for the save.
As tensions rise, the second yellow card of the tournament is awarded to Ukraine’s Number 6 Yevhenija Kernoz. Austria uses the dip in Ukrainian momentum, taking the break and earning an attacking penalty corner. The ball comes straight out to Corinna Zerbs, who sends it high towards the Keeper but she’s there for the save.
Another Austrian attacking penalty corner comes quickly. Out to Zerbs, who lays off to the right. The ball is quickly sent towards the post to waiting Number 8 Ruth Konrat. She deflects it, sending it high into the roof of the net. It’s 2-1!
A third yellow of the tournament is awarded to Austria’s Lisa Steyrer for a stick tackle but she doesn’t have to sit out for long as the klaxon sounds for the end of the match.
Tomorrow’s games 7th August:
All games are being live-streamed on www.eurohockeytv.org
Images: Duncan Gray (c)