The Netherlands won their tenth EuroHockey Championship title as they scored in the first and last quarter to beat Germany 2-0.
It was their sixth European final and the fifth time the Oranje have won this encounter as Kelly Jonker opened the scoring in the 12the minute before Lidewij Welten won it 40 seconds from the end.
During the match, Germany made the first incision, winning a third minute penalty corner but their innovative attempt from the right-side for the injection produced no danger. Thereafter, it was the Dutch who enjoyed the vast majority of the game as Frederique Matla’s driving runs caused plenty of problems.
She drew a foul for her side’s first corner which Caia van Maasakker shot wide before Hanna Granitzki’s last ditch tackle kept the Oranje scoreless.
That was until Eva de Goede danced into some space down the left channel and picked out an inviting pass for Kelly Jonker to attack and she ramped the ball into the goal ? 1-0 in the 12th minute.
The second period saw the Netherlands continue their control on the game but the German defence, marshalled by Janne Muller-Wieland were giving little away, protecting their circle superbly.
Again, the third quarter saw the Dutch as the major aggressors while Germany stayed deep and bided their time. Lidewij Welten became more and more of an influence. Laurien Leurink hit Julia Sonntag’s helmet from the pick of their chances in the 43rd minute.
Germany’s attacks were fleeting but Pia Maertens was adept at causing trouble. Nike Lorenz’s yellow card delayed their efforts to throw everything forward but her return allowed the side to go for it with more ambition in the last five minutes.
Viktoria Huse did save a corner sweep off the line to keep hopes alive but the Netherlands sealed the deal once they went to 11 outfielders. Malou Pheninkx caught a long ball out of defence down the right, slipped inside to Leurink who shipped it on to Welten who was able to finish brilliantly on the reverse.
Goals: 12′ Kelly Jonker (FG) 1-0, 60′ Lidewij Welten (FG) 2-0
SPAIN – ENGLAND 1-1 (shoot outs 3-2)
Spain won their first European medal since 2003 as they fought back from a goal deficit to beat England in a shoot-out, ending the English run of seven successive medals.
Normal time ended 1-1 with England taking the lead in the 10th minute via Hannah Martin before Maria Tost equalised in the second half, setting up the shoot-out.
England went in front in the tenth minute when Lily Owsley won the ball from a loose defensive free. She was through two on one and laid off to Martin who finished off for 1-0.
Spain, though, have been playing at a high tempo this tournament and they soon started to force the tempo, winning a corner while Marta Segu tested the reflexes of Maddie Hinch who was excellent throughout.
It left the scoreline at 1-0 to England at half-time as the temperatures began to rise in the stadium. Maria Tost equalised in the 36th minute when Begona Garcia took a quick free on the right and delivered the cross into the path for Maria Tost to guide.
Giselle Ansley’s drag-flick was scrambled away by Maria Ruiz, denying an instant response for England as the play whizzed from end to end. Hinch had to be on her guard with a spectacular stop from Carlota Petchame with Tost’s follow-up also drawing an important block.
Indeed, Spain much of the final quarter camped in English territory but they looked vulnerable to counters when Jo Hunter got away, leading to Martin’s shot being deflected wide. But no one could find that winning touch and so it went to shoot-out. England took the initial advantage when Hinch kept out Gigi Oliva.
But a dramatic third round saw Ellie Rayer fouled for a stroke. Melanie Garcia came off the bench to save it from Giselle Ansley. Begona Garcia and Bea Perez both scored while Sarah Evans rolled her shot wide to put make it 3-2. It left Holly Pearne-Webb the chance to try and keep the game alive but Ruiz saved it and Spain had their first Euro medal since 2003.
Goals: 10′ Hannah Martin (FG) 0-1, 36′ Maria Tost (FG) 1-1
Shoot-out: Hannah Martin 0-1, Clara Ycart 1-1, Anna Toman 1-2, Gigi Oliva – saved, Ellie Rayer/Giselle Ansley PS – saved, Begona Garcia 2-2, Sarah Evans – saved, Bea Perez 3-2, Holly Pearne-Webb – saved
IRELAND – RUSSIA 3-2
They trailed 1-0 at half-time but three battling goals from Nikki Evans, Sarah Hawkshaw and Katie Mullan got them over the line in the end 3-2 despite corner goals from Bogdana Sadovaia and Aleksandra Leonova.
Russia equalised for 2-2 in the 52nd minute from a penalty corner rebound from Aleksandra Leonova. Nicci Daly hit the post from an Anna O?Flanagan pass but they did get the lead back with three minutes to go when Mullan pounced on a loose ball behind the goalkeeper.
Goals: 23′ Bogdana Sadovaia (PC) 0-1, 32′ Nikki Evans (FG) 1-1, 50′ Sarah Hawkshaw (FG) 2-1, 52′ Aleksandra Leonova (PC) 2-2, 57′ Katie Mullan (FG) 3-2
BELGIUM – BELARUS 3-1
Belgium landed their second win of the week to finish in sixth place at the Belfius EuroHockey Championships. Ireland completed their third win of Pool C to equal their best-ever European Championship finish, a fifth place outcome courtesy of a 3-2 win on the final day in Antwerp.
Belgium landed their second win of the week to finish in sixth place at the Belfius EuroHockey Championships, confirming Russia and Belarus will be the two sides relegated for the 2021 edition.
Stephanie Vanden Borre gave them a second quarter lead and they finally shrugged off the Belarussian challenge with goals from Barbara Nelen and Jill Boon, countering one from Sviatlana Bahushevich.
Goals: 22′ Stephanie Vanden Borre (PC) 1-0, 37′ Barbara Nelen (FG) 2-0, 47′ Sviatlana Bahushevich (PC) 2-1, 51′ Jill Boon (FG) 3-1