Italy took the pole position on the first day of the second group stage at the EuroHockey Junior Championship II for women in Vienna by securing a well earned 3:1 against Ukraine. Captain Dalila Mirabella opened scoring in the 4th with a beautiful backhand. Maria Garraffo extended the lead just four minutes later. Ukraine pulled one back when Yuliia Shevchenko scored in the 19th minute. After halftime Italy was always dangerous but only scored from a penalty corner after regular time was over, making it 3:1.
Italy will have their day off on Saturday, when Ukraine is facing Ireland. That means Sunday might see a true final for the gold medal with Italy and Ireland taking on each other.
Poland had a brilliant start into the battle for places 4 to 6 beating Belarus by 5:2. After a 1:1 at halftime Poland took Belarus apart after the break with Magdalena Zagajska leading the way and scoring four goals from open play. On Saturday Belarus will face Scotland, Sunday will see Scotland taking on Poland.
In the relegation-pool hosts Austria made an important step towards staying in Challenge II by beating Turkey 2:0 after a tough struggle. Captain Lisa Steyrer scored just before halftime to make it 1:0. But only after Rafaela Rubas (51.) scored the second goal for Austria did her team get control over the game. Turkey now has to beat Lithuania on Saturday to keep their chance of avoiding relegation. Austria and Lithuania will meet on Sunday.
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The Ukrainian team – preparing for their game!