24.07.2015, Brussels; A huge Men’s day here in Prague as all 4 games would impact on the next two year cycle for all the teams. Pool C, relegation games staarted in the morning with Croatia and Switzerland, both coming into the C Pool with 0 points. In the second game Azerbaijan and Ukraine both had 3 points so a win would ensure a safe passage into the Championships in 2017. In the afternoon the semi-finals took place, but more importantly who would be promoted to the Championships in Amsterdam in 2017.
Croatia 1 Switzerland 7
In the opening game of the day both teams knew that they were facing relegation if they failed to get points on the board, so both came into the match with determination to win. The opening minutes provided a good pace, with Croatia relying more on the individual game. In the first quarter both teams managed to score one goal each. In the 31st minute the Swiss hit the target after a good combination in the opponent’s circle making it 1:2. 22 minutes before full time Switzerland increased their lead by one goal to 1:3. The play was still quite level but it was the Swiss who took their chances and increased their score to 1:5 via a beautiful deflection in the circle by Benjamin MESSERLI . Another short corner strike pushed the scoreline further to 1:6 for the Swiss team. They added final goal from the game leaving the score at 1:7. The scoreline was certainly a harsh one for the Croatians, who will now be returning to the Championships III in 2017.
Ukraine 2 – 5 (0 – 1) Azerbaijan
Both teams entered the game with respect and perhaps were a bit nervous about the outcome. The game was up and down. It was the team of Azerbaijan who had more luck and managed to score a goal in the first quarter. The Ukrainians had some good chances but did not find the net. Throughout the match both teams had even ball possession but only the team of Azerbaijan managed to score from top of the D but unfortunately injured the defending opponent. Third goal followed shortly afterwards when Azerbaijan hit the net with a good flick into the righthand corner. In the second half Ukrainians had the opportunity to score their first goal through a penalty stroke and succeeded with a sure flick into the left hand side of the goal. Shortly afterwards Azerbaijan increased their lead with a backhand strike. They added another one from top of the circle making it 1:5. Ukrainians only managed to decrease the difference to 2:5 after a skilled shot from the right side of the D.
|Azerbaijan||12||4||KHALID Saleem||Field Goal||0 – 1|
|Azerbaijan||47||4||KHALID Saleem||Field Goal||0 – 2|
|Azerbaijan||49||19||GHAZANFAR Ali||Field Goal||0 – 3|
|Ukraine||60||6||DIACHUK Sergii||Penalty Stroke Goal||1 – 3|
|Azerbaijan||60||11||NADIROV Ali||Field Goal||1 – 4|
|Azerbaijan||64||8||ZAI Imran||Field Goal||1 – 5|
|Ukraine||65||15||POPOVCHENKO Artem||Field Goal||2 – 5|
Austria 1 – 1 (0 – 0) (3 – 1 SO) Scotland
Tfe First men’s semifinal between Scotland and Austria started in very high pace as expected. Both teams started off actively. In 9th minute it was Scotland who had first short corner of the game, however a mis-trap led to nothing. At the end of the first quarter Austria also managed to win a short corner but was as well unproductive. Second quarter continued in the same scenario, not providing many chances as both teams built up their attacks from the back. Finally in 32nd minute we saw an effective finish by the Scottish team but the goal was disallowed for danger. In the second half we saw some goals! It was the team of Austria who managed to score first with a powerful flick from a PC. Scotland then picked up the pace, had chances but failed to score. A few minutes later they were successful through a short corner. Towards the end of the match Scotland had more possession but failed to get the winner. We went to shootout. From the beginning it was the Austrians who seemed less nervous and went ahead 2:0. The Scots answered with scoring from their third attempt. Next one up was again Austria who managed to score and all the pressure was on the Scottish team who unfortunately did not succeed. Austrians still had to get one more in the net and managed to do so. After a thrilling end to this semifinal Austria makes it to Sunday‘s final.
Poland 2-1 Czech Republic
The second semifinal of the day was a tough battle between the Czech Republic and Poland. The Czech team had an obvious advantage of the home crowd that was pushing them forward. The Czechs had more out of the game but weren’t able to achieve a goal. Unfortunately for the home team the Polish scored a goal in the first half and managed to add another one shortly after the change of sides. The Czech team pressed hard in the second half to find an equaliser, but the Polish defense held firm. Poland will meet Austria in Sunday’s final.