24.07.2015, Brussels; The business end of the Tournament as the relegation Pool started and the semi-finals would determine who would play the final and who would earn promotion into the EuroHockey Championships III in 2017.
Hungary – Finland 1-1
The game ended with a result none of the teams could really be happy about. Both teams brought 0 points for the the C pool and therefore every points counted dearly. It was Hungary who started out best earning a PC after 7 minutes they converted into the lead. Finland was also proving their attacking abilities and only 10 minutes after the Hungarian goal, they made the equalizer putting the ball under the Hungarian goal keeper into the goal. Both teams was chasing the crucial second goal but none of them where able to convert open chances or penalty corners into goal and the game ended in a draw.
Norway – Cyprus 2-2
With Hungary and Finland playing a draw, a win would secure a top position. This was easy to tell from the beginning of the game, where both teams were in attacking mode, creating chances but not getting really close. It was Cyprus who took the lead when awarded a penalty stroke after 20 minutes. Norway’s goalkeeper went to the right side but couldn’t keep the ball outside the net. Just 8 minutes later, Cyprus doubled the score again on a penalty stroke, keeping the lead until half time. In the second half it was Norway in the driving seat fighting their way back into the game. This paid off, when they too were awarded a penalty stroke. Five minutes later the equalize in a penalty corner and even though both teams had the opportunity, the score ended 2-2.
Denmark – Malta 5-1
The final result far from show the real nature of the full game. Both teams was aware of the importance of the game, giving the first semifinal a tense and well played start. The teams was challenging each other, trying to gain the upper hand. The first half hour went goalless and then Denmark produced the first goal of the match, a score that lasted until the break. Four minutes into the second half, Denmark doubled the lead after a fast break and run behind the Maltesian defense saw Lasse Christensen hammering the ball into the corner. Malta kept on fighting and only a few minutes after the second Danish goal, John Williams converted a power full penalty corner superbly and unstoppable getting one back on the Danes. Denmark seemed nervous and only two minutes later Malta got another PC, though this time they did not manage to get the best of it. As timed past, Malta increased the pressure, gaining more and more ground. But forced to go forward, also left some open space behind, which the Danes took advantage of in the 61st and 62nd minute before Danish captain and current tournament top score, Tobias Grand, made the final score 5-1 with a back stick slice.
Lithuania – Slovakia 2-3
The second semifinal started in bright sunshine which suited the Slovakian team best. They took control of the game and earned a penalty corner after 5 minutes giving them the lead. A quarter of an hour later the lead was double by a penalty stroke and the Lithuanians had their heads down. But the crowd of more than 250 spectators kept cheering for the home side and this paid off after 23 minutes when Giedrius Gridziuska made the stadium sing and dance. Slovakia gained control again and kept the lead until half time. The second half was more or less a copy of the first. Slovakia extended the lead – again from a standard situation – converting a penalty corner to a goal for the 9th time in the tournament. Lithuania again coming from behind and reducing the lead to 2-3 with 27 minutes to go. The last 27 minutes were nail biting – one chance in one end was substituted by another in the other end and to top it all, Lithuania got a penalty corner with 40 seconds to go. They were even awarded to extra in overtime but didn’t manage to get the final goal.
Final Days matches:
|Saturday 25th July 2015|
|3A Norway||–||Finland 4B|
|3B Cyprus||–||Hungary 4A|
|LSF1 Lithuania||–||Malta LSF2|
|WSF1 Slovakia||–||Denmark WSF2|