The U18 EuroHockey Youth Championship II competition’s third day in Glasgow saw wins for Austria boys and Czech girls; and competitive draws between Switzerland and Russia boys, and Italy and Scotland girls.
Day three got off to a great start with a very competitive contest between Switzerland and Russia boys. Switzerland took the lead through Mattieu Wyss-Chodat on 23 minutes; he struck the ball into the net after some good play down the right. 1-0. Russia levelled the score through a very well worked goal by Oleg Kotkov on 54 minutes.
Russia’s impressive team work created some great chances in the dying minutes of the game but none could be converted. Switzerland almost nicked it at the very end but Russian goalkeeper Nikita Shishkin blocked a Swiss one-on-one chance in what a nail-biting end to the match. It finished Switzerland 1-1 Russia.
It was a top of the table clash between Austria and Poland up next and it was the Austrians who kept their 100% record in tact at the end. Poland took the lead through a great finish by Wojciech Cholewa on 9 minutes, giving the Poles a great start to the game.
Austria scored after half time when Paul Supper forced the ball over the line on 46 minutes. The momentum was with Austria after that and their pressure was rewarded when Maximilian Scholz scored from a penalty corner on 50 minutes. 2-1.
Austria had a fantastic opportunity to extend their lead when they were awarded a penalty. The flick was superbly saved by Poland’s Filip Lewandowski to keep the score Austria 2-1 with 8 minutes to go. Poland, despite their late pressure, could not find an equaliser and Austria recorded the victory.
In the next game Czech Republic girls took the lead against Austria when captain, Anna Kolařová, opened the scoring on 24 minutes through a powerful finish from a penalty corner. Katherina Hefter then scored for Austria after Czech keeper Tereza Kopřivová made a great first save but could not prevent the ball being scrambled over the line. 1-1.
As the game roared on Czech goalkeeper Kopřivová saved a penalty flick, diving low to her left keeping the score at 1-1. The penalty save spurred the Czechs on and Veronika Kopřivová put them in front on 48 minutes, forcing the ball home at close range. 2-1. Czech Republic then made it 3-1 with a second goal of the match for Kolařová on 51 minutes. 3-1 was how it finished and the Czech Rep clocked their first win of the tournament.
The last game of the day, a 2-2 draw between Italy and Scotland girls, was arguably the most exciting game of the tournament so far. Italy took the lead through Federica Carta scoring a low shot from a penalty corner. 1-0.
Scotland in response were pressing well but found the Italian defence resolute and stubborn. Italy tore forward and a defensive mistake allowed Veronica Marroccoli to knock the ball into an open goal to make it 2-0.
Scotland were on the front foot in the second half and were rewarded for their efforts when Hanna McKie forced the ball over the line to make it 2-1 – winning a battle with the goalkeeper on 57 minutes. McKie scored again to make it 2-2; she smashed the ball in from close range and the stand erupted.
It was end-to-end in the last few minutes; Scotland were denied by a brilliant save following a scramble in the D, then Mairi Fletcher made an incredible save to stop a late Italian winner. It finished 2-2.
Picture credit – Mark Pugh