Netherlands and Ukraine promoted from Championships II in Turkey

16th January 2018

The Netherlands will return to the top tier of European indoor hockey following their five wins from five in Alanya, Turkey at the EuroHockey Indoor Championship II, going up along with Ukraine.

The reigning World Cup champions were relegated two years ago but they bounced back with a strong performance, starting with group wins over Portugal (3-1), Ukraine (4-1) and Turkey (6-0).

It put them through to the promotion pool and they were all but assured of promotion when they beat Croatia 3-1. Nicki Leijs and Jochem Bakker gave them a 2-0 lead at half-time before Croatia gave them a scare with a few minutes left when Petar Hrsak got a goal back but Max Sweering eased the nerves.

By the time they played next, they were confirmed as moving up and gold was assured barring a heavy defeat to Sweden. The Swedes needed a win, too, to get ahead of Ukraine on goal difference and they started well with Alex Stroby putting them 1-0 in front in the third minute.

Caspar van Dijk and Bakker swapped the lead around and van Dijk then made the game safe in the second half at 3-1.

For Ukraine, they won an all-important 7-5 victory over Sweden, building a 6-0 lead before holding on despite a concerted second half fightback.

Against Croatia, Ukraine fell 2-0 behind in the first half but two goals from Vitalii Shevchuk and goals from Bohdan Kovalenko and Vitalii Kalinchuk swept them up to second place with a 4-2 success.

At the far end of the scale, Portugal finished fifth and Italy sixth while the hosts Turkey in seventh and England in last place were relegated for 2020.

EuroHockey Indoor Championships II, final standings

  1. Netherlands
  2. Ukraine
  3. Sweden
  4. Croatia
  5. Portugal
  6. Italy
  7. Turkey
  8. England

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