Indoor Red Panthers delight large home crowd in Brussels

Posted On 19th January 2018

Belfius EuroHockey Indoor Championship II Women (Brussels, January 19): Belgium claimed a Pool D promotion spot to the delight of a large and loud home crowd at the Belfius Arena as they ran up big wins over Croatia and Scotland without conceding a single goal.

Second place in the group will be decided between the Croats and the Scots. In Pool A, Austria need just a draw to advance from the final group game but all of England, Sweden and Lithuania able to grab a place in the final four.

Pool A
Match 1: England 5-1 (1-1) Sweden

In the first game of the tournament England (FIH 21) had the best of Sweden (FIH 28), beating them 5-1. After the first 20 minutes, the sides were level, each scoring one goal. After 10 minutes, Erica Sanders scored the first goal of the tournament for England. But the English team struggled to take move further ahead. And in the last minute of the first half Sweden managed to level score through Emilia Fantini (HT 1-1).

The English finally made the difference count in the second half. After one minute, it was again Sanders who netted the second goal from a penalty corner (2-1). Five minutes later saw the third English goal from the stick of Megan Crowson, also from a pc (3-1). In the 32nd and the 38th minute, Sanders completed her hat trick, settling a 5-1 win for her team.

Match 2: Austria 4-2 (1-1) Lithuania
This game got off to a flying start for Austria (FIH 6), scoring after two minutes through Alexandra Sandner. But, same as the match between England and Sweden, it was Lithuania (FIH 22) that managed to come back in the last minute of the first half, thanks to a penalty corner of Jurate Juodyte (HT 1-1). It took Austria one minute in the second half to take the lead again after a beautiful field goal from Daria Buchta (2-1). Three minutes later, from an Austrian corner, captain Corinna Zerbs increased the lead to 3-1. But only seconds later Lithuanian captain Dovile Kukliene gave her team hope again, scoring the second for Lithuania (3-2). In the 32nd minute, Marianne Pultar put two goals in the diference again and it stayed that way until the end.

Pool B
Match 3: Scotland 5-0 (2-0) Wales

The third game of the day saw the British derby between Scotland (FIH 16) and Wales (FIH 21). It was Scotland that made the difference at the start of each half. After five minutes the score was already 2-0for the Scots after two goals from Emily Dark. In the first five minutes of the second half, Scotland added three more goals through Louise Campbell and Vikki Bunce (in the 23rd and 25th minute), securing a clear 5-0 win.

Match 4: Belgium 4-0 (2-0) Croatia
The last game of the morning session pitted home team Belgium (FIH 9) to Croatia (FIH 23). A packed and loud indoor hall, filled with 700 black-yellow-red supporters, saw the Indoor Red Panthers first struggling with the pressure of the home crowd. Unfortunately, the Panthers lost their vice-captain Ophélie Duquesne, due to a sprained ankle. In the 16th minute, Laurine Delforge opened the score for Belgium, unleashing the enthusiasm of the many Belgian supporters. From that moment on, the Belgians dominated the game. In the last minute of the first half, Justine Rasir doubled the score for the home team (HT 2-0). After half-time, Belgium continued to dominate the game, with captain Delforge scoring two more goals in the 23rd and the 36th minute.

Pool A
Match 5: Lithuania 2-4 (0-1) Sweden

In the first game of the afternoon session, it was Sweden that took the lead at the end of the first half, thanks to a penalty corner scored by Emilia Fantini (HT 0-1). The Swedish women managed to score three more goals just after the break through two more corners by Fantini, scoring her third of the tournament, and Christina Hernvall and a field goal by Gunaj Zulfiyeva (0-4). In the 30th minute, Lithuania earned a penalty stroke that was successfully netted by Erlanda Nomeikaite (1-4). Two minutes later, Dovile Juraite doubled the score for the Lithuanians, giving them hope again. But the score didn’t change again, Sweden winning the game on a 4-2 scoreline.

Match 6: England 3-5 (0-3) Austria
Austria dominated this game in the first half, getting a 0-3 lead after goals of Stefanie Podpera (13th min.), Daria Buchta (14th min.) and Katharina Hefter (16th min.). The Austrians even extended their lead after the pause with a goal in the 25th minute by Marta Laginja (0-4). England kept the spirit high and managed to come back to 2-4 with field goals by Erica Sanders (30th min.) and Lydia Macdonnell (32nd min.). But Austria put a brake on the English enthusiasm, scoring a fifth in the 36th minute through Katharina Hefter again (2-5). Two minutes before the end England managed to come back by one, thanks to a goal by Alice Wills.

Pool B
Match 7: Croatia 5-0 (2-0) Wales

In their second game of the day, Croatia overpowered Wales, winning 5-0. The first goal came in the fourth minute by Marijana Franić (1-0). One minute before half-time, Dolores Peranic doubled the score for Croatia from a penalty corner. The Croatians managed to score three more goals in the second half: Peranic again in the 26th minute (3-0), Viktoria Śomin in the 33rd minute and Una Litvic in the last minute on p.c. (5-0).

Match 8: Scotland 0-5 (0-2) Belgium
Almost 600 supporters were again in the house for the second game of hosts Belgium against Scotland. After 12 minutes, the Belgian Indoor Red Panthers scored their first goal through Justine Rasir (0-1). In the 18th minute, Belgium won a penalty stroke, with Marie Ronquetti converting for a 0-2 scoreline. Belgian captain Laurine Delforge waited for the 31st minute to score her fourth goal of the tournament, with a fantastic tip-in (0-3). With Scotland withdrawing its goalkeeper for an extra kicking back, Belgium managed to score a fourth goal through Lucie Breyne (0-4). The fifth goal of this match came from the stick of, again, Laurine Delforge.


Saturday morning schedule

20 Jan 09:00 9 Austria Sweden Upcoming Pool A
10:10 10 Lithuania England Upcoming Pool A
11:20 11 Croatia Scotland Upcoming Pool B
12:30 12 Belgium Wales Upcoming Pool B

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