Belgium in pole position with promotion calling in Brussels

Posted On 20th January 2018

Belfius Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Championship II (Brussels, January 20): Hosts Belgium are in pole position to win the Belfius Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Championship II in Brussels as they added big wins over Wales and Austria to lead promotion Pool D going into their final game.

Indeed, they have yet to concede a goal in four games and so look well set to get the draw they need to move up. England will hope to get a result to stay in the promotion places with Austria and Croatia hoping to overtake them.

Belgium’s Laurine Delforge and Caroline Wagemans celebrate a goal.

In relegation Pool C, Wales lost to Lithuania to leave them certain of a bottom two finish but there is still plenty to play for when Scotland take on Lithuania and Sweden face Wales.

Pool A
Match 9: Austria v Sweden 6-0 (1-0)

A one-sided match that included a double from Alexandra Sandner for Austria (EHF #6), it was only 1-0 at half-time. Austria turned on the style and took their chances in the second half, quickly taking the game away from the Swedish (EHF #28), advancing to the promotion pool.

Match 10: Lithuania v England 3-5 (2-3)
England (EHF #21) were on the offensive right from the start and deserved their 3-2 half time lead. Lithuania (EHF #22) did take advantage of two penalties corners in the 15th and 16th minute to level at 2-2. But Erica Sanders put England in front at the break and goals from Esme Burge and Megan Crowson put them out of sight and into the top four playoffs.

Pool B
Match 11: Croatia v Scotland 1-1 (0-0)

Scotland scored first as Vikki Bunce walked through the Croatian defence and then simply pushed the ball into the goal of Iva Zlomislic. The score stayed like that until Croatia won the ball through Anamarija Somin who controlled the ball at the top of the circle and she flicked the ball high over the keeper to level the score 1-1 with four minutes to go. It was enough to put Croatia into second in the group and the promotion pool with Scotland third.

Match 12: Belgium v Wales 7-0 (3-0)
Belgium stormed into the promotion pool with fee problems from Wales in front of 700 fans. The indoor Red Panthers quickly opened the score after three minutes with a brilliant goal scored by Justine Rasir. In the 15th minute, Laurine Delforge scored her first goal of the game from a penalty corner. Two minutes later, Charlotte Englebert completed the first half scoring. The Red Panthers totally dominated the second half with further goals from Marie Ronquetti (two), Emeline Massart and captain Delforge with her seventh of the tournament just four minutes before the end.

Pool C
Match 13: Lithuania v Wales 9-0 (4-0)

Lithuania punished Wales in the second half as they struggled to keep up the pace of two consecutive matches as a 2-0 half-time scoreline transformed into nine by the end. Kotryna Kartanovic and Jurate Juodyte scored the early ones before and Juodyte would end the game with four goals to her name.

Match 14: Sweden v Scotland 2-1 (1-0)
Sweden got an important win over Scotland to preserve their place in the second tier in Europe with a 2-1 win. The Swedes took the lead in the 11th minute thanks to Emilia Fantini; 1-0. This was the only goal of the first half as both teams found it difficult to locate a hole in the defense. Sweden finally doubled their score in the 31st minute thanks to Klara Moberg. Emily Dark saved the honour of her team, Scotland, by scoring a late goal.

Pool D:
Match 15: England – Croatia 4-1 (2-0)

England gave their promotion hopes a big boost as they showed a clean pair of heels to Croatia. The English women scored the first goal of the game in the fourth minute through Megan Crowson. A corner from Erica Sanders in the 20th minute made it 2-0. At the start of the second half, England scored again (3-0) from Crowson again but the Croats did not give up and scored their first goal of the game via Viktoria Somin in the 33rd minute. There was to be no big comeback, though, as Crowson completed her hat trick.

Match 16: Austria – Belgium 0-3 (0-0)
A close run battle in the first half saw Austria put the pressure on the Indoor Red Panthers with an even share of opportunities on both sides, 0-0 at the break. Laurine Delforge got the first goal of the game in the 22nd minute. It liberated the Belgians and, notably, France de Mot, who imitated her teammate two minutes later with a superb drag-flick for 2-0. The Belgians became more and more aggressive and had more possession. And that was used to their advantage as Justine Rasir scored the third goal in the 32nd minute. The result means the Belgians hold all the aces going into their final game against England with a draw assuring top spot.

Sunday schedule

21 Jan 10:00 17 Scotland Lithuania Upcoming Pool C
11:10 18 Sweden Wales Upcoming Pool C
13:00 19 Belgium England Upcoming Pool D
14:10 20 Austria Croatia Upcoming Pool D

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