16th February 2018: Day One of the EuroHockey Indoor Championships did not disappoint. An on form Amsterdam rocked up a tidy 10 goals and 10 points to put them sitting top of Pool B overnight and assured of a semi-final slot. With several draws in the group no other team is sure of a semi-final place, Complutense are on 4 points with Armenin and Racing both on 2 points. All bar Amsterdam need to wait for the outcome of the final Pool B games in the morning. In Pool A Elektrostal sit on top of the pool overnight with 10 points, followed closely by Rot Weiss Koln on 6. Still all to play for in this group as 3 of the teams can still make the semi-finals. The deciders will be in the morning.
Game 1 – 10:00 ARMINEN – COMPLUTENSE 2-2 (0-1)
Complutense had the better start to the game, opening the scoring from play in the 4th minute and they held the Armenin attacks at bay until a lovely sweep from Grandits in the 21st minute levelled the score. They exchanged goals again and the game remained 2-2 until the end of the game, each team earning 2 hard fought points.
Game 2 – 11:15 AMSTERDAM – RACING BRUXELLES 8-2 (4-0)
An explosive start to this game with Tigges (Amsterdam) shooting in the second minute, just wide! Amsterdam, however laid a marker with 4 without reply in the first half. Racing did strike from a Garcia corner in the 26th minute. Racing worked their way back into this game in the second half, choosing to play without a keeper, 5-2 and earned a stroke which was well saved by the keeper van Leeuwen. The power play gamble didn’t pay off as they conceded 3 more, without reply.
Game 3 – 12:30 SURBITON – RW WETTINGEN 4-2 (2-2)
A penalty stroke in the opening minute gave Surbiton the perfect start. Followed by a field goal from Scottish international Forsyth, his brace and a 2-0 advantage in the 2nd minute. The hosts played their way into the game and brought the game to a draw at the half (2-2). Forsyth scored his hat-trick in the 31st minute and a 4th from Farrington in the 36th minute ensured a deserved win for the English club.
Game 4 – 13:45 ROT WEISS KOLN – ELEKTROSTAL 4-5 (2-1)
Match of the day! This game had it all, great skill, fantastic goals and a bit of over time drama as Elektrostal equalised the game from a Arusiia pc to win the game 4-5.
Game 5 – 15:30 COMPLUTENSE – RACING BRUXELLES (2-1) 3-3
After a short break the games resumed this afternoon here in Wettingen and Complutense were all business attacking from the off. They were rewarded in the 11th minute via Villegas and another from Nevado in the 13th minute, but silver European medalist Maraite brought it back to 2-1 before the break.
Racing had an excellent chance to equalise in the 30th minute when a pc was upgraded to a stroke, Boon, normally such a proficient marksman missed and the score remained 2-1. A frantic final quarter in the game saw the scoreline shift to 3-3. In spite of an intense last few minutes which saw some ill discipline and 2 yellow cards for Racing the score remained 3-3.
Game 6 – 16:45 AMSTERDAM – ARMINEN 7 – 3 (3 – 1)
Another energetic start from Amsterdam and they went on the attack immediately from the whistle, some solid if somewhat desperate defending off the line, kept the scoreline at 0-0 in the opening minutes. But it was Arminen who opened the scoring a direct flick from a Rachwalski pc. A beautifully timed pass from Sweering to Horn who swept it past the Austrian defence 1-1 in the 11th minute. A reverse shot from Sweering himself in the 14th minute put Amsterdam ahead, 2-1 with Burkhardt adding another in the 15th minute. A pc to Amsterdam in the 25th minute saw a pretty spectacular save from Rachwalkski off the line, score remained 3-1. A break and solo run from Leijs in the 27th minute saw Amsterdam stretch their lead to 4-1. A very fine display from Amsterdam saw them finish the game 7-3 and top the group over night with 10 of the possible 10 points on offer.
Game 7 – 18:00 ELEKTROSTAL – RW WETTINGEN 3-2 (2-0)
A solid performance from the Russians put them 2-0 in the lead v the hosts Wettingen. Wettingen clawed their way back to 2-2. Their hopes were dashed as the Russian’s scored a 3rd in the 39th minute, to take all 5 points on offer and a place in the semi-finals.
Game 8 – 19:15 SURBITON – ROT WEISS KOLN 1-5 (1-4)
A few twists, turns and a spin from Forsyth put Surbiton ahead in the 2nd minute. RWK equalised via Ruhr who seemed to appear from nowhere having arrived in the D under an invisibility cloak 1-1 in the 9th minute. A pc goal put Koeln ahead in the 11th minute and a 3rd in the 14th minute saw the German’s well ahead. Forsyth was still causing mischief in the German circle and narrowly missed scoring his second as the ball whipped past the post in the 16th minute. However RWK are just too strong for the young English defenders and Miltkau gets his 2nd just before the half time. 4-1 was the half time score. RWK earned a pc early in the second half and Ruhr did what he does best, whipped it past the keepers head 5-1. Surbiton had chances in the latter stages of the second half to narrow the scoreline, but narrowly missed on a few occasions.
Tomorrow’s Pool Games:
09:00 ARMINEN – RACING BRUXELLES Pool B
10:15 COMPLUTENSE – AMSTERDAM Pool B
11:30 ELEKTROSTAL – SURBITON Pool A
12:45 ROTWKOLN – WETTINGEN Pool A
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All photographs are courtesy of World Sport pics (c)