As Day 4 started there was much at stake for the teams here in Valencia, especially in the 5 team Pool A.
Match 8: Russia v France 3-2
Earlier today Russia faced France in the first game of Pool A. With only 2 minutes in the game, Russia took the lead via Sanina. The Russian team had the best chances in the first quarter. France was defending well in their half. With 8 minutes before half time, France had their first penalty corner of the game. The French girls thought they had scored the equalizer but the goal was denied by the umpires because the ball was high.
In the third quarter, France had 4 penalty corners in a row but each time the Russian goalkeeper saved. On the 8th penalty corner for France, Gaspari found the equalizer. It gave the French team a lot of confidence and they had much more ball possession in the following 15th minute. But Russia fought back in the last quarter and the game was very intense for the two teams, both looking for the win. But with 8 minutes before the end of the game, Russia had a big chance but it was saved on the line by France. Russia scored their second goal from the penalty spot via Golubeva with 6 minutes left on the clock. A minute later, they increased their lead to make it 3-1. But France reacted immediately to the third goal of Russia and put one back on a penalty corner. The last minutes of the game was very tense but Russia managed to keep their lead and win 3-2 against France.
Match 9: Belgium v Belarus 1-1
The opening quarter ended 0-0 with no clear chances for either team. Belgium had the better start in the second quarter, pressing high and putting a lot of pressure on the Belarussian defence, but being rewarded for their efforts with the first pc of the game. A direct strike forced LIAVONAVA, the Belarus keeper into action. A second pc in the 28th was not converted by Belgium, a 3rd pc in the same minute, wasn’t controlled at the top of the D for the strike, but the breakdown landed beautifully for BREYNE who didn’t hesitate to strike and hit the backboard to put Belgium ahead 1-0. No clear chances for either team saw the game end 1-0 in favour of Belgium at half time.
The second half saw a lot of turnover ball. Belgium pressed hard again and LIAVONAVA was engaged far more in the game that we are sure she would have liked, but she persisted with some decisive saves to keep the scoreline to 1-0. Flashes of excellent hockey came from Belarus, but again small errors forced turnovers. In the final minute of the game Belarus earned a corner, the Belgian defence went early and were reduced to 3 defenders and MIHUNOVA converted a deflection to put the game level 1-1.
With only 4 minutes into the game, Germany took the lead via Keifer, against the run of the play. The game started on a high tempo. After the goal, the Germans were putting a lot of pressure on the English defence. Heyn doubled the lead for her team with a beautiful backhand shot in the roof of the net, 3 minutes before the first break. England fought back before half time but Germany was defending properly in front of their goal.
In the third quarter, England was awarded a few penalty corners but the German goalie saved them all. Germany kept the ball in the team patiently to find the opening in the English defence. In the last quarter, Germany got 2 yellow cards within 3 min. England took advantage of their superiority and put one back on a penalty corner, deflected by Bowen. But with 10 seconds left on the clock, and down to 10 players, Germany secured their win as Boermans scored through the legs of the English goalie. The final score was 3-1 for Germany, who are the first team to qualify for the semifinals.
|11:15||RUS – FRA||Pool A||3 – 2|
|15:30||BEL – BLR||Pool B||1 – 1|
|17:45||GER – ENG||Pool B||3 – 1|
Upcoming games 17th July:
As all games on Pitch 1 will be live streamed, all the women’s games tomorrow will be streamed on www.eurohockeytv.org
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Photographs: World Sport Pics (c)