Spain became the first side to reach the final when they produced a stunning performance to beat the Netherlands. It ended 4-3 but the result was far more comfortable as they, inspired by Pau Quemada, Xavi Lleonart and Quico Cortes, built a 4-0 lead before the Dutch scored three times in the last seven minutes.
It will be their first final since 2007 and keeps alive their chances of a second EuroHockey Championships success.
Then, in the second semi-final, Belgium produced an astonishing comeback in the last 18 minutes to score four times to beat Germany 4-2. They trailed 2-0 at half-time but the game turned in the second half, setting off fireworks on the pitch and in the 7,500 strong crowd.
The final will take place at 20.30 (CET) with the Netherlands facing Germany for bronze at 18.00 (CET).
In Pool C, Scotland produced a memorable 4-2 win over Wales with Cameron Golden scoring twice. It moves Scotland up to four points where they were joined by England who were 2-1 winners over Ireland.
It means a draw or better for either Scotland or England in their game on Saturday (13.30 CET) will keep their place in the top tier for 2021. Ireland and Wales will hope that they still have a chance when their match comes around at 15.45 (CET).
Friday’s action sees the women’s semi-finals take centre stage. England take on the Netherlands in the first final four clash, a repeat of the 2015 final, at 18.00 (CET). Spain take on Germany at 20.30 (CET) for a place in Sunday’s final.
Earlier in the day, Pool C opens with Russia against Belarus at 13.30 (CET) with Belgium facing Ireland at 15.45 (CET) with the battle to avoid relegation on the line.
Men’s semi-final reports
Semi-final: Netherlands 3 (J Janssen 2, B Bakker) Spain 4 (P Quemada 2, J Romeu, R Sanchez)
Spain reached the final of the men’s EuroHockey Championships for the first time since 2007 as they produced a remarkable display to beat the reigning champions, ending their hopes of three in-a-row.
Three penalty corner goals – two from Pau Quemada, one from Josep Romeu – along with a Ricardo Sanchez strike had them soaring to victory and three late Dutch goals could not ruin the party.
Belgium 4 (T Boon, N de Kerpel, V Wegnez, C Charlier) Germany 2 (R Ruhr, F Fuchs)
Belgium produced an incredible comeback from 2-0 down with 18 minutes to go to beat Germany 4-2, setting off the fireworks for the capacity 7,500 crowd who loved every moment of a wild game.
It was a game played a rip-roaring pace with drama a plenty as two of the world’s best side showcased their wares in front of a packed Wilrijkse Plein stadium.
Wales 2 (O Dolan-Gray, L Prosser) Scotland 4 (C Golden 2, C Falconer, N Parkes)
Scotland got Pool C up and running with a big win over Wales, adding these three points to the 3-3 draw they got against Ireland earlier in the week.
It gives them a great chance of avoiding relegation, bolstering their goal difference into the bargain ahead of a Saturday game against England.
England prevailed 2-1 against Ireland to make a big move toward survival at the Belfius EuroHockey Championships in Antwerp, putting Ireland under huge pressure in Pool C.
Two goals in the first quarter from Zach Wallace and Phil Roper made the difference and while Ireland fought back via Michael Robson’s goal, it was not enough to turn the tide.
Match schedule (all at Wilrijkse Plein)
Friday, August 23
Semi-finals: England v Netherlands, 18.00; Spain v Germany, 20.30
Pool C: Russia v Belarus, 13.30; Belgium v Ireland, 15.45
Saturday, August 24
Final: Spain v Belgium, 20.30
Bronze match: Netherlands v Germany, 18.00
Pool C: England v Scotland, 13.30; Ireland v Wales, 15.45