England fought down Germany for a quarter-final spot.
England fought down Germany for a quarter-final spot.
(Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Pool D wrapped up the last day of pool play in Mönchengladbach. On Pitch 2, Spain produced a shutout against Belgium to secure their ticket into the quarter-finals, while England wrestled down Germany to join them in the top half of the draw. Germany and Belgium are thus headed for the 9th-16th place classification matches.

Spain v Belgium 3-0 (2-0)

The clash between Spain and Belgium was a close one today. Spain had advantages but couldn't pull away decisively until late in the match, squandering a number of opportunities. Belgium stood fast in defense, making it difficult for the Spanish to translate their share in ball possession into circle penetrations or shots on goal, and they succeeded in maintaining their great efforts during nearly the entire match.

A penalty corner early in the match however had set the Spanish ahead after Cristina Guinea made good use of the opportunity, and Patricia Maraña extended the lead midway through the first half with a goal from open play. The Spanish were thus two goals ahead at halftime, a good advantage given that a majority of play was taking place in the Belgian half of the field.

Belgian goalkeeper Elena Sotgiu became the player of the match for the Red Cheetahs in the second half, warding off a number of attempts, including two penalty strokes taken by Berta Bonastre and Patricia Maraña. But the Belgians could not match up their great work in defense with attacking power to challenge the Spaniards. On the contrary, Alicia Magaz even added a third goal for Spain late in the match, and when the seventy minutes had expired, Spain won the match 3-0, thus having secured their place in the quarter-finals independent of the result of the later match between Germany and England.

Voices after the match:

Spanish coach Jorge Donoso Bailon: “I don’t know what to say. The quarter-finals will be tough but we will enjoy it and we will try to reach the semi-finals.”

Shane McLeod, coach Belgium: “Now we are facing New Zealand. This is a tough opponent.” 

Germany v England 1-2 (1-1)

England cruised into the quarter-finals of the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup by beating host nation Germany 2-1. The hosts wanted to finish the tournament in the top four but now their dream of the semi-finals is over.

The last match of the day took place in front of a big crowd at the Hockeypark in Mönchengladbach. Germany’s Marilena Krauss had the first promising scoring opportunity midway through the first half. But the German striker was tackled by an English defender resulting into a penalty corner which Germany failed to convert.

On 24 minutes Germany forced their third penalty corner which was well finished by Krauss smashing the ball into the bottom right corner. The equaliser was an own goal by Sophia Willig four minutes from the halftime break. A minute before halftime Lea Stöckel’s shot was parried well by England’s goalkeeper Caitlin Jeffries.

Both teams kept going after the break and went for the winning goal. While a draw would have been enough for Germany to qualify for the Top Eight, England needed a win. They forced a penalty corner on 48 minutes. But the they did not score although the German defence was reduced to two defenders after the other two players had been sent to mid-line after breaking early.

Soon after, Germany’s goalkeeper Lisa Schneider saved well to prevent England from making it 2-1. However, the English girls eventually took the lead thanks to a deflected strike from Stephanie Addison. With 2.5 minutes remaining on the clock Germany substituted their goalkeeper Schneider for an additional field player. The hosts fought hard for the equaliser but to no avail and England held on for their narrow win. 

Voices after the match:

Marc Herbert, German coach: „It’s extremely disappointing as a draw would have been enough for us to get through. Some of my players are not used to play in front of such a big crowd.”

Craig Keegan, England coach: “It could have gone either way. Today was our day, but it also could have easily been Germany’s day. Our objective is to finish in the top eight, so we have reached this objective. Now we are going to aim for the top four.”

Shona McCallin, England captain: “I’m speechless. This was the biggest game so far. It was either go hard or go home, fortunately we won it. We have a great team spirit.”