Kim Platten celebrates Germany's semi-final success
Kim Platten celebrates Germany's semi-final success
(Photo: EHF / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Today's semi-final day for the women ended with a big bang surprise result as England defeated current European champions from the Netherlands. The first semi-final had confirmed Germany as a finalist after a win over Belgium. In Pool C, Spain slipped past Ireland and Scotland picked up a win against Belarus with the narrowest of margins.

Pool C: Spain v Ireland 1-0 (1-0)

Spain and Ireland started the day off with the first of the relegation pool encounters. In a closely contested encounter, Spain were able to gain an advantage midway through the first half with a Berta Bonastre goal, which proved the decisive strike at the end of the match.

Spain protected their lead well in a game of few dangerous situations at either end, and with two wins to their name in Pool C are certain of avoiding relegation for 2015.

Pool C: Belarus – Scotland 2-3  (0-3)

The second pool C match started off with Scotland dominating the proceedings and building up a three goal lead until halftime. Holly Cram first got the Scots onto the scoreboard with a penalty corner conversion in the 22nd minute, with Alison Howie and Vikki Bunce adding two more.

The second half however was an entirely different story, as Volha Shyntar converted a penalty corner and Yuliya Mikheichyk made good use of a penalty stroke. It wasn't enough for an equalizer however, and the Scotswomen bagged important three points in the race for safety in Pool C.

Semi-final: Germany - Belgium 2-2 (1-1) 2-0 SO

Forcing a penalty shootout with a last minute equalizer, Germany showed maximum efficiency and crushed the Red Panthers final hopes.

In an exciting and highly entertaining fast-paced match, Eileen Hoffmann set germany ahead in the first half deflecting a long ball, but Jill Boon ensured a balanced halftime score with a touch-in at the other end.

After the break, Belgium soon went ahead through Charlotte De Vos, and for half an hour, the Red Panthers not only held on to their lead, but rather created a number of excellent opportunities to win by a wider margin. Failing to make their chances count, the Belgians were dealt a blow in the shape of the match's first penalty corner for Germany with less than two minutes on the clock, which Marie Mävers finished off.

The late goal had a visible impact on the young Belgian team who crumbled under the pressure and could not challenge Germany in the shoot-out decider. Germany celebrated their fifth consecutive EuroHockey Championships final, while Belgium will be disputing the match for Bronze on Saturday.

Semi-final: Netherlands - England 1-1 (0-0) 2-3 SO

The final match of the day determined the other finalist of the women's competition at the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships, and after the second shoot-out in as many matches, England celebrated their first Euro final in 22 years.

In the first half, the Netherlands had scores of opportunities, mostly in the shape of penalty corners, but could not make their chances count. On the contrary, the Dutch were unfortunate to give away the lead at the other end when an unluckily deflected ball resulted in an own goal. Fallen behind, the world number one shifted up a gear however, and soon restored balance with a goal from Eva de Goede.

Things got heated at the end of the match, with three yellow cards in the last three minutes, but neither team was able to force a decision, and the second semi-final had to be decided in a shoot-out too. After two early successes from England, the Netherlands turned the shoot-out around just in time to force sudden death pairs, but it was Helen Richardson who finally tipped the scales in England's favor, pushing the current champions out of a European Championships final for the first time since 1991.

Saturday's women's final will thus pit Germany against England, while the Netherlands will take on Belgium for Bronze.

To follow the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships in more detail, please visit www.trifinanceeurohockey2013.be or www.eurohockey.org.