Monday, August 3, 2009

EuroHockey Nations: Day Three round-up

Pool A: Russia 6 (Alexandre Platonov 2, Alexey Sergeev 2, Alexander Korolev, Alexander Likov) Belarus 1 (Ivan Ilyuschts)
Russia confirmed their place in the semi-finals with as they hit near neighbours Belarus for six, joining Ireland in the last four of the EuroHockey Nation’s Trophy with a one series of pool games to go.

After a cagey opening, Alexander Korolev’s direct short corner hit clipped the top of Siarhei Lihor’s pads en route to the net.

Alexander Likov doubled up with a spectacular upright volley to turn the screw and, with the Belarussian squad wilting after the break, Russia ran riot.

Alexandre Platonov tapped in twice – the first from Korolev’s reverse-stick cross, the second finishing off Alexey Mamoskhkin’s pull-back.

And Alexey Sergeev netted his fourth and fifth goals of the tournament in the closing ten minutes to briefly move Russia exactly level with Ireland on points, goals scored and goals conceded.

But Ivan Ilyuschyts’ 70th minute consolation goal broke that tie with a tidy punch-shot over Roman Rogov.

Pool A standings: 1. Ireland 6pts (+9) 2. Russia 6pts (+8) 3. Belarus 0pts (-7) 4. Italy 0pts (-10)

Pool B: Scotland 4 (Graham Moodie, Chris Nelson, Niall Stott, Kenneth Bain) Switzerland 0Scotland bounced back from their defeat to Wales to bounce straight back into contention in Pool B with a comfortable 4-0 win over Switzerland.

All the goals came in a high octane first half with chances flashing by at either end. Ali McGregor needed to be alert to deny flying winger Andrin Rickli in the fifth minute.

But once Stephen Dick clicked into gear, Scotland began to soar. He won the game’s first corner in the seventh minute, giving Graham Moodie the chance to score his first goal of the tournament.

Christopher Nelson made it 2-0 soon after with a superb strike, controlling the ball on the slide before steadying himself to pummel across Patrick Egloff from the right wing and into the corner.

Egloff easily saved Ralph’s 12th minute penalty stroke after Nelson was floored but the third goal came was not long in coming – Niall Stott applying a beautiful upright reverse to Kenny Bain’s steal on the 25.

The Swiss were not without chances of their own but McGregor dealt with two Ulli Bergmann drag-flicks while Dick blocked a third corner in quick succession.

And Bain punished them with a fourth goal in the 30th minute, driving through the heart of the Swiss back four bouncing the ball and defenders as he went before deftly clipping over Egloff.

Pool B: 1. Wales 4pts (+2) 2. Czech Republic 4pts (+2) 3. Scotland 3pts (+2) 4. Switzerland 0pts (-6)

* For more pics from Russia vs Belarus, click here, and for Scotland vs Switzerland, click here

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