Men’s TriFinance EuroHockey Championships
Belgium 2 (Tom Boon, Jerome Truyens) Spain 2-2 (Pau Quemada, Edi Tubau)
Belgium secured their passage to the semi-finals as Group A winners courtesy of a 2-2 draw against Spain. It was always a tight game with the hosts leading twice as Spain fought back to level but could not do enough to get the big win they needed to progress.
It means that Spain will play Ireland on Friday afternoon (3pm Irish time) in their first Pool C game with the Czech Republic the final opposition on Sunday morning (10am).
Tom Boon put Belgium in front after just 90 seconds from a delicate touch to a diagonal ball into the circle and they held most of the play but could not find a way through before half-time.
The pattern continued into the second period as Spain defended compactly, not giving away many chances. And they capitalised from their first penalty corner as Pau Quemada roofed a great drag-flick.
Quico Cortes was in good form, too, keeping out shots notably from Jerome Dekeyser. He also saved brilliantly from Sebastien Dockier but the ball fell perfectly for Jerome Truyens collected the rebound to make it 2-1 in the 61st minute.
Edi Tubau levelled with seven minutes to go with a beautiful run and strike but his side could not find any more goals, meaning they go into Pool C with three points to their name before they play Ireland and Poland. Belgium will play England in the semi-finals, meanwhile, on Friday while Germany meet the Netherlands.
Germany 3 (M Grambusch, O Deecke, M Miltkau) Czech Republic 0
Germany picked up a three goal win that confirms they will advance to the semi-finals of the men’s TriFinance EuroHockey Championships as they saw off the Czech Republic in their final group game.
Mats Grambusch got them off to a strong start when he finished off from close range and Germany continued to apply the pressure throughout the first half with Filip Neusser producing a number of big saves.
He deflected one effort from Thilo Stralkowski onto the crossbar while he also kept out seven penalty corners in the first half. Oskar Deecke did make it 2-0 in the 27th minute for a comfortable half-time lead.
Marco Miltkau completed the win in the 42nd minute, a goal that meant that, no matter what happened between Spain and Belgium, they will have the requisite goal difference in their favour.
Standings: 1. Belgium 7pts (+5) 2. Germany 6pts (+5) 3. Spain 4pts (+2) 4. Czech Republic 0pts (-12)