Claiming bronze at home championship
This is the first time that Minsk has hosted the European Indoor Hockey Championship
During match for bronze medal
After the previous loss to Poland in the semi-final penalty series, our team found the energy to play another interesting match at the tournament. Just like the first hockey meeting of Belarus and Germany at the preliminary stage, the fans enjoyed many goals.
On winning a two-point advantage at the start, the Belarusians failed to keep their lead and Germans (who were among the leaders in the world qualifications) equalised the score before the break. Afterwards, Svetlana Bogushevich scored, putting our girls ahead.
The second half was a true thriller, pleasing fans with several goals and dramatic moments. A decision to replace the goalkeeper by an additional field player six minutes before the end of the match somehow helped the German team to capture the initiative: two goals by Julia Dudorov and Silja Lorenzen allowed the guests to take the advantage. However, Rita Batura and Anastasia Syroezhka remedied the situation. Just two minutes before the final whistle, Viktoria Huse equalised the score but with only one minute to go, Belarusian Kristina Popkova scored, bringing victory to our team. Despite the Germans’ intensive attack, our girls were able to sustain their advantage, capturing a bronze medal with their 6:5 score.
As a result, Kristina Popkova has been acknowledged as the best player of the championship. Lieke van Wijk of the Netherlands and Adela Bizova of the Czech Republic were named the best goal scorers of the tournament in Minsk with eight each. Ukrainian Tatiana Stepanchenko was the tournament’s best goalkeeper and the Ukrainian team also won a prize for fair play.
By Igor Grishin