Ukraine vs. Austria
The second round of Pool B games sees the third and second lowest ranked teams in the tournament face each other. Ukraine, placed 27th in the world take on Austria, who are 31st on the FIH list. The Austrians managed a draw in their first game and therefore have one more point then their opponents. Austria are in a red with a white trim and Ukraine are in dark blue, with bright yellow socks.
Ukraine nearly score in the fifth minute as captain Yana Vorushylo picks up a through ball into the circle, but good positioning from the Austrian keeper Stella van Rahden keeps it out. The Ukrainians win a short corner from the second phase of this attack, but manage to kick the ball in during the set piece and now a counter attack is on. However, a misplaced pass sees the move dwindle away. Two minutes of the period remain and the Eastern Europeans find an Austrian foot in the circle for their second penalty corner of the game. Alexandra Sandner breaks the defensive line early and is told to walk. The keeper saves and then the left post player blocks the rebound well. 0 – 0 at the end of the first quarter.
Four minutes into the second period Ukraine’s Yulia Shevchenko finds herself in the Austrian circle with the ball on her strong side. She takes the shot and it takes a deflection, which trickles over the line. The Austrians throw themselves at it to keep the ball out, but only manage to have their own defend in the goal as well; Ukraine 1 – 0 Austria.
The Austrians get a chance to equalise with their right winger Lisa Steyrer rounding the keeper, Tetiana Stepanchenko, but she puts the ball wide of the post and a decent chance goes begging. The game has been fairly even so far, with some decent passing moves, but also some individual errors shared between both teams. Just before half time Alexandra Sandner forces a pad save from Stepanchenko with a reverse stick strike.Shortly after this there is a collision between Ukraine’s Oksana Ponomarenko and Zerbs of Austria, which sees a card shown to Ponomarenko. At half time the score is Ukraine 1 – 0 Austria
Ukraine gets us under way for the second half. Just as we get going the heavens open up, giving the pitch a good water and encouraging the Austrian coach to put his jumper back on. In the seventh minute, Austria’s Joanna Czech picks up the ball, slips it right, avoiding a challenge from the defender, gets it back and moves it forward to 19 year old Nathalie Matousek inside the circle, who takes a touch and promptly puts it in the bottom corner. An equaliser for Austria, and it’s now 1 – 1.
The rain has calmed down for the time being, but the pitch was already wet from the Scottish climatic conditions this morning and there’s plenty of spray coming up when players change direction, speed up and slow down. Joanna Czech is having a good game for Austria, giving Alexandra Sandner a decent opening for a shot, but it’s blocked the ball is blocked by the opposition defence. The score is one goal a piece at third quarter time.
In the seventh minute of the final period, Ukraine win a short corner, after Olha Honcharenko has a dribble up the pitch and draws a foul in the attacking quarter. The set piece is run down well, however, from the Austrian defence and they win a free hit out. In the tenth minute Austria number 25 Zoia Lebediuk is away with the ball just past the half way line, looking at an empty field. She’s taken down by Yevheniya Kernoz unfairly and she gets a yellow card for her efforts. Shortly after this the Austrians get a short corner. The shot is a drag flick that’s saved by the keeper and they get another. This time a variation is slipped to captain Corinna Zerbs, who creates an angle to the right and knock the ball to the back post. It’s deflected into the roof of the net. Ruth Konrat gets the final touch. The Austrian fans just off to my left are rather pleased with the turn of events. The Score is now Ukraine 1 – 2 Austria.
The clock is ticking down now and the Austrians are trying to hold onto their lead. Sophie Salat commits a foul on the half way line and her compatriot Lisa Stryrer knocks the ball away after the whistle has been blown. It’s a yellow card for her and with 90 seconds left, she’ll see the game out on the naughty step. Austria do manage to see out the game however and get their first win of the tournament to a round of applause. The final score is Ukraine 1 – 2 Austria.