Ukraine vs. Czech Republic
Ukraine come into their third Pool B game without a point to their name and bottom of the group. They’ll be going into the relegation Pool C after this match. Czech Republic are in third place. They need to win this match and hope that Scotland can be the Austrians later on today for them to progress in second spot to the semi finals.
Ukraine nearly score first, when their captain, Yana Vorushylo, drags the ball back from the baseline, but her team mate’s shot is deflected wide. The Ukrainians keep the pressure up and get their first short corner after three minutes. The Czech first runner, Veronica Novakova absolutely wears it on the leg and she has to limp to the half way line to be replaced by a team mate on the pitch The Czech’s defend it well again and win back possession.
A little over five minutes into the half, the Ukrainians get another short corner. The ball is sent back to the injector, the Czech Republic defence commits to her, the ball is centred and then sent into the roof of the net, by Kateryna Shokalenko. The Czech’s are complaining that the first shot at goal was above the back board, the umpires discuss it together and the goal is given; Ukraine 1 – 0 Czech Republic.
The Czech’s get a circle entry and their ball carrier is up ended by the Ukrianian keeper, Tetiana Stepanchenko and a penalty corner is awarded. The second runner gets a block on it and the Czech Republic get a 23 metre restart. In the melee that follows they get a penalty stroke. Adela Lehovcova takes it and she sends the keeper the wrong way. The score is now 1 – 1 and this is how stays as we go into the first break.
In the second quarter Vorushylo hits the right hand baseline again and drags it back for her team compatriot Viktoriia Stetsenko, who duly sticks it into the back of the net. Ukraine take the lead again and it’s not going to plan for the Czech’s at all. With less than three minutes of the half left and Czech Republic gets a short. The routine is a bit tippy happy and peters out. The half ends with Ukraine scoring the only goal since the break. It is Ukraine 2 – 1 Czech Republic.
The Czech’s come out fighting in the second half. Almost all of the possession has been theirs and inside the Ukrainian half of the pitch. However, they are struggling to create clear cut chances. Number 13, Adela Lehovcova is having a good game, though. She’s bringing other people into the things, making decent passes and movements, but there’s no end product from her team mates. The Ukraine get a short corner in the 13th minute. They make the Czech’s pay for their wastefulness. The first Ukrainian castle plays the ball to the outside right post for a deflection into the goal from Viktoriia Stetsenko for her second of the match to make the score Ukraine 3 – 1 Czech Republic. This is how the game is balanced after 45 minutes.
Shortly after the restart the Czech’s are sure that they should have got a short corner. The nearby umpire signals the other way, but changes her mind, correctly, upon the advice of her colleague. A variation is played out at the top of the circle, with the shot being deflected wide and there is a re-award. The ball is shot towards the keeper who deflects it away for a 23 metre restart, from which the Czech Republic work a third corner of the period. The first runner blocks the initial shot, from Anna Vorlova, but the ball spills lose and she sends it home at the second time of asking to put her team back in with a shout. It’s the only goal of the third period; Ukraine 3 – 2 Czech.
In the fifth minute of fourth quarter Oksana Ponomarenko gets a yellow card and joins her team mate Yuliia Shevchenko, who had been yellow carded briefly beforehand, in the sin bin. The Ukrainians aren’t worried by this, however, and promptly get a short corner. The shot skims just wide of the post. The Czech’s counter attack and Veronika Decsyova has the ball in a high area. She drives along right baseline but is cut out by Ukrainian goalkeeper, Stepanchenko.
In the ninth minute a Ukrainian commits a stick foul on the Czech ball carrier in her defensive quarter of the field and a short corner is awarded. Kateryna Samokhodchenko breaks the line early and she has to walk. The Czech’s get to have a retake. The shot is saved by the left hand Ukraine post player and the rebound is saved by the keeper, no goal. The game has become very open now, with plenty of space in midfield. Adela Lehovcova wins a short corner in the 11th minute by drawing a stick foul. Katerina Lacina performs a drag flicks and Stepanchenko paws it out and then deals with the second phase rebound.
It was well done from Ukraine goalie, she’s been having a good game today. There’s a little over a minute left and Stetsenko of Ukraine is sin binned for knocking ball away after the whistle. 32 seconds remain and the Czech’s get a short corner. It’s sent to the outside of the post to Decsyova and they equalise with a tap in at the back post, to make the score three goals a piece. It’s not enough though. Firstly, they need to win, in order to progress, but secondly and with only four seconds left on the clock Olha Honcharenko of Ukraine scores to give her team a very late lead. The score is now Ukraine 4 – 3 Czech Republic and that’s how it ends. The Ukrainians are overjoyed and so they should be. It’s their first win of the tournament and it’s against the third ranked team here in Glasgow.