Turkey vs. Czech Republic
We’re into the classification games today, with Pool C now officially underway. The results from the first round match between the teams from the same Pool carry over, so now we play the two sides from the other half of the tournament. Those in the bottom two see get demoted to the third tier EuroHockey tournament in two years time. The rain is back for this first game today. It’s going to be another wet one.
54 seconds into the game and the deadlock has been broken.The Czech’s carry the ball down the right hand side and pass the ball into the circle. Adela Lehocova is unmarked and she is able to lift the ball past the on rushing keeper; Turkey 0 – 1 Czech Republic. If the Turks were in any doubt about their position in this tier of competition, a car’s alarm from the adjacent parking lot can be heard wailing across the pitch.
A through ball from midfield allows Lehocova to get into a foot race with Hazime Nur Kizilirmak to the circle. The Czech number 13 drives past the defender and rounds the keeper, but can only find the side netting. In the sixth minute Katerina Lacina intercepts a pass across the Turkish defence. She drives into the circle, draws the foul and wins a penalty stroke. A Czech attacker steps up to take it, Elif Küpeli, the Turkish keeper, goes the right way and saves it. Still just the one goal lead for the Czech Republic. Turkey make their opponents pay for their wastefulness, a pass from their left wing to the back post, sees an open goal appear for Pinar Yilmaz. She connects with the ball and equalises; Turkey 1 – 1 Czech Republic. And this remains the score until the end of the first period.
Almost immediately after the restart and with the first attack, Lacina of Czech Republic wins a short corner. The slap shot stings the keepers pads, it spills to the back post, there’s another block on the line and the Turkish goal is safe. Shortly after this Luci Duchkova is sin binned for hitting the ball away after the whistle. On six minutes, the Turkish number 10, Perihan Küçükkoç is fouled in the Czech half. She self passes, drives towards the circle and draws another foul. This time she earns her team a short corner. The second phase shot is lifted and the whistle blown for dangerous play. The Czech’s counter and bring a sliding save from the Turkish goalie.
In the ninth minute Veronika Novakova is shown a yellow for a foul just inside her own half. The Czech’s still manage to earn another penalty corner a minute later though, despite their numerical disadvantage. The shot is lifted into a crowded area and a free hit is given to Turkey. The rain is coming down harder now and it is audible as it hits the already wet turf. Water is starting to collect on the pitch and with two and a half minutes left, the umpires call the players off.
The delay due to the rain has been long. The rumour mill around the media room is that the game will be transferred to the secondary pitch, normally used for training and warm ups. I’ve heard that this is a better turf, but now that’s wet now as well. It’s just not as bad as Pitch 1, which is almost submerged. The Scottish Hockey Frog Team have been deployed and are out in force on Pitch 2 with the brooms trying to make it playable. The game has been delayed until 16.50 and on the secondary pitch so as not to conflict with the Semi Final between Scotland and Poland. We restart and the rain, which had disappeared for around 3 hours, but has promptly resumed into time for the remainder of this match. The Czech’s dominate what is left of this period before the half time hooter goes, but can’t find the back of the net. At half time the score remains 1 – 1.
Two minutes into the second half Turkey get a stroke. The keeper guesses the right way and saves from the playmaker, Perihan Küçükkoç. The rain is really, really heavy now, the worst it has been this week. With 10 mins 52 seconds remaining the umpires give up and suspend theme again. Eventually the rain clears and at 18.08 we restart. Immediately the Czech’s get a short corner. It’s charged down by the first runner and the scores are still one apiece. A minute or so later, Melis Kösker gets past her opposite number inside her own half, helped by a slip on the wet turf. She passes to Ayla Esen who gets a shot corner for the Turks. There’s an infringement at the top of the circle and Czech’s immediately counter forcing a save from the Turkish goalie. The Czech’s soon after get a short themselves, but it’s defended stoutly by the Turks.
Turkey have difficulties in keeping the ball though and give away yet another set piece. A straight strike hits the keeper bounces onto the post and out. The Czech’s come back and this time the captain Tereza Mejzilikova puts it away; Turkey 1 – 2 Czech.
Shortly before quarter time Perihan Küçükkoç picks the ball up just after the half way line inside the Czech half. She drives past two players, turns two more inside the circle and slips it past the Barbora Cechakova in goal to equalise. This makes up for her earlier penalty stroke miss. The score is Turkey 2 – 2 Czech Republic at three quarter time.
Two minutes into the final quarter the Czech’s get a short corner and re take the lead. Adela Lehocova is the player who puts the ball away and she appears to be her team’s standout player in this tournament. Nine minutes later and the Czech Republic get penalty stroke. Katerina Lacina is back on the pitch after having been shown a yellow card earlier in the game. She steps up and sees the ball home. A minute later they add another to their tally from the right hand side, with Jindriska Reichlova getting the final touch. The score is now Turkey 2 – 5 Czech Republic and that’s how it ends.