Eurohockey day three - Switzerland stay top of group after beating Turkey
Eurohockey Championship III, Gibraltar
The first match of the third day of Eurohockey in Gibraltar saw Gibraltar’s group opponents Turkey and Switzerland take each other on. Switzerland had walked onto the field as the favorites. However, very similar to how Gibraltar had seen Turkey bite at them from the start, Switzerland felt the same impact with at least three chances for goal in the first nine minutes of play.
Switzerland’s power play display against Lithuania was no where to be seen during the first quarter. Their first chance at goal not coming until the final three minutes of the quarter.
Turkey needed to win this match and could ill-afford letting Switzerland into the match. High pressure from Turkey kept the Swiss locked out of the danger area as they took possession of the game in the latter part of the quarter.
The first quarter was to end scoreless with both teams involved in a fast paced match under the hot afternoon heat beating down over Bayside Sports Complex. Whilst Turkey were more accustomed to the temperature they were also known for losing focus later in the game. The Swiss with a win under their belt could afford to control play and move the game to their advantage knowing Turkey needed to find a goal if they were to win the match and stay in with a chance to qualify for the semi finals.
Switzerland held their lines creating a defensive barrier which soon saw them regain the ball as the Econ’s quarter started.
Packing the middle and keeping three men back Switzerland effectively closed the route to Turkey’s three front men.
In the first six minutes of the secondquarter just one forced shot at goal was seen from Turkey and none from Switzerland.
The Swiss were to have two wild cracks to target midway through quarter.
The intensity of the match saw both countering each other's play out.
Turkey saw one of their players get a yellow with six minutes left of the quarter giving Switzerland that slight advantage. Turkey suffering a further blow as one of their player was forced of due to injury. The match was so equally balanced out the advantage played little part in making any difference. The first half of the match saw no goals scored as both went into halftime with a 0-0 score line hanging over them. The match was closely followed by both Lithuania and Gibraltar both in the stands for the first half.
The encounter was a far different affair to the Switzerland versus Lithuania match in which Switzerland had put eleven past their opponents.
Turkey started the third quarter piling the pressure upon Switzerland. With the latter reducing the numbers at the back as they too tried to look for a way forward, Turkey took the chance to attack them on the break. A strike halfway through the quarter saw a shot grace past Switzerland's goal.
Just a minute later Switzerland launched their own attack. After a scramble in front of goal they broke the deadlock to go one goal infront.
Less rushed, Switzerland worked their way to goal again winning a short corner. Switzerland once again showed their efficiency in such play scoring with ease to make it 2-0.
Turkey did not give up and continued to press on up. However, with the gaps well closed their only options were wild shots at goal to no avail. The third quarter ending with Switzerland ahead 2-0.
With both teams having played out an intense three quarters tired legs were evident in the final quarter.
Switzerland could have added a third to their tally with a short corner play. Seconds later the ball was struck over the bar. As Turkey pushed for a goal Switzerland run at them on the break as the gaps opened
Running at them Switzerland were outnumbering Turkey with their runs to goal. Turkey, nevertheless kept the pressure. A short corner going wide with four minutes to go.
A second one with a minute to go also going well wide.
Switzerland held on to their lead to stay top of the table awaiting Gibraltar’s result against Lithuania.