Slovakia beats Malta in second day of Eurohockey
Match day two of the Eurohockey Championship III being played in Gibraltar saw Slovakia play Malta in the first of two matches.
Slovakia were to start the strongest with Malta looking out of their depth in the first quarter. Both teams had been dealt heavy defeats the previous day by Croatia and Portugal respectively.
The pitch although watered down was from early on showing signs of dry patches. Slovakia opened the scoring after just six minutes. They kept the intensity shown in the first minutes well into the quarter. With a minute left to the end of the quarter they were to score their second. Malta having only attacked their goal once.
The latter seemed to stir in the second quarter attacking their opponents half. They however had little luck in the scoring stakes leaving for halftime still behind by 2-0.
Slovakia seemed to fizzle out from their first quarter pressure. The third quarter also saw Malta take the game to them with little in way of an offensive response. Slovakia seemed content with their 2-0 lead.
They were to live some difficult moments when Malta had four short corner calls in which Slovakia defended with just two men. This ended in a penalty awarded to Malta which was to hit the post. Malta were fortunate to get a second chance but again wasted their chance. The third quarter was to end scoreless leaving Slovakia still ahead 2-1.
After some relentless pressure it was Slovakia who attacked Malta’s goal. Yet with ten minutes of the quarter still to go Malta turned a short corner call against them into a quick break. A smooth seamless passing move to their frontmen saw Malta score.
Just a minute later Malta saw the ball go across goal with their frontmen unable to turn it in.
Malta mounted the pressure as Slovakia defended their lead playing within their own half. The last six minutes looked to become difficult ones for Slovakia as Malta sought for the equalizer. However, a quick break saw them earn a short corner which was cleverly played for a shot at goal. Slovakia scoring a crucial third goal to make it 3-1 with five minutes left on the clock.
Slovakia has a further chance to make it four but saw the ball go across goal with less than three minutes left.
Malta’s momentum seemed to fade as the seconds ticked away, Slovakia finding their sparkle again with play now going from one end to the other.
Slovakia held on to win 3-1.