Belgium moved to the top of Pool A on goal difference after two rounds of matches as first quarter blitz put them in great shape for their 4-1 win. Reigning champions the Netherlands were held to a second successive draw against Spain. Results in Pool B: Germany-England 1-1, Ireland - Belarus 11-0.
Belgium moved to the top of Pool A on goal difference after two rounds of matches as first quarter blitz put them in great shape for their 4-1 win.
Three goals in the first quarter from Louise Versavel, Ann-Sophie Weyns and Stephanie Vanden Borre put them in great shape. Russia fought back with a Bogdana Sadovaia goal but Versavel?s second earned a key result.
It means they need a win or draw from their final group game on Wednesday to go through to the next phase of the competition.
'Yeah, we are happy to get the three points which is the most important,' Versavel said after her pair of goals. 'We started the game well with really good energy in the second quarter, we dropped that energy and got a bit sloppier. Second half we got it back and stuck to the structure.'
Goals: 8' Louise Versavel (FG) 1-0, 13' Ann-Sophie Weyns (FG) 2-0, 14' Stephanie Vanden Borre (PC) 3-0, 24' Bogdana Sadovaia (FG) 3-1, 48' Louise Versavel (FG) 4-1
POOL A: NETHERLANDS - SPAIN 1-1
Reigning champions the Netherlands were held to a second successive 1-1 draw as Spain rode their luck but held on for a famous win which keeps them top of the Pool A table.
All the scoring came in the first six minutes as Caia van Maasakker's early corner was counter-acted by a Begona Garcia finish within a minute for the point to add to their win over Russia.
As time wore on, the Dutch pressure grew more and more as Ruiz's saves got better and better. The pick of them denied Lidewij Welten, reading a switch move brilliantly. Welten also cracked a shot against the post while van Maasakker saw a final second penalty corner tipped wide by Ruiz to retain the point.
While it means the Dutch have yet to win, if they can record a two-goal win over Russia in their final group game, they will advance to the final four once again.
Goals: 5' Caia van Maasakker (PC) 0-1 6' Begona Garcia (FG) 1-1
POOL B: GERMANY - ENGLAND 1-1
Germany could not convert a dominant second half performance into all three points as England dug deep to keep out their opponents and earn a 1-1 draw in women's Pool B.
The result lifts both sides onto four points as Lily Owsley gave England a half-time lead before Hannah Gablac got the German goal in their second half comeback.
It was a Hunter baseline run that unlocked the defence, finding Owsley unattended at the back post with time to control and flick into the goal.
The third quarter saw a big change in momentum, however, with Cecile Pieper firing a powerful shot of the post in the 40th minute. Laura Unsworth had to save a drag-flick off the line but from the ensuing long corner, Anne Schroder weaved in and out of a couple of tackles, crossing to Gablac who finished from close range. That equaliser came with four seconds remaining in the quarter.
Reflecting on the game, Owsley was disappointed her side could not match their first half performance in the second: 'A point against a good side like that is good but it means we need to put more than 13 away against Belarus [to top the group].'
Goals: 24' Lily Owsley (FG) 0-1, 45' Hannah Gablac (FG) 1-1
POOL B: IRELAND - BELARUS 11-0
Ireland ran up a huge win over Belarus to get their drive for a semi-final place back in gear as their penalty corner routine worked wonders in Antwerp.
After a close-fought first half ended 2-0, the Green Army went goal crazy with nine second half goals seeing them run up a huge 11-0 success. It sets up a showdown for a semi-final spot with Germany on Wednesday where a win would see Ireland reach the final four for the first time.
Coach Sean Dancer is now looking forward to that showdown with the Germans: 'It's great now that it is in our hands for a semi-final spot, somewhere we have never been before. The Germans will be tough and won countless medals from years gone by, defensively structured and there dangers going forward.'
Goals: 4' Roisin Upton (PC) 1-0 13' Anna O'Flanagan (PC) 2-0 31' Zoe Wilson (PC) 3-0 34' Roisin Upton (PC) 4-0 38' Nikki Evans (FG) 5-0 39' Roisin Upton (PC) 6-0 41' Beth Barr (PC) 7-0 42' Nikki Evans (PC) 8-0 48' Anna O'Flanagan (FG) 9-0 55' Deirdre Duke (PC) 10-0 57' Roisin Upton (PC) 11-0