🏆 EuroHockey Championship II : Scotland draw with Ukraine in their opening match
Photo Credit : Scottish Hockey

A late comeback by Ukraine saw a share of the points in Pool B as Scotland were held to 4-4 draw in their opening match of Men’s EuroHockey Championship II in Gniezno, Poland.

The Scots were patient in possession in the opening quarter with no opportunities presenting themselves for the first ten minutes.

The first opportunity came when Andy McConnell stole the ball off a defender and burst into the Ukrainian D, but his final effort struck the side netting.

Good Scottish pressure as the quarter progressed saw them earn a penalty corner. It was an opportunity that saw Scotland take the lead through Andrew McConnell with a penalty corner bullet into the bottom right corner. 1-0.

Almost immediately Alan Forsyth absolutely buried the ball into the bottom left corner to make it 2-0 to Scotland.

Ukraine had barely blinked before Rob Harwood made it 3-0 for Scotland with a lovely near post deflection.

Scotland enjoyed long periods of possession in the second quarter but Ukraine managed to hold strong and deny any goal scoring opportunities.

It was a good start to the second half by Ukraine and they pulled one back with an excellent low shot by Vitalii Kalinchuk into the bottom left corner.

Scotland nearly struck again when a penalty corner prompted a goalmouth scramble but the ball was somehow ushered clear to deny a goal.

Ukraine struck again with another powerful low shot into the bottom left corner. The goal came from a penalty corner rebound, which Tommy Alexander in goal saved superbly, but the resulting effort by Oleksandr Solomianyi was thundered home. 3-2.

A slick Scottish counter attack saw a lovely pass across goal only just evade a Scottish stick as the Blue Sticks looked to add to their score line.

Scotland started the final quarter strong and peppered the Ukrainian goal with shots with no success. As the quarter progressed the Scots earned the chance to advance their lead through a penalty corner.

Cammy Golden stepped up to the top of the D and sunk the ball into the bottom left corner to make it 4-2 for Scotland.

Golden nearly struck again moments later but his diving flick went just wide of the mark.

Then came a dramatic finale to the contest. Ukraine scored a penalty corner with the ball blasted into the left corner by Pavziuk Viacheslav, before a near post finish by Bohdan Kovalenko gave them two goals in 30 seconds.

It finished 4-4 and Scotland face Austria tomorrow in an important second match of the pool to battle for vital points.

 

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