#FIHSeriesFinals: Egypt and Ukraine finish their FIH Series Finals campaign in winning style

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The fifth day in le Touquet Paris-Plage was all about finishing with a win. First to take to the field were Singapore and Ukraine who were battling for seventh place. Then it was a contest between Egypt and Chile – two teams who had definitely hoped to have featured in the semi-finals, so would need to recharge themselves ahead of this fixture.

Singapore v Ukraine

The action started with the race for seventh place between Singapore and Ukraine, who both finished last in their respective pools. Ukraine, with a FIH World Ranking of 26, were favourites to win this match, particularly as Singapore (WR: 36), had yet to score a goal in the competition.

The higher-ranked team took the lead through Andrii Koshelenko who opened the scoring from the first penalty corner of the match.

The second quarter was a mirror reflection of the first. Ukraine had the majority of possession and it was just five minutes into the quarter before Vitalii Shevchuk made it 2-0, latching onto a cross after some brilliant build-up play. Singapore played with much heart and determination but they were up against a team determined to leave the FIH Series Finals with a win to their credit.

The third goal came nine minutes into the second half. Viacheslav Paziuk made a surging run from just past the half-way line and his cross found Lurii Moroz, who only had to tip the ball past Xuan Wee Wei in the Singapore goal.

Finally, and to huge celebration, Singapore opened their scoring account. The Asian team had created a lot of opportunities in the final quarter and, after a number of penalty corners, Silas Noor was finally able to find the back of the net. Although Singapore didn’t look like turning the match around, the young team were clearly rising to the challenge and put on a good display of attacking hockey in the final minutes of the game.

Ukraine’s captain, Oleksandr Diachenko, said: “It was our last match and we won! We tried to play faster with more skills. Singapore is a good team and I think in the future they will play much better.”

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FIH Series Finals Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, 2019

Result: Singapore 0, Ukraine 0

Umpires: Diego Estebanez (ESP), Kris Cholewa (IRL)

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Chile v Egypt

Chile and Egypt were both after a winning final match of their FIH Series Finals campaign. Seven minutes into the match and Ahmed Gamal gave Egypt the lead after a fantastic piece of build-up play from his team. Chile came straight back and won a penalty corner but were unable to convert it.

The South American side soon made amends however. Sven Richter was on hand to tip the ball home after searching passes from his teammates had left the Egyptian defence chasing shadows.

It all got very competitive in the second quarter as both teams ramped up the intensity. Chile had the greater share of possession but Egypt were also looking dangerous with every attack.

It was Egypt who re-took the lead. Mohamed Edris scored from a penalty stroke. Amazingly in this see-saw game, Chile also won a penalty stroke just a minute later and Sven Richter made no mistake from the spot.

The second half started at a somewhat slower pace as both teams looked for a tactical advantage. Finally, after three penalty corners, Egypt made another break through. Amr Ibrahim netted with a fierce airborne shot into Henriquez Adrian’s goal.

The final quarter saw both teams once more raping up the pressure. Egypt were reduced to 10 men but Chile could not make the player advantage count. After a staunch defence for the final minutes, Egypt were able to celebrate finishing their FIH Series Finals in fifth place and with a well-deserved and hard-fought victory.

Egypt scorer Ahmed Gamal said: “Chile is a really good team and, after Korea yesterday, we were very tired but thank God we won and now we look forward to the African Championship and trying to qualify for the Olympic Games”

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FIH Series Finals Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, 2019

Result: Chile 2, Egypt 3

Umpires: Tyler Klenk (CAN), Benjamin Peters (USA)

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There is an exciting day of action tomorrow in le Touquet as the teams will be giving their all in the semi-finals. A win tomorrow means the continuation of the Olympic journey as the two finalists will go through to one of the FIH Olympic qualifiers being held this October and November. meaning of potential qualification for the Olympic qualifier. The only exception to this is Scotland, who cannot qualify as England are the nominated team for the Great Britain Olympic pathway.

Ireland v Korea at 15:30 CEST

France v Scotland at 18:00

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#RoadToTokyo