Netherlands and England won the men’s and women’s titles respectively at the 2015 Field Hockey European Championships. The winner of both tournaments qualified to the Olympics. Should the winning team have previously qualified from the 2015 World League Semifinals then the next highest ranked nation from the World League would qualify. The European Championships was held in London, Great Britain from August 21st to August 30th 2015.
In the men’s tournament the Netherlands had full control over Group A by winning all three of their matches by not conceding a goal including a 2-0 win over England who also qualified to the semifinals. Germany had a similar performance in Group B as they also topped the group, but the biggest upset came during the Belgium and Ireland match where a 2-2 tie gave Ireland the berth to the semifinals by goal differential.
In the semifinals an early goal for the Netherlands was all that was needed to defeat Ireland. Meanwhile a penalty stroke goal was needed by England to force a penalty shoot-out against Germany. However, Germany was able to win the shoot-out to advance to the finals. With both the Netherlands and Germany reaching the final the winner’s Olympic spot that was won at the World League Semifinals will be reallocated to the next highest ranked nation, which would be Spain. In the final the Netherlands got to a dream start where they led Germany 5-0 by half-time. Germany played a bit better over the second half, but the Netherlands won the European title via a score of 6-1. Ireland caused an upset against England where they defeated them 4-2 to win the bronze medal.
For the women’s tournament the Netherlands also dominated Group A as they outscored their opponents 22-1 to win the group. A 0-0 tie between Belgium and Spain was enough for Spain to advance to the semifinals on goal differential. England was able to win Group B as they went undefeated including an impressive 4-1 win over Germany.
The semifinals were two close encounters as an early goal by the Netherlands was all came about in a 1-0 win over Germany. England also took an early lead against Spain, but a late third period goal by Spain’s Georgina Oliva tied the game. However a goal in the fourth by Lily Owsley was enough to send England to the final via a score of 2-1. The game was more heartbreaking for Spain as it officially ended their last chance for an Olympic berth. With both the Netherlands and England reaching the final the winner’s Olympic spot that was won at the World League Semifinals will be reallocated to the next highest ranked nation, which would be India. In the final Netherlands went up 2-0 in the third quarter, but a comeback by England in the fourth quarter forced a penalty shoot-out. England proceeded to win the shoot-out 3-1 to win the gold medal. The bronze medal went to Germany as they defeated Spain 5-1.
It’s a bit weird to see India qualifying due to a European championship, but that’s how the qualification procedure was made. Among European nations only Ireland’s men’s team could still qualify to the Olympics. It would require Australia to win the Oceania championships which would cause Ireland to qualify through reallocation via their performance from the World League.
Men’s Tournament Rankings
Women’s Tournament Rankings
- FIH. 2015 Men’s EuroHockey Championships Results. Access on August 30 2015.
- FIH. 2015 Women’s EuroHockey Championships Results. Access on August 30 2015.