Portugal was crowned on the past saturday, 11 september in Paredes, European Champion of Roller hockey, in Under-19, by defeating the Spanish team by 4-1, in the final of the European Championship.
The game started in a very balanced way, with the two teams not wanting to risk too much in the opposing area. Eight minutes from the end of the first half, the Spaniards took advantage in power play and scored the first goal of the match, a result that reached the halftime.
In the second half, the team from quinas returned determined to turn the result and managed, with Lucas Honório (MVP of the championship) scoring three of the four goals that gave the team the victory, as well as goalkeeper Guga Bento, who defended all the onslaughts of the Spaniards. At the end of the match, with Spain removing the goalkeeper and playing with five outfield players, Tiago Sanches established the final result at 4-1, guaranteeing the conquest of the European title for Portugal.
This is the 20th title for Portugal, which had won it for the last time in 2016 (in the then under-20 category) in Pully, Switzerland.
At the end of the match, coach Vasco Vaz did not hide his emotion and made a point of thanking all his players, saying that it was a team that «was united until the end. We knew the difficulties we had and we were able to overcome them, thanks to this youth that is here, and that has a future. For the way he committed himself, the attitude he had on the field and he showed, my congratulations to these boys who were brave».
In the coach’s opinion, “even before the break we could have turned the result around. We couldn’t, patience, we weren’t effective. However, the second part was all ours. We totally dominated and I think there were even more goals to score».
For Vasco Vaz, this victory sends the important message that «hockey is alive, very much alive and will continue alive», because «with this structure, with these guys, I think hockey has a future. And Portugal has to impose itself and will continue to impose itself, starting with the youth teams and, already in October, at Mealhada (European Senior Female Championship), we will continue. Then, in November (European Senior Men’s Championship), we will also be here to conquer. It’s a matter of imposing roller hockey as an elite sport in Portugal”, he said.