Scotland Men came from behind to beat Ukraine 2-1 on Wednesday and not only top Pool A at the EuroHockey Championships II in Glasgow but avoid a potential Battle of Britain semi-final against Wales.
Instead, Scotland will face Russia and Wales will take on France with the winners on Friday being promoted to the EuroHockey top flight for 2019.
France beat Portugal 7-1 to go top of Pool A on goal difference with the Ukraine needing to beat Scotland by three goals to pip the hosts to a semi-final place.
Surbiton’s Chris Grassick won his 100th Scottish cap, captaining his country in a match in which Scotland needed a point to top the pool.
After a goalless first half, Ukraine took the lead in the 34th minute, Oleh Polishchuk forcing the ball into the goal to give them hope of reaching the last four.
Both sides went close to scoring, but with five minutes to play Ukraine still led.
Surbiton’s Alan Forsyth was Scotland’s hero, levelling from the penalty spot in the 55th minute after Scotland had a penalty corner shot illegally blocked. Forsyth slotted the ball to Iaroslav Hordey’s left as the goalkeeper instinctively moved towards the right post.
And then three minutes later, Forsyth struck with a penalty corner shot just from just inside the circle to ease any Scottish nerves that they wouldn’t top the pool and avoid Wales in the semi-finals.
Forsyth, Grassick and Willie Marshall were all in the Scottish starting line-up with Nick Parkes joining the action in the sixth minute.
Scotland will play Russia at 4.30 pm on Friday (11 August) after Wales have faced France in the first semi-final at 2 pm.
More information can be found at the Match Centre section of the FIH website here
A more detailed report can be found at the Scottish Hockey website here