England remain on course for the defence of their women’s EuroHockey Championships title ©Getty Images

Belgium and defending champions England are through to the semi-finals of the women’s EuroHockey Championships in Amsterdam after picking up wins in their respective pools today at the Wagener Stadium.

Belgium beat Spain 2-1 in Pool A, while England defeated Scotland 2-0 in Pool B.

Anouk Raes scored Belgium’s winning goal in the 35th minute after Spain’s Carola Salvatella had cancelled out Joanne Peeters’ opener on the quarter hour mark.

England, meanwhile, kept their title retention hopes alive thanks to second-half goals from Jo Hunter and Giselle Ansley.

"We had a lot of the ball and kept playing our way," Ansley, who made her 100th international appearance, said.

"We had to keep emotion out of it and to win 2-0 we are pretty happy.

"We're not going to shy away from the fact we are defending champions."

Both Belgium and England have qualified for the penultimate round as runners-up and join table toppers The Netherlands and Germany in progressing. 

The Netherlands clinched first place in Pool A with an emphatic 10-0 victory over Czech Republic.

Caia van Maasakker and Laurien Leurink each scored twice for the Dutch, while Margot van Geffen, Kitty van Male, Kelly Jonker, Ireen van den Assem, Lidewij Welten and Marloes Keetels all chipped in with one goal apiece.

Germany sealed top spot in Pool B by beating Ireland 5-1.

Goals inside the final 10 minutes from Pia-Sophie Oldhafer, Cecile Pieper and Charlotte Stapenhorst added an extra gloss to the scoreline after a close battle for three quarters.

Nike Lorenz and Franzisca Hauke put Germany into a 2-0 lead before Yvonne O’Byrne halved the deficit in the 23rd minute.

Germany secured top spot in Pool B with a 5-1 victory over Ireland ©Getty Images
Germany secured top spot in Pool B with a 5-1 victory over Ireland ©Getty Images

The semi-finals, scheduled to take place on Thursday (August 24), pit Germany against Belgium and The Netherlands against England in a repeat of the 2015 final. 

Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland and Spain have all dropped into relegation Pool C with their results against the team they have already played brought forward.

It means Spain have three points, thanks to their 7-1 win over Czech Republic in Pool A on Sunday (August 20).

Ireland and Scotland have one point each following their goalless draw in Pool B, also on Sunday. 

The sides that finish in the bottom two places in Pool C will be relegated. 

Thursday's fixtures see Czech Republic face Ireland and Spain go up against Scotland.

Action in the Dutch capital is due to continue tomorrow when the men’s competition resumes.