Herisau, Switzerland, May 3, 2018- It was a great day for the European nations in the B-Division of the IFF U19 Women’s Floorball World Championsips 2018, as Austria U19 and Latvia U19 clinched their second wins in as many games to ease into the last-four in Group C, before Hungary U19 and Russia U19 followed suit in Group D. This scenario sets up an interesting final round of group games on Friday, with the qualified teams in both groups playing each other to determine who goes through as group winners.
Meanwhile, the USA and Australia in Group C, and Canada and New Zealand in Group D, will battle it out on Friday to decide their fate going into the placement matches over the weekend.
B-Division Group C (10:00 CET): Austria 5:4 USA
Austria U19 eventually came out on top to reach the semi-finals of the B-Division, but they made hard work of it against the USA and fell behind early on to Selma Johansson’s opener, Jana Gams only restoring parity just 12 seconds prior to the first interval. And the Europeans would be pegged back again in the second period, Saskia Gerecke restoring the lead for the Americans. A Rebecca Kuzels reply for Hungary was again cancelled out by the States as Sani Matinlassi gave them a 2:3 lead, but they couldn’t hold it until the break with Kuzel firing an equaliser, before Gams gave Hungary the lead for the first time heading into the final third. Gams completed her hat-trick for 5:3 to put the game just out of reach of the Americans, although Johansson got her second late on to set up a grandstand finish, but Austria held out for the win.
B-Division Group C (13:00 CET): Australia 4:16 Latvia
Comparatively, Latvia were never really under any threat against their Southern Hemisphere counterparts from Australia, and despite it being a one score game at 2:1 for a brief period, to the delight of the travelling Aussie contingency, the Baltic outfit were 6:1 to the good by the first interval, the Latvian support showing off their own vocal prowess. Three goals for Latvia and two in reply for Australia made for an even second third, 9:3 the score going into the closing stages, when Latvia made their experience tell and turned the screw, limiting Australia to a mere one goal and netting seven more of their own for a comfortable win. With a semi-final place now guaranteed, they look forward to facing Austria on Friday to decide who wins the group, the Latvians currently at the summit on goal difference.
B-Division Group D (16:00 CET): Canada 3:5 Hungary
Hungary U19 enjoyed a battle in their win over Canada, but comfortably held a cushion of two goals for much of the contest, a freedom which played its part in seeing out the win. The first phase consisting of probing and passing around Canada to seek a way through their defence, MVP Blanka Benyo’s strike the solo reward they had for their efforts by the break before a stubborn Canadian rearguard. Eszter Gonczi grabbed a crucial second in the second period before Canada’s Sophie Simard replied, but it was 1:3 for the Hungarians by the break thanks to Marcella Toth’s finish. A quiet final period stirred with two more Hungarian goals either side of Nicole McDonald’s goal for 2:5, before Emily Lange netted a late consolation for the North American side, Hungary seeing out the result to progress.
B-Division Group D (19:00 CET): Russia 12:3 New Zealand
Russia’s victory over New Zealand seems comprehensive from an outside eye, but in truth it took until around about the 50th minute for the European side to really hit their stride and make their quality count in goals. MVP Mariia Basargina got Russia off to the perfect start less than a minute in with a second following not long after, but Amy Fisher’s reply sowed a grain of doubt into the spectatorship going into the break. Although Anastasiia Skirdenko got a third in the second period, New Zealand rallied, goals from Manisha Jeram and Georgia Kibblewhite briefly restoring parity at 3:3 to the delight of the travelling Kiwi fans. That was as good as it got for them, however,the Russians turning on the style to score three without reply going into the final period, and from there, it was a masterclass performance, Basargina netting twice and assisting once in an eventual 12:3 rout. Russia join Hungary in the last four, but not before they cross swords on Friday to decide which nation will top the group.
U19WFC 03.05.2018 AUT - USA
U19WFC 03.05.2018 AUS - LAT
U19WFC 03.05.2018 HUN - CAN
U19WFC 03.05.2018 RUS - NZL