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WFCQ 2016 AOFC: Final day – 06.02.2016
The final day of the AOFC qualifications saw Australia crowned champions of Asia-Oceania, after defeating Singapore 5-2. Thailand made a little history of their own when they took 3rd place over Japan and qualified for the final WFC round.
In the final, Australia & Singapore played an exciting game with lots of action near the goals to keep the spectators interested. The first period had both teams getting on the scoreboard, but neither getting a really clear advantage over their opponents. The opening goal by Jeremy Monckton was special, with him running the ball from his own defensive area, sidestepping a couple of Singaporeans and finishing the move with a perfect wrist shot to the far top corner of the goal. The second period saw lots of chances at both ends but both goalkeepers were making some great saves, the Australian keeper being assisted by the goalposts on several occasions. Australia were the only team to find the net, however, and they took a handy two goal lead into the final period.
Australia were penalised early in the last period and just as the player returned from the penalty bench, Glendon Phua powered his shot from wide near the boards past the keeper to make it 3-2. Australia held strong and when a mid-court turnover ended with the ball on the blade of All-Star forward, Jonathon Veron, he snapped it into the goal. 30 seconds later Nicholas Yeoh found the perfect time to score his first goal of the tournament to give Australia a three goal lead and the win.
Best Players: Jonathon Veron (AUS) & Yi Ru Tan (SIN)
The bronze match between Thailand and Japan was the most important of the day as it decided the final team that would qualify for WFC 2016. Thailand was the first to score and, after their disappointment at losing against Singapore, it was important for them to get off to a good start. and a second goal kept their enthusiasm up. Japan managed a goal at the end of the period to make it 2-1, but Thailand had clearly been the more attacking team. The game tightened up in the second period and only Thailand was able to score with a powerplay advantage. Japan just wasn´t quite on their game today and when Thailand scored two goals in 20 seconds the game was over. A final score of 6-1 saw Thailand finish 3rd and Japan miss out on a WFC final round for the first time since their debut on the world scene in 1998.
Best Players: Yuki Tsudome (JPN) & Pi Chaiyakul (THA)
The day had started with Malaysia & New Zealand playing for 6th place. Malaysia, somewhat surprisingly, ran away with the 1st period and led 3-1. In most of their games, New Zealand have failed to get off to a good start and have had to play catch-up. In none of their earlier games were they successful in this, and unfortunately, today was no different. Despite getting two goals back in the second period, they were not able to ever equalise and Malaysia held them out to win 4-3. A good effort by Malaysia, and also their first win for the tournament.
Best Players: Sven Sundin (NZL) & Kang Jing Hon (MAS)
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