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Men´s WFCQ AOFC - Day 3 – 24.01.2018

Joining host team, Czech Republic, Australia are the first team to qualify for WFC 2018, which will be held in Prague from 1st - 9th December. They beat Thailand to secure the top spot in their group and also qualification. In the other game today, New Zealand & Malaysia played out a draw.  

With snow creating havoc on the roads in Jeju Island, the teams spent nearly 2hrs on the bus getting to the venue for the first game today. A delayed start allowed them time to prepare and both teams put on a good show. The statistics reflect exactly how the game was - even across the board. The Kiwis went to a two-goal lead at the halfway point in the match, but within less than a minute Malaysia scored twice to even it up. It was the same story in the last period - every time that New Zealand took the lead, Malaysia equalised within minutes. The 5-5 draw means that the placings in this group will be decided on both of the final group matches. Ter Min Chiam (MAS) & Matthew Bertschinger (NZL) were the best players for their team, each scoring hatricks.   

Australia and Thailand met in a match in which Australia had a chance to top the group and by doing so guarantee themselves qualification to the WFC final round. With a 4-3 win they did just that. Thailand posted a big score yesterday against China but today their opponent was a whole different standard and they struggled to get the space they wanted to make good shots. The Australian defence did a great job of both blocking shots and shutting down the dangerous passing game of Thailand.  After the first period Australia, rather surprisingly, held a 3-0 lead. Thailand had more success in the second period, winning it 2-1, but Australian keeper Ryan Alexandrakis was still looking strong, making plenty of saves and frustrating the Thai forwards. At times his job was made even harder as errors from the Australian defenders handed the ball directly to the Thais for open shots at goal. The last period turned into a bit of a scramble and the game lost much of its structure. Australia have one more group game but have already qualified directly for the final match, while Thailand will play Korea to decide 2nd in the group before a cross-over match with the other group to give them another chance at a ticket to Prague.

 

 

Match replays are available on IFF YouTube Channel 1 and photos on Flickr.

For all results and statistics visit the WFCQ 2018 AOFC Event page.