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Men´s WFCQ AOFC - Day 4 – 25.01.2018

Another day, another team going to Prague. Today Singapore joined Australia as one of the AOFC qualifiers for WFC 2018. Two spots remain and matches tomorrow will decide who fills them.   

Group B was all about goal differences. Singapore & Japan were looking to score as many goals as possible, while Malaysia & New Zealand´s fate lay with how well their defence could minimise the goals scored against them. Singapore put 11 goals past Malaysia to give them a strong place at the top of the group but they still had to wait for the result of the next match between New Zealand and Japan to be sure.

As it happened, Japan never got close to them in the goal differences as New Zealand played their best game of this tournament, perhaps their best match ever at this level. Japan played very cautiously, knowing that a win was enough to get them a place in one of the qualifying matches. New Zealand´s focus on playing a strong defensive game meant that perhaps they never really considered the possibility of winning. Especially in the final minutes when they were down by only 2 goals it was surprising that they did not pull their goalkeeper and really push to score goals and have a go at actually winning.

The final standings in Group B were 1. Singapore (qualify directly to WFC); 2. Japan; 3. New Zealand; 4: Malaysia

With Australia already qualified to WFC and with a spot in the AOFC final secured, their match against China was really no more than a training game for them. With each match China have showed their ability to improve and have faced some really hard competition in their group. Always though they play with a good attitude, despite the big scores against them. They again managed to score one goal in today´s game and were unlucky to have two disallowed by the referees. For Australia, the Gartner twins, Daniel & Tomas, showed off their excellent skills - possession, passing, & shooting - and between them scored 10+12.

The last game in Group A was between Thailand and Korea and decided the final placings in the group. Both teams already had a place in the qualification matches so neither ´had´ to win and the game was contested but neither team had to put all their effort into the match. Thailand, as usual, scored some impressive goals, while Korea was not able to break the Thai defence and remained scoreless.

The final standings in Group A were 1. Australia (qualify directly to WFC); 2. Thailand; 3. Korea; 4. China

The qualification matches will be THA v NZL and JPN v KOR. The winner of both of these matches will get the two remaining AOFC spots at WFC 2018. 7th place will be played between Malaysia & China.

 

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.