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MU19 WFC 2019 Qualifiers begin – 30.08.2018

The qualifications for the Men´s U19 WFC 2019 have begun with the first group (EUR2) matches in Bolzano, Italy. The competition will be very tough with only the winner of the group guaranteed a place in the final round next year which will be played in Halifax, ON, Canada.

EUR2 group has Germany, Hungary, Austria, Netherlands, Italy & Great Britain.

On the first day, Netherlands & Hungary opened the tournament with a 4-4 draw. For most of the game Netherlands looked the better team with strong passing combinations and being able to maintain possession of the ball near the Hungarian goal, but their ill-discipline in the final period, giving away multiple penalties, was punished by the Hungarians. The Hungarians, down 1-4 with 10mins left on the clock, took advantage of the extra player situations that kept being given to them and scored three goals to draw even with the Dutch. A great comeback.

Neighbours, Germany and Austria played next, and Germany looked strong in the beginning. Halfway through the first period they scored two goals in quick succession but this made them a little complacent and the Austrians hit back soon after. A similar situation occurred in the second period - Germany scored, Austria answered quickly. Austria had a chance with a penalty shot but it was well-saved by Germany´s keeper, Jussi Kursula. Several of Germany´s players showed great individual skills - especially with their shooting accuracy and power. Germany won 5-3 and sit at the top of the group after day 1.

The final game saw hosts Italy take on Great Britain. These teams finished bottom of their respective groups at the qualification two years ago but both teams have matured and improved significantly since then and they played an exciting game. You can always expect the Italians to play with passion but the British players had a great spirit of their own and showed their ability to play a much more controlled style of floorball than in the past. GB scored first but once Italy equalised they never got behind again. They held on to win 4-3 and can thank their goalkeeper Andrea Abbruciati who made a crucial save in the very last seconds of the game to give them the points.

Match statistics can be found here.

Photos are available on Flickr and match replays on YouTube.