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WFCQ AOFC - Japan & Australia first day winners – 29.01.2014

New Zealand were playing in their first ever WFC Qualification event, but despite their great enthusiasm it was the experience of the Japanse that won in the end. Japan took the game 6-2.

It has been several years since New Zealand played an international match and this was the first time that Japan had played them, so they found it difficult in the first period, taking some time to figure out the Kiwi style of play and to find their weaknesses. The first period saw neither team scoring.

Japan moved quickly with the ball, challenging the New Zealand defence. Ichiro Ueda, who plays in Sweden, was proving the hardest to stop, and in the second period he scored 3 goals, while the experienced Kenichi Ogawa assisted for 3, helping Japan to a 4-0 lead.

The New Zealanders tried hard to get into the game in the last period and when John Gibbins combined with Sven Sundin for their first goal, there was a glimmer of hope for the home team and their supporters, but the Japanese were holding strong. Ueda added another to his total and Tomoaki Nakagawa scored their 6th goal. The final goal of the match was a great individual effort by Sundin which made the final score 6-2.

Best Players:
Japan - Ichiro Ueda
New Zealand - Jonathan Cocker

Before the match all of the participating teams and the IFF received a traditional Maori welcome and then faced the New Zealand team performing the famous haka.  

 

Australia v Korea

In the first ever IFF event held in New Zealand, it was Australia that took the first historic win, defeating Korea, 7-3 in the opening AOFC qualification group match. 

The last time these teams played was at the 2012 WFC qualifications and in that match Korea surprised the Australians, beating them 5-0; a win that proved decisive at the end of the tournament when it meant that they qualified for the WFC Final Round and the Australians missed out. The Aussies weren´t making that mistake today.

In the first period both teams played fast and physical floorball, with the Australians having the better of the possession and pressure. Despite the better play from Australia, the score was 1-1 at the first break, after Nicholas Moran had scored for Australia at 02:31 and Han Sol Bae equalised soon after.

In the second period, the Aussies began to dominate. They scored early from a penalty shot chance, but two penalties gave Korea the opportunity to play 5 v 3. They scored just seconds before the Australians were back to full-strength, making it 2-2. The Australians kept pressing high against the Korean defence and some good forechecking by Moran resulted in a turnover and pass to Jonathan Veron who was free in the middle of the court and slotted the ball in the net. The Korean defence started to open up and Australia managed another 3 goals to give them a good 6-2 lead at the last break. Shaun Frazer led the way for Australia, scoring 2+1 in this period.

In the last period, Australia defended their lead, not allowing the Koreans any chance of getting back into the game. Each team scored one more for the final score of 7-3.

Best Players:
Australia - Shaun Frazer 
Korea - Jun Oh Lee

 

  Match Photos on Flickr

 Match Replay on YouTube

Photos: Masanori Udagawa