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MU19 WFCQ EUR2 - Final day – 02.09.2018

Netherlands finish with a win, Hungary & Austria play a thriller, and Germany finish as strongly as they began.

With the conclusion of the EUR2 qualification group, Germany can start their preparations for Canada 2019 while the Hungarians will have to wait a week to find out if they too can start making plans. As the second placed team in this group, Hungary will watch with interest as six more European teams compete this coming week in the EUR1 group being played in Moscow, Russia.

Great Britain got off to a flying start in their final game and were up 2-0 after 5 minutes. By the end of the first period they were leading 4-2. The period break was a welcome relief for the Dutch and when they came back to the court it was a different team that turned up. They changed goalkeepers, and with Alessio Mura protecting their net they never looked back. Scoring nine unanswered goals was quite a turn around from the first period. It was their second win and a positive way for them to finish. Mura was deservedly selected as their MVP for the tournament.

The British leave without a win but it is clear that Floorball is progressing in the United Kingdom as there were several players who show a lot of potential. Experience is an important part of success in sport and if these boys continue with their development it will be very good for UK floorball in the future. The GB national teams, especially the men, have relied for a long time on players who are not based in the region and this is not helpful for local growth. With this team there is a group of locally based players on which to build. This is very positive. Connor Swales (pictured above) was chosen as their MVP.

Hungary & Austria played a really tough and exciting game. Throughout the tournament Austria had looked the stronger of the teams with consistent results and well-structured team play, but in this game against an opposition who gave them very little space or time, they were not able to control the play like they had in previous matches. Hungary played a very active game, always pushing forward as soon as they could and pressing high on the Austrians in defence. The game moved from end to end, with both teams rushing to move the ball up the court. Possession was turned over a lot and although both teams were getting shot opportunities, they were few clear open shots.

The Hungarians had a 2-0 lead after the first period which was cut back to one early in the second, but after this the scoreboard was not needed again until late in the final period. An Hungarian defender standing in the goalkeeper area blocked a shot and the resulting penalty shot brought Austria level at 2-2. This would´ve been enough to give them second spot in the group, but for Hungary it was only a win that would count. With 2 mins left they put everything into their attack and a difficult ball that bounced high over the Austrian keeper´s shoulder gave them the wining goal. The Austrian coach requested a video review but the decision was not changed. Final score of 3-2 and Hungary finish 2nd. With a goal difference of only +1, they will be in a difficult position to qualify but they are in with a chance.  Aidan Fayarchuk (pictured above) was chosen as Hungary´s MVP, while it was Christoph Steiner selected for Austria.

 The final game was between group winner Germany and tournament hosts, Italy. Germany had a perfect start, scoring from the face-off as a bouncing ball sneaked past the keeper. They spent the majority of the game with the possession and were constantly on the attack, forcing the Italians to be kept deep in their own area. Although having already secured qualification Germany were not able to just cruise through this game. The Italians played hard and didn´t allow the Germans to relax. Germany scored plenty of goals but they still had to put in some effort to get them. Italy got one goal of their own and their young second keeper, Christian Masi, got a game that he will learn a lot from. Credit to the Italian coaching staff for giving him the opportunity and encouraging him throughout the game.

Interestingly, after five days of competition and 15 matches the final standings for the teams reflect the exact same positions, according to their rankings, with which they entered the tournament.

A big thank you to our Italian hosts - the city of Bolzano and the Italian Floorball Federation. A well-organised tournament and we look forward to being back here again.

 

Match statistics can be found here.

Photos are available on Flickr and match replays on YouTube.

 

TOURNAMENT MVPs

 

AUT - #19 Christoph Steiner

GER - #16 Nils Hofferbert

GBR - #18 Connor Swales

HUN - #24 Aidan Fayarchuk

ITA - #22 Albin Gianfranco Abbate

NED - #95 Alessio Mura