DAY 7: Two Quarterfinals and Final Placement Matches on Schedule – 07.12.2018

Latvia and Germany will attempt a miracle at the O2 Arena as they are facing Sweden and Finland, respectively. The Arena Sparta will see four battles for final placement. Slovakia, as the tournament’s best scoring team, will face Estonia in the 9th place game, while Singapore will take on Japan in an Asian clash for the 15th place.

The battle for the 15th place at the 2018 World Floorball Championship between Japan and Singapore is the teams’ second encounter at the tournament. In the group stage, Singapore defeated Japan 9-5. The most significant contributions in the Singaporean team came from Sutiman and Pasupathy, who scored two goals and one assist each. On the contrary, Japan couldn’t benefit from a hat-trick by Ichiro Ueda, who is the team’s scoring leader with seven points (6+1). In total, the two teams met five times in the history of the world championships (including this year’s group-stage game) and three times Japan came victorious from the clash.

Also the 13th place match features teams of Poland and Thailand that already met in the group stage. Poland won 5-2, thanks to two points by Chlebda (1+1) and Lukaszewski (1+1). Thailand’s goals were scored by Rinefalk and Thaidit. These two players were among the top five scoring leaders at the previous World Championship in Riga in 2016 and they lead the team’s individual stats at this tournament as well. In the play-off round, Poland beat Japan 6-2, while Thailand overcame Singapore 4-3 in a very tight game. The Poles rely mainly on the trio Chlebda – Sienko – Pelczarski, who scored 9 out of 16 Polish goals.

The Latvians never managed to beat Sweden at the world championships and they have another chance today. If they succeed, it will be a bit of a miracle, since the total score from their head-to-head encounters at the WFC is 11-69. The teams already met once in the quarterfinals, back in 2002 in Helsinki. Sweden then thrashed Latvia 16-0 and went on to win the tournament. Sweden easily qualified for the quarterfinals from group B. The Latvians had to go through the play-offs, where they faced a quite strong Slovakian side, but they triumphed 6-1. Of course Sweden is a huge favorite, which is confirmed by the stats as well. The Scandinavians are second best in power-plays (60 %), second highest number of goals scored (39) and the second best goal difference (34). And in defense they are the best of all the teams at the tournament, having conceded only 5 goals so far. The winner will face Switzerland in the semifinals.

Both Canada and Australia lost their first final placement matches and will, therefore, play for the 11th place. Canada met Australia only once in the history of the WFC, four years ago in Gothenburg, Sweden. The North Americans then dominated and won clearly 7-1. Joel Inouye recorded four points (2+2), so we’ll see how the twenty-six-year-old Canadian forward is going to succeed today. The Australians will turn their hopes to their very good first line comprising skilled youngsters, who scored 13 out of 16 Australian goals. The line features the twenty-year-old twins, Daniel and Tomas Gärtner, plus the 18-year-old Liam Perry.

In the second quarterfinal scheduled for today, Finland will take on Germany. The two teams met five times in the history of the WFC, with Finland winning all the encounters. Once they also met in the quarterfinals. That was back in 2002 in Helsinki, where the home team advanced to the semis after winning 7-1. The Germans had to work their way to the quarterfinals through the play-offs, where they outplayed Canada quite easily 7-2. Erik Schuschwary contributed to the victory with three points (1+2). So far, Finland doesn’t have a pure scoring leader at the championship, who would stand out with his individual stats from the team. But they play very well in defense and with just seven conceded goals they are the second best defending team of the tournament. The winner of this quarterfinal will challenge the Czech Republic in the semis.

Slovakia and Estonia will meet in the 9th place match. The Slovaks are the most offensive team of the championship with 58 scored goals. Of course this is mainly due to the fact that they played in quite a weak group D, where they thrashed Canada, Singapore and Japan. But that doesn’t alter the fact that there are six Slovaks among the top 10 scoring leaders of the tournament. The twenty-year-old Michal Dudovič leads the statistics with 19 points (8+11), ahead of his teammate Martin Kubovič (6+6). But the Estonians have their representative among the top 10 scoring leaders too. Rickard Rydell is on the eighth position with 9 points (7+2). The teams’ head-to-head record at the previous world championships isn’t very rich – they met just twice. Once the clash ended in a draw and four years ago Estonia won clearly 7-2.

World Floorball Championship – 7th December:

Singapore – Japan 9:30, Arena Sparta

Thailand – Poland 12:30, Arena Sparta

Sweden – Latvia 15:10, O2 Arena

Australia – Canada 15:30, Arena Sparta

Finland – Germany 18:00, O2 Arena

Slovakia – Estonia 18:30, Arena Sparta