The Czech spectators were really living the home team´s semi-final versus Finland as 10 348 spectators were either cheering for the home team or booing and whistling for the Finns.
The game was quite even and the shots on goal were 21-21, but the solid Finnish defence was hard to break and this made the difference in the semi versus Czech Republic.
Both teams started with careful play and avoided mistakes. In 16.17 Finland had a power play opportunity. The Finns moved the ball nicely, but could create good scoring chances.
It was Czech Republic that had the best opportunities through their fast counter attacks, but in 19.15 Jani Kukkola fore checked high in the Czech defensive zone, ran with the ball through the field and passed to Santtu Manner, who scored directly from the pass, 1-0 to Finland.
Mikko Kohonen increased the Finnish lead after a brilliant passing combination, Tero Tiitu giving the decisive pass. After this the Czech team´s fast counter attacks created some really good chances, one shot hitting the post. In 33.06 Ales Zálesný reduced the Finnish lead to 2-1, but the player of the game, Santtu Manner, scored his second of the night and gave Finland the two goal lead again.
It looked as if the Czechs would not be able to get through the well organised Finnish defence, but in 51.34 the Czechs managed to get a bouncing ball past Henri Toivoniemi. The Czech spurt was not effective enough and again, Finland could increase the gap after a goal scored by Mikael Järvi.
The Czech spurt was not effective enough and again, Finland could increase the gap after a goal scored by Mikael Järvi.
Finland will play in the WFC Final tomorrow (as away team) against the winner of the semi-final 1, Sweden or Switzerland, at 16:10. The bronze match will start at 13:10.
Mika Savolainen did not play today because of illness and will be replaced by Tarmo Kirjonen tomorrow.
The Czech coach, Zdeněk Skružný´was disappointed as the Czech team was not effective enough in the semi, read more from the organiser´s webpage.
Petteri Nykky, the Finnish coach, thought that Finland´s defence was the key to the victory, read more here.