The qualification for the 2022 World Floorball Championships in Switzerland this November for Europe (and Africa!) had their second day of competition take place in Celano, Italy with the EUR3 groups.
Germany and Cote d’Ivoire kicked off the day of action at 11 local time. The Germans with the draw against Austria yesterday, came into the game knowing that a win with the highest score margin as possible would be a big help in securing 2nd or 1st place in the group. The Germans raced out to early win and kept piling on the pressure and goals throughout the periods. The Cote d’Ivoire goalkeepers (who both limped off the field with an possible injuries at the end of the game) had a barrage of shots to deal with and did their best to stem the German pressure making a combined save total of 61. It wasn’t enough however with Germany dominating to win 48-0
After their win against Slovenia the Czech Republic were looking to flex their muscles some more against Spain. The team ranked 3 in the world started strong before the Spanish defence and play started to frustrate the Czechs who controlled but couldn’t always find a way through a mass of defenders and Spanish sticks. The third period was where the Czech persistence prevailed with 10 goals alone in the third to push the final score to 22-0 for the Czechs. Spain can take heart from two periods of solid defence against one of the most dangerous attacks in the game of floorball.
Austria and Slovakia was the third game of the day to take place. Austria had the gameplan in place of stifling Slovakia defensively and looking for any counter attacking opportunities that would arise from blocked shots or interceptions. The Slovaks were wise to this however and looked to stifle any potential Austrian attacks by keeping passes clear of sticks and putting pressure on any loose balls. Only 2 goals down after the first period was a positive sign for Austria but one they sadly could not build on as Slovakia further controlled the game and possession to run out the game as eventual 7-1 winners. The consolation coming from a well timed counter attack and a beautiful quick finish on the break by Niklas Fechtig.
The final match of the day was between host country Italy, and Slovenia. The loudest and most entertaining game of the tournament so far with both teams represented well by the crowd in attendance. The game started as it meant to go on, with both teams trading goals and the lead in the first period with Italy up 3-2 going into the second period. A Slovenian blitz put them back up 5-4 just before the third period began. Boosted by a cheering home crowd the Italians pressed hard fighting for loose balls and delivering some clinical cross crease passes for some quickfire one timer goals. With less than 3 minutes to go Italy were 2 goals up and with 2 minutes found themselves a player and goal up. The Slovenians dug in hard and refused to defend knowing a place at the World Championships was on the line, equalizing with less than a minute to go in the game down a man. This breathtaking match ended up finishing 8-8 with both teams putting in 100% effort for the entire 45 minutes.
Wednesday’s matches start at 11 with Austria taking on Cote d’Ivoire.
For more information on the WFCQ EUR3 qualifying event in Celano, Italy click here.