Only 1 week remains until the first Floorball match will be played at the 2022 World Games. The final team in our countdown that will take part this July in Birmingham, Alabama are the Czech Republic!
The journey to the World Games in 2022 began at the 2020 World Floorball Championships in Helsinki last December where the top 5 finishing countries, best AOFC and best AMER teams would qualify alongside hosts USA for the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Switzerland were the first to qualify followed by Thailand who beat Philippines in a tense shootout for 13th position and qualification to Birmingham and Canada who finished 12th and were the highest placing AMER country. Latvia completed the World Games lineup by beating Norway for 5th place.
Czech Republic finished 4th place at the previous World Games in Wrocław, in 2017. In the group stages they had 1 win and 1 loss with their opener being a loss to Finland 4-2 before beating Poland 12-1. Facing Sweden in the semi finals, they ended up losing 5-2 pushing them into the bronze medal game against Finland. It was an extremely close match with Finland holding on to their 1 goal lead for a long time with some strong defense before capping off the victory with an empty net goal, late on, to secure bronze. The 2017 World Games were a tale of “so close, yet so far” for the Czechs who have throughout tournaments typically been fighting for 3rd place with Switzerland and sometimes Finland. Their best tournament result ever was 2nd place at the 2004 World Championships where they lost to Sweden in the final. They most recently beat Switzerland in overtime at the 2020 WFC in Helsinki for 3rd place, ending a streak of 3 consecutive 4th place finishes at major tournaments.
Photo: Martin Flousek
The Czech Republic recently competed at the Men’s WFCQ 2022 EUR3 event in Celano, Italy for qualification to the World Championships in November 2022. This event was a chance for the Czechs to try out new tactics, game plans and team members. They won their group stage by beating Slovenia 7-0, Spain 22-0 and Italy 10-1, finishing top and therefore qualifying for the World Championships. Going into the EUR3 final against Slovakia the Czechs were feeling confident, having only conceded 1 goal in their opening 3 matches. In the final, Slovakia proved to be a tougher opponent than expected with high pressure and quick breaks combined with some clinical finishing put the Slovaks ahead on multiple occasions. 2 goals down the Czechs pulled their goalie to equalise but it was too late and Slovakia held on to achieve a famous upset win. The Czechs were very disappointed with the result but the disappointment of this final loss to Slovakia can act as great motivation and help drive the team to strong performance in Birmingham at these World Games to show the world they are indeed one of the best nations in the world at the game of floorball.
Expectations for the Czech Republic at these World games will be to medal. They will be looking to bounce back from their performance in the EUR3 final and maybe even spring a surprise result themselves against Finland in the group stages or in the semifinals stage. The Czechs are in a group with 2020 World Championship silver medalists Finland and the North American duo of Canada and USA.
Read more on the competition this July here.
Photo: Martin Flousek
How well will the Czech Republic do at the World Games in Alabama? Only time will tell, but they are a young, hungry and talented squad on all areas of the pitch. They will hope to provide an upset in the group stages against Finland aim for a medal at these World Games. Check out the team list for the Czech Republic at the World Games here.
The previous edition in 2017 in Wrocław was won by Sweden, beating Switzerland in the final, 7-5. Finland came 3rd followed by Czech Republic in 4th, USA in 5th and hosts Poland in 6th.
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