Neuchâtel, Switzerland, December 12, 2019 – Host nation and bronze medal holders Switzerland continue to dream of winning a World Championship on home soil after easing aside Latvia in the quarter-finals, while 2017 runners-up Finland also progressed.
With both now guaranteed to be playing for a medal, the respective nations have a chance to at least match if not better their 2017 performance. Switzerland will face the winner of Poland’s quarter-final meeting with the Czech Republic, while Finland await Germany or Sweden.
Elsewhere, the classification brackets continued and it was a strong showing from Asian sides as Thailand and Japan sealed 15th and 13th place respectively, while rivals Denmark & Norway will meet again with ninth place up for grabs after both got through their classification games.
Patinoires du Littoral:
10:00 am- Thailand 10:6 USA (15th Place)
Thanaporn Tongkham’s double hattrick helped Thailand come from behind to topple the USA and secure 15th place at WFC 2019.
The Americans were out of the blocks in a flash and had established a three goal lead after just eight minutes. Vera Niskanen slammed in an opening goal, before Selma Johansson and the consistent Marie Haggstrom added to the tally.
But the Thais, who had already enjoyed a win over the Americans during the group phase, were back on level terms before the first break: Thanaporn Tongkham’s first two goals of the game sandwiching Lalita Kuiraphanew’s effort.
Tongkham then wove her magic again, completing her first hattrick just after the first interval to put Thailand ahead for the first time in the game, but Haggstrom quickly cancelled out the advantage with a timely American equaliser. However, Thailand would take a 5:4 lead into the closing third, after Nelly Johansson converted from Kuiraphanew’s pass.
With the Americans tiring in the closing third, Thailand took full advantage to comfortably press on to victory. Three goals in seven third period minutes without reply from Tongkham, Suthasinee Phalaruk and Rungnapa Kebsomrong opened up an 8:4 lead, before the States were back on the scoresheet through Andrea Kostal.
But the Thais would have the final say, Tongkham notching two goals either side of a Haggstrom consolation strike to clinch an emphatic double hattrick and a 10:6 win for the Southeast Asians. They finish their campaign 15th in the overall table, with the Americans bottom in 16th.
1:00 pm- Japan 4:3 Estonia (13th Place)
A second period blitz from Japan saw them come from behind to stun Estonia and clinch 13th place at WFC 2019.
The Estonians had the better of the early exchanges in a low scoring game, with Liina Luih hitting in the opening goal for the Baltic side just ten seconds before the first break after being fed by Kati Loid.
Their lead doubled just under a minute and a half into the second period as the Estonians forced a Japanese own goal, shortly before Mahiro Shimizu pounced to halve the deficit for Japan.
The game was then turned on its head in dramatic fashion after a frantic closing minute of the second third.
Midori Kubo’s solo effort for Japan levelled the game with 35 seconds to go before the break, and they were ahead six seconds of play later as Yui Goto played in Yui Takahashi to fire home.
Just under a minute into the closing period, the impressive Shimizu turned provider for Natsumi Naoi to double the Japanese lead at 4:2, which proved enough to make the game safe. Reti Vaart’s strike for Estonia with just under five minutes remaining set up another grandstand finish, but the side from the Baltic were unable to force overtime as the Japanese held on for the win.
4:00 pm- Finland 8:6 Slovakia (Quarter-Final)
World Number Two Finland survived an early scare to overcome Slovakia in the first quarter-final of the day; Oona Kauppi’s five goals helping them see off their opponents 8:6 in a pulsating match and march into the semi-final.
The Finns were forced to do it the hard way after the Slovaks shocked them with two quick-fire goals in the opening couple of minutes. Viktoria Grossova was played in by Andrea Sidlova and finished smartly after just 57 seconds, before Paulina Hudáková doubled the lead 17 seconds later.
The Finns had been caught cold, but the setback seemed to rouse the silver medal holders and they mustered a quick response: Oona Kauppi stroking home a brace to restore parity, just one minute and thirteen seconds after the Finns were two goals down.
By the sixth minute, Finland were in the driving seat for the first time, My Kippila making no mistake after receiving Meri-Helmi Hoynala’s pass.
The Finns would go on to take a healthy lead into the first interval, after Oona Kauppi completed her hattrick shortly before Sara Piispa converted.
Slovakia enjoyed the best of the second period, as Paulina Hudáková made no mistake with a penalty shot, keeping her calm to convert, and she would clinch her hattrick shortly after, with a retaliatory strike from Finland’s Sara Piispa coming inbetween.
The Finns were 6:4 to the good with twenty minutes remaining, and Slovakia threatened to draw level two minutes into the closing third as Michaela Sponiarova finished after being set up by Hudáková.
But Oona Kauppi and Finland would finish the stronger, as she swept in from Mia Vallenius’ ball before clinching her fifth and Finland’s eighth with a fine solo effort just under three minutes from the end. The game safe and progress secure, the Finns can look ahead to the last four and a showdown with Germany or Sweden.
Meanwhile, Slovakia‘s podium dreams are over, and they will drop into the fifth to eighth place classification matches.
7:00 pm- Switzerland 10:4 Latvia (Quarter-Final)
Isabelle Gerig’s hattrick in the first seven minutes set Switzerland on their way to a convincing 10:4 win over Latvia, keeping the dream of winning a World Championship on home soil very much alive.
Gerig’s early treble set the tone for a swashbuckling Swiss performance, with Margrit Scheidegger and Nadia Reinhard both adding to the hosts’ tally before the first break in front of a raucous crowd.
The Swiss carried that momentum into the second period, as Julia Suter struck a sixth 25 seconds after the restart, shortly before Paula Metala tucked in for Latvia in reply.
Despite losing their clean sheet, the Swiss continued to put on a show for the fans, with Corin Rüttimann scoring a landmark seventh to move back level on top of the all time World Championship goalscorers table with Denmark’s Cecilia Di Nardo, on 47 each.
Latvia wouldn’t go down without a fight though, and Elizabete Pavlovska crowned a fine passing move with a cute finish, but the Swiss would have the final say of the second period as Katrin Zwinggi and Michelle Wiki both seizes on chances.
Latvia started the brighter in the closing third, Laura Gargere’s brace cutting Switzerland’s lead to 9:4, but the Swiss again would have the better of the closing moments: Julia Suter crashed an effort into the net with just over two minutes remaining, sealing a fantastic win after a good all-round display.
Switzerland’s semi-final opponents will be decided by Poland’s quarter-final showdown with the Czech Republic on Friday, while Latvia drop into the fifth to eighth classification bracket.
12:00 pm- Denmark 9:4 Singapore (9th-12th classification tie)
Denmark will march on into the ninth place classification tie after Cecilia Di Nardo’s five goals helped clinch a 9:4 win over Singapore.
Di Nardo’s eighth minute opening goal was initially cancelled out by Amanda Yeap’s equaliser, but Di Nardo’s second and a Lina Voldby conversion 45 seconds before the break ensured a 3:1 Danish lead by the end of the first third.
Di Nardo then hit two more in four second period minutes, before Mathilde Christensen and Victoria Wohlert notched goals of their own to make it 7:1 to the Scandinavians by the half hour point.
With the match looking beyond Singapore, they salvaged some pride with two successive goals from Debbie Poh and Siti Nurhaliza Khairul Anuar, before Simone Jorgensen ensured the Danes had the final say of the second period after she slotted in after being fed by Jasmin Damm.
Singapore reduced the Danish lead to four after Mandy Lim swept in from Hui Hui Ong’s pass, but Di Nardo was on hand again five minutes before the end to put the gloss on a Danish victory, tucking home a fine fifth goal of her own and Denmark’s ninth.
The Danes will fight for ninth place, while Singapore will enter the 11th place classification match where Australia await them.
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3:00 pm- Australia 2:7 Norway (9th-12th classification tie)
Rikke Ingebrigtsli Hansen scored one and assisted two as Norway sealed a ninth place classification showdown with Denmark after a comfortable win over Australia.
Ingebrigtsli Hansen got Norway’s afternoon off to a perfect start with her opening strike after seven minutes, before turning provider for Martina Hall to double the lead.
Australia star Blaise Hodges netted in reply from Janelle Miller’s pass, but Ingebrigtsli Hansen would once more help put a dent in the Aussie’s hopes, providing for defender Eline Dagestad to fire in.
Norway upped the intensity during the second period and began to build themselves a comfortable lead. Marie Wolf, Martine Simonsen and Sandra Craig all got themselves on the scoresheet, handing the Scandinavian side a 6:1 lead with just 29 minutes gone.
Norway defender Lene Benko then got in on the act, beating Aussie goalkeeper Leith Woods five minutes into the closing third, but Australia would at least have the final say in the game as Jessica Birks slotted in six minutes from time for some consolation.
With Norway facing Denmark for ninth place, the Australians will advance to the 11th place classification tie for a second showdown with Singapore, hoping to avenge their earlier defeat in the group phase.