Neuchâtel, Switzerland, December 14, 2019 – Switzerland pulled off the comeback of all comebacks to stun the Czech Republic in the semi-final and prolong their dreams of a home gold medal. They will meet Sweden in the final, who got through a semi-final thriller of their own in the shape of a derby against old rivals Finland.

The semi-final results leave the Czechs and fellow beaten semi-finalists Finland to battle it out for bronze on Sunday, while Poland and Slovakia both successfully negotiated their classification ties and will meet on the closing day of the tournament with fifth place the prize. Their beaten opponents, Latvia and Germany, will playoff for seventh place.

Patinoires du Littoral:

11:30- Latvia 1:6 Poland (5th-8th Place Classification tie)

Poland will play off for fifth place on the final Super Sunday of WFC 2019 after proving too strong for Latvia in their classification bout.

Dominika Buczek and Malwina Zagorska both stroked home to open an early Polish lead, before Latvia cut the deficit in half through Elizabete Pavlovska’s effort.

Magdalena Marek extended the lead shortly after the first interval, before Agata Plechan coolly added a fourth shortly after the half hour mark in a dominant display.

The Poles then held the Latvians at arm’s length until the closing period, when Agnieszka Timek-Dziadkowiec made it five, and she then turned provider for Buczek to score her second and Poland’s sixth with little under six minutes remaining.

Buczek would be denied her hattrick as her penalty shot was thwarted by Latvian replacement goalkeeper Lauma Visnevska, but it did little to dampen the mood after a composed overall display. Poland now look forward to a fifth place showdown with Slovakia, while Latvia will hope to salvage seventh with victory over Germany in their final bow at the tournament.

14:30- Sweden 5:4 Finland (Semi-Final)

One of the biggest derbies in world Floorball served up another classic for the ages as Emelie Wibron’s late winner ensured the hoodoo over old adversaries Finland goes on, propelling the Swedes to a seventh successive World Championship final in search of a seventh consecutive gold medal.

Despite stern Finnish resistance, Sweden took the lead in a tight first period as Emelie Wibron capitalised on some early pressure. It took until after the first break for the match to really spring into life, as Stephanie Boberg scored from a well-disguised drag shot which deceived Finnish goalkeeper Tiltu Siltanen.

Finland quickly mustered a response in a powerplay phase as defender My Kippila got the better of Swedish goalkeeper and club teammate Amanda Hill, but the Finns were pegged back soon after as they lost possession while looking to break and Moa Gustafsson broke clear before calmly finishing for 3:1 to the champions.

Determined not to be outdone by their old foes, Finland suddenly mustered a brilliant comeback. Jenna Saario’s speculative effort was perhaps fortunate to beat Hill, but having got the goal to halve the deficit, a smooth team move saw the ball worked to My Kippila, who crossed low for Oona Kauppi to bundle in the equaliser. However, by the end of the period, Sweden would take a 4:3 lead into the final break when Amanda Delgado Johansson converted in a six versus five scenario during a delayed penalty phase.

Time ticked over in the closing period as both rivals jostled for superiority, and My Kippila was on hand to provide again for Oona Kauppi to haul the Finns back into contention at 4:4. However, a heart-in-mouth mix up in the Finnish defence would prove their undoing, as Wibron was given what seemed like acres to pick her spot and slam in the winner. Finland pushed and pushed for a winner and went six versus five in the closing moments, but they just could not force that elusive equaliser and their wait for a gold medal lingers on. The Swedes had won over their neighbours once more, and onto the final they go in pursuit of glory again against host-nation Switzerland.

17:45- Switzerland 7:6 Czech Republic {After Overtime} (Semi-Final)

This game will go down as the miracle of Neuchâtel as Switzerland pulled off one of the most incredible comebacks in Floorball history to reach a home World Championship final and deny the Czechs a first final appearance when they seemed destined for victory.

The Swiss trailed 2:6 with 1 minute and 42 seconds to go, but rewrote history with a stunning four goal rally before Michelle Wiki lit the touch paper at Patinoires du Littoral with an overtime winner before a bumper crowd of 3734 spectators.

The raucous home crowd put on some atmosphere, but the Czechs took advantage of what appeared to be a nervous Swiss side early doors with an aggressive, pressing approach.

Tereza Urbankova shocked the home crowd with an early opener before Denisa Ratajova converted a penalty shot shortly after. Five seconds of play later, it was 0:3 as Czech skipper Eliska Krupnova slammed in. Seven minutes gone, a three goal deficit, and Switzerland’s dream was quickly turning into a nightmare.

And the Swiss showed no signs of waking up to rescue the semi-final in the second period, as Kamila Paloncyova tucked away her second goal of the tournament and the Czechs’ fourth of the day, before Krupnova notched her brace during a powerplay phase. 0:5, the Swiss lacking the guile that they had so often displayed, and their campaign was unravelling before the fans’ eyes in a horror show.

Just before the end of the second period, Isabelle Gerig finally dented the Czech armour as she tucked in from a tight angle following a swift move, but it still left the hosts with a mountain to climb at 1:5 going into the closing third of the game.

A Nela Jirakova deflected effort crept into the net to peg the Swiss back, and it seemed as though that would be it as the mood sank in the home crowd.

But, suddenly the hosts sparked into life as Flurina Marti hammered in from the middle line before the Czechs would miss a critical penalty. Four minutes remaining, four goals needed, it still looked beyond the Swiss.

A shred of hope arose when Julia Suter struck with two minutes remaining, and suddenly the mood lifted when Suter stroked in another on the volley with 90 seconds of play to go. 4:6. Two goals needed in under two minutes. The deficit went from mission impossible to mission difficult.

With 51 seconds remaining, Isabelle Gerig played in a wonderful ball which evaded the Czech rearguard and found Seraina Ulber who bundled in for 5:6.

The Swiss piled forward for what minutes ago seemed an equaliser, and after a searching ball forward, Ulber backhanded the ball back across goal and they got it: Michelle Wiki was on hand to fire home inside the Czech goal slot, restoring parity and sparking pandemonium in the home crowd.

After surrendering such a comfortable lead, the Czechs were unable to recover, and with the Swiss baying for their blood as the match ticked into overtime, a great passing move saw the ball worked out to Wiki, who curled home into the bottom corner from distance to crown the greatest of Floorball comebacks. The seemingly dead dream of a home final was revived in all glory, and the hosts, remarkably, match onto the final with their unbeaten record intact.

La Riveraine:

10:00- Germany 1:6 Slovakia (5th-8th Place Classification tie)

Slovakia eased aside Germany in their classification duel to advance to Sunday’s fifth place playoff where Poland lie in wait.

It took some time for the Slovaks to break the deadlock as the Germans held them to a goalless opening period, but their resistance was broken just under two minutes after the first restart when the consistent Michaela Sponiarova crashed in the opener from Paulina Hudáková’s pass.

The two combined again for Sponiarova’s second, before Sponiarova then turned provider for Hudáková to score Slovakia’s third on 52 minutes.

Theresa Beppler-Alt quickly responded with a tidy retaliatory goal during a powerplay phase for Germany, but any hopes of a late comeback were quickly quelled by Denisa Ferencikova’s swift brace, first setup during a powerplay by Hudáková, and then finishing smartly from another Hudáková assist.

Hudáková herself would have the final word in a slick Slovak performance, slotting in with ten seconds remaining after being teed-up by Ferencikova. Poland are next to face the Slovaks, while the Germans still have seventh place to play for against Latvia on Sunday.

WFC 2019 News