The last three games of the day were an excellent advert for korfball and one of the best series of matches at an IKF event for a long time. The first of these was the game between the red hot favourites, The Netherlands, and England where the Dutch were made to work hard for their openings by an England team that defended extremely well. The match was really decided by the greater ability of the Dutch to score under pressure and for the England team to be severely punished whenever they surrendered possession with a misplaced pass. On balance the final goal difference could be thought of as rather flattering the Dutch, they won by eight goals (22 – 14), but the spirited play of the English, especially in defence, won over most of the neutral spectators. This was followed by the battle of the Iberian Peninsula, hosts Catalonia against Portugal, and this proved to be just that. Portugal held a 7 – 5 lead at half time after a half dominated by the defences and some inaccurate shooting, but the second half really livened things up. After Portugal extended their lead to four, Catalonia, roared on by an enthusiastic crowd, hit back to eventually level midway through the second half. We then saw the lead change six times with Catalonia scoring what proved to be the winning goal three minutes from the end and holding on to win 20 – 19. Portugal almost secured golden goal extra time but a shot in the final seconds rolled around the rim a couple of times before dropping outside. Finally the day ended with yet another close and exciting match between the previous Championship bronze and silver medal winners, Belgium and Chinese Taipei. Chinese Taipei held a slender one goal lead at half time but the Belgians were in no mood to allow a similar result to the last Championship. In the second half they gradually inched ahead to lead by four going in to the final minutes. The Chinese cut the lead to one but with less than thirty seconds left the Belgians scored the decisive goal to win 23 – 21.
In the early matches Hong Kong China and Australia continued the close rivalry established in Adelaide last year with Hong Kong holding on to win 21 – 19 after a late Australian rally. The other two games had larger differences in score with China beating South Africa 25 – 14 and Germany beating India 34 – 9, the latter emphasising the superiority of the European teams against most of the Asian teams.
Photos by actionphotography.nl
Bart Nieuwenweg2012-10-14 07:46:232012-10-14 07:46:23Superb entertainment in the IKF U23 WKC day 2