IBSA Goalball Europeans – What a final
Date: November 9, 2013
It is only fitting that one of the top tournaments for IBSA Goalball in 2013 shall finish with a spectacle.
First up on the program was the women’s bronze medal match between Israel and Finland. The Israeli’s were able to get ahead and keep their cool when there. They took their first ever European medal with a 5-3 win over Finland.
Second up on the program was the bronze medal match between Germany and Turkey. Germany fought hard and the score line was close but Turkey led at the half time break and kept that lead until the end. The final score was 4-3. With this win the Turkish men also received their first ever European medal
It was reported in a previous article that Turkey had received the bronze at the 2011 IBSA Goalball European Championships Men & Women A. This was a mistake. The bronze medal was won by Sweden who had defeated Turkey in that match. Apologies to the Swedish team for this mistake.
After the bronze medal matches, it was time to move on to the gold medal matches. First was the women’s match between Turkey and Russia. This was an excellent display of defense and attack by both teams. The match was played at a very high level the whole way through. To the disappointment of the home crowd, they were not able to get their team across the line. Russia improved on their 2011 result with a 4-2 win. For Turkey this also an excellent result. Last year they were champions of the IBSA Goalball European B division and now they also have their first ever medal and of the silver variety. With this win, Russia is guaranteed qualification for the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships.
Finally there was the men’s gold medal match. Neither of these two nations would be winning for the first time because they are both traditional goalball nations and are old hands when it comes to the pointy end of a tournament. This match was a perfect show of what makes goalball such an exciting sport. Lithuania scored in the first half. A defensive mistake in the second half saw Spain equalize. As far as goals went in regular play, that would be it. The match went into golden goal extra time but there were no goals scored. Therefore the only way to settle this match was threw a penalty shootout. This is where the Lithuanians showed their prowess that has resulted in them winning countless titles. They won the penalty shootout quite comfortably and the final score was 4-2.
IBSA Goalball would like to thank all competitors and support staff, referee’s, officials, volunteers and the organisation staff for putting on this tournament. Without any of you this tournament couldn’t had gone ahead. Due to many of you, many people are now leaving Konya with good memories.