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IBSA Goalball Euros B – Spirits flying high

Date: September 24, 2014

Category: Goalball

Today was the first day of the 2014 IBSA Goalball European Championships Men & Women B and it was a day full of even matches and high spirits. For many matches it was only penalties that made the difference.
The day began with a tight hard fought match between the Hungarian and Danish men. Both teams entered the hall with nothing to lose and ready to give it their all. The Hungarians wanted to give their home crowd a good match and that they did. In the end this match was so even that they both took one point after the final three whistles with a 10-10 draw.
This wasn’t the only draw in Pool B. Two of the old traditional goalball nations met and also gave it their all but both once again left with just one point. Sweden and Slovenia are two of the teams that dropped down to B division last year and both are keen to get back to A division. Both teams had new and old players and this match was very different to their 9th place play off in Turkey. The final score was 5-5.
Slovenia wasn’t the only old rival that Sweden met today. They also came across Denmark. Denmark has won many of those battles in the past and lost as well and this time it went to Sweden. The final score was a comprehensive 11-1.
One match that was an example of penalties making the difference was the Pool B match between Italy and Hungary. It was full of long balls and it was these penalties and being able to take advantage of them that led to Hungary taking the win over Italy 14-9.
Poland, in Pool A, was another team that was able to capitalize on their opponents penalties. The match between Portugal and Poland was close and both teams were quite even but it was the Portuguese penalty count and Poland’s ability to score off them that led to Poland winning quite comfortably in the end 16-8. Despite this loss Portugal remained in a good mood and kept everyone entertained with their singing. Since Europeans has had three divisions this is the first time Portugal has qualified for the B division so this is an achievement in itself.
One match from Pool A that looked like it was also going to be a comprehensive win but turned out to be a magnificent spectacle was that between Russia and Israel. Israel was leading this match 9-0 at one time but it just shows that you should never give up because the Russians came back but the Israelis were able to hold on and took it 10-8 over Russia.
The Ukrainian men competed recently at their first IBSA Goalball World Championships. Perhaps they didn’t perform their as good as they would’ve liked to but we can be sure that they learnt a lot. It was this education that they took into their match against Poland. A lot of hard throwing from both sides but Ukraine were took good and won 13-3.
Day one of the female tournament was also full of close defensive matches without any real blow outs.
Greece, one team known for their defense were able to make the best of first day of competition. They walked away with full points after two matches with the same result, 2-1. Once over Belgium and the other over Hungary.
Unfortunately for the Hungarians they were unable to win any of their matches. They also lost to Sweden 2-0.
Sweden was the other female nation to leave the day without any lost points. Like their male counterparts, they also came up against their traditional rivals, Denmark. Also like Swedish men they also won and quite easily at that. The final score was 5-0.
The female side also had its fair share of mistakes and penalties. One example of this was the match between Great Britain and Belgium. Great Britain won this 6-2 assisted by penalties by the Belgians and an own goal.
The great thing about sport is and especially a round robin is that tomorrow is an all new day and you can put the mistakes of yesterday behind you and give it all again. Sometimes though not as easily done as said but tomorrow shall show that.
To see a full list of results, please see below.
Men Pool A
Ukraine 8 Israel 13
Portugal 8 Poland 16
Russia 8 Israel 10
Ukraine 13 Poland 3
Men Pool B
Hungary 10 Denmark 10
Slovenia 5 Sweden 5
Italy 9 Hungary 14
Denmark 1 Sweden 11
Great Britain 0 Denmark 4
Sweden 2 Hungary 0
Greece 2 Belgium 1
Denmark 0 Sweden 5
Great Britain 6 Belgium 2
Greece 2 Hungary 1
Israel – 6 points
Ukraine – 3 points
Poland – 3 points
Russia – 0 points
Portugal – 0 points
Pool B
Sweden – 4 points
Hungary – 4 points
Slovenia – 1 point
Denmark – 1 point
Italy – 0 points
Sweden – 6 points
Greece – 6 points
Great Britain – 3 points
Denmark – 3 points
Hungary 0 points
Belgium – 0 points

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