Ibsa Goalball Worlds – Brazil versus Finland again
Date: July 5, 2014
The quarter finals and semifinals day was an exciting day which resulted in some unexpected score lines.
The day begun with the women’s quarter finals. One of the first quarter finals was perhaps for some one of those surprising score lines. Russia and China facing off would’ve for some expected a tight match. However the end result did not show such a close match. Russia won this 4-1. The Russians were able to match the power that the Chinese are known for. China received an unsportsmanlike conduct early in the match for kicking the ball. China made it back to 2-1 when Russia actually had the chance to go 3-0 up. China had received a penalty but Russia threw a highball and China was able to capitalize on this. The Russian power was able to make it past the Chinese two more times.
Russia met Turkey in the semifinals after Turkey eliminated Israel. The match didn’t start well for the Israelis because the first two Turkish throws were goals. Israelis tried to stop the Turks but their defense was unable to stop the Turkish strength. Turkey on the other side had superb defense throughout this match. The two goals that Israel made were off penalties. It was a real team effort by the Turkish team as all six players played.
One very exciting quarter final was that between Brazil and USA. Brazil opened the scoring and was quickly up 2-0. Just before half time USA equalized and it was 2-2. USA pulled away in the second half and took it 5-3. Throughout the match there were many bounce balls that resulted in great saves.
USA met Japan in the semifinal after they defeated Ukraine 1-0 in their quarter final. There were opportunities to make more goals but Ukraine defended all their penalties.
Once all the male women’s quarter finals were done, we moved on to the male quarter finals. This was the chance for the host team to shine. Finland played China in their quarter final. This was really close in the first half but Finland ended up winning 5-2. China was leading for a good portion of the first half but Finland equalized just before the break. Finland made most of their goals in the second half off penalties.
This win gave Finland the opportunity to play the USA who defeated Turkey 5-4. This was a high quality match. Both teams had the lead at times but USA was in front when that final buzzer sounded.
This last match was a low scoring match in comparison to the quarter final between Iran and Brazil. Brazil fell behind in the first half and was trailing most of it. Iran just kept their nose ahead. Just before the half time buzzer Brazil equalized and there the momentum swung in the direction of the Brazilians. They were able to make many goals quickly and quickly pulled away to a 7-4 lead. After this for each goal one scored so did the other but Iran could never catch up to Brazil again. The final score was 11-8.
Lithuania was back to their traditional best in their quarter final against Czech Republic. Lithuania scored many of their goals off Czech penalties. It was a convincing 11-6 win over the Czechs.
After these high scoring quarterfinals we moved on to the female semifinals. One was the defense of Japan against the power of the USA. Two Asya Miller bounce balls made it over the Japanese defense and the match ended 2-0.
The other semifinal was between Russia and Turkey. Turkey had to this point had high scoring matches however, in this match that was over. Turkey was only able to make one goal as opposed to Russia two. Russia made both of these goals in the first half. The one Turkish goal was from a penalty.
This means that Russia and USA will meet in the gold medal match and Turkey and Japan for the bronze. USA and Russia have also qualified for Rio. Russia will be going to the Paralympics in goalball for the first time ever. USA will get the chance to get their Paralympic title back from 2008 that they lost in 2012.
Finally it was time for the men semifinals. This was really the moment for the host nation to shine. They played the USA who went toe to toe with the Fins in the first half. However, when the second half begun a few penalties went in the way of the Fins and they were able to pull away. The final score was 6-3.
The other semifinal was between Lithuania and Brazil. Brazil won this before the end of regulation time with a comprehensive 14-4 win. The amazing Brazilian bounce balls made it past the Lithuanians. Also too many penalties from the Lithuanians didn’t help their cause.
Therefore, USA will play Lithuania for bronze and Finland and Brazil will replay their gold medal match from London here in the world championships. This also means that Finland will have the opportunity to defend their Paralympic title because with this win they have qualified for Rio 2016.
Will Finland be able to have the dream tournament and win as host nation or will Brazil be able to get revenge for what happened in London? Only finals day will tell us.