Quarter finals places decided at goalball Euros B
Date: June 4, 2021
The quarter-final matches for the men’s competition at the 2021 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball European Championships B were decided in Lahti, Finland, on Friday (4 June).
Great Britain sealed their quarter final place with a 11-6 win over Italy, but not before they lost out to Poland 10-6. But their not-so-secret weapon Dan Roper put in two excellent shifts to bring himself level on 31 goals with Greece’s Athanasios Chatzipantou in the top scorer standings.
The British will play Russia for a place in the semis on Saturday (5 June).
Results are available at the official website.
Greece’s 12-4 morning win over Portugal was led once again by Chatzipantou. It was followed by a convincing 12-6 win over Russia to secure a place in Saturday’s quarter-finals against Italy.
The Portuguese faced Israel in a tight clash, overcoming a one goal deficit to take the advantage in the second half. João Mota de Sousa bagged two goals and was joined on the scoreboard by Fabio Oliveira for a 3-2 win.
Israel regrouped in time for their final group game against Romania. Doron Hodeda and Michael Ruzin joined forces to chalk four goals apiece in their 8-3 win.
Israel take on Poland in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Montenegro eased past Italy, adding two goals to a 5-0 lead after the break. Emanuele Nicolò and Christian Belotti did find the back of the net for Italy twice in the second half. However it was no match for brothers Marko and Niko Nikolic, who scored three and four goals respectively.
Portugal and Montenegro will play for a place in the semi-finals.
Russia executed a mercy over Romania, 16-6. The Russian goals were spread fairly equally across team members, led by Ivan Antonenko with five and closely followed by Mikhail Egorov with four. The rest of the successful shots were shared between Artur Bodnia, Alexey Sokolov, and Artem Skotnikov.
Former Paralympic medallists Sweden will be relegated to Pool C after failing to win any of their games in Lahti.
Their clash with Poland was their closest encounter so far, having lost both of their opening games on Thursday (3 June). With just one goal separating the teams at the first whistle, and a narrow lead, the Polish went on to add four more goals compared to Sweden’s one to win 6-4. Marcin Czerwinski claimed half of Poland’s goals.
A heavy 13-5 defeat to Montenegro sealed Sweden’s fate in their second game on Friday. They will play Romania in the ninth place play-off at 9am EEST, ahead of the first quarter final at 10:10.
Finland are safely through to the semi-finals thanks to a win and a draw, whatever happens in their last game on Saturday.
The hosts did however get a scare in their fixture with France. A tense tie saw a 1-1 draw at the first whistle. Into the second half it took a penalty from Krista Leppanen to give Finland the edge after confusion in front of the French goal.
Sandrine Mourey’s shot then flew up over Susanna Halme and into the net to bring France even once again with five minutes left on the clock. Gwendoline Matos claimed the lead for France with just under 60 seconds left, firing the ball directly down the left hand side of the court and into goal.
But the Finnish reply came almost immediately. Halme faked an advance down the right side as Leppanen took the ball and hurled it in between Matos and Coralie Gonzalez for a hat-trick.
In Finland’s other game an own goal contributed towards their 4-2 win against Denmark as they bagged all of their strikes in the first half.
However Denmark did manage to secure an 11-1 win over Spain to maintain second place in the group. Denmark’s Anja Christensen is the only player in double figures amongst the women’s top scorers, leading the rankings with 29 goals.
Poland drew both of their games on Friday, coming back each time from behind against Spain and then Hungary to hold on their hopes of a quarter final place with one game to play.
Katarzyna Suchanek found the back of the net for both of Poland’s goals in their 2-2 draw against Spain, having been behind a goal at half time. Suchanek was also instrumental in their 3-3 scoreline against Hungary. However two draws may not be enough to secure Poland a place in the quarter-finals. All eyes will be on their last group game against France on Saturday.
Hungary look increasingly unlikely to advance to the knock-out stages, but there is still a chance. As well as their draw to Poland, they lost 3-1 to France on Friday and sit in last place.
All women’s teams will play one more game in the morning on Saturday to decide the semi-final clashes which get underway at 6pm.