Finland aim to dethrone Sweden in WFC 2023 final; Singapore finish 12th to  match best WFC result 

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SINGAPORE, 9 December 2023 – Finland and Sweden have secured their spots in the Women’s World  Floorball Championships (WFC) 2023 final after their respective semi-final victories on Saturday (9  December).  

World No. 2 Finland recorded a convincing 8-2 win over the Czech Republic and will be joined by  familiar rivals and eight-time defending champions Sweden, who laboured to defeat Switzerland 4-2.  World No. 1 Sweden lead Finland 34-14 in their head-to-head record. 

Earlier at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday, hosts Singapore fell 13-1 to Norway to finish 12th.  The results from Dec 9 are as follows. 

Game Score
Latvia v Slovakia (5th-8th play-off: 2) 4-6
Poland v Denmark (5th-8th play-off: 1) 7-3
Singapore v Norway (11th place play-off) 1-13
Finland v Czech Republic (SF2) 8-2
Sweden v Switzerland (SF1) 4-2

The schedule for the final day of the WFC 2023 on Dec 10 is as follows. 

Singapore Indoor Stadium
10am: Denmark v Latvia (7th place play-off)
1pm: Poland v Slovakia (5th place play-off)
4pm: Czech Republic v Switzerland (3rd place play-off)
7pm: Finland v Sweden (final)

Summaries of the matches and quotes from the players are available below. 

Latvia 4-6 Slovakia 

#23 Emilija Salaciete (20:35) #3 Dzeina Eglite (47:50) #59 Evelina Garbare (57:24) #95 Anna Ankudinova (58:57) 

#88 Kristina Hudakova (00:26) #48 Michaela Sponiarova (12:05) #16 Lenka Cervena (22:42) #48 Michaela Sponiarova (33:14) #30 Paulina Hudakova (43:25) #27 Zuzana Mrázová (49:28) 

Slovakia made a roaring start, with Kristina Hudakova scoring just 26 seconds in. Michaela Sponiarova  made it 2-0 for Slovakia, who were in attacking mode throughout the first period – they made 15 shots  while Latvia made just five. Latvia scored through Emilija Salaciete 35 seconds into the second period,  but Slovakia pulled ahead with two goals from Lenka Cervena and Michaela Sponiarova. The third period saw a flurry of goals, and with Slovakia up 6-2, Latvia played without a goalkeeper and narrowed  the score with two goals. Their comeback was halted as the final whistle confirmed Slovakia’s 6-4 win.  Slovakia will play against Poland for 5th place on Sunday while Latvia play for 7th against Denmark.  

Quotes 

“I think it was not our best game today, but I am really glad we scored some goals and made the game  intriguing enough. I’m happy that we played really well during the last five minutes. We have to rest  and analyse this game today, and then forget about this loss and just be ready for the next game.  Among the team, we will also talk about our next opponent a little bit and tomorrow will be the most  important game as it is our last game for this championships.” – Jana Filipsone, Latvia goalkeeper 

“After yesterday it was a little bit difficult to prepare for the game because we were disappointed, but  the game plan was clear. We have played against this team at the Six Nations Challenge, so we know  pretty well how they played. We tried our game opening which worked very well and we knew that if  we kept the goal difference, we should win pretty easily. I think it looked like (Latvia would catch up at  the end) to the audience but I was pretty confident they would not win the game because the time  was running out fast. The goals (that Latvia scored) were unfortunate and shouldn’t happen in the next  game, but I was not worried. Tomorrow will be the most important game for us; this is the game we  came here for at this championships and I’m very confident we’re going to win. That’s our ambition,  we really would like to finish in fifth place.” – Katarina Klapitova, Slovakia captain and defender 

Poland 7-3 Denmark 

#89 Hanna Samson (25:56) #89 Hanna Samson (39:29) #22 Gabriela Wojcik (44:32) 

#7 Malwina Zagorska (45:51) #9 Maja Helman (52:46) #7 Malwina Zagorska (55:01) #9 Maja Helman (59:59) 

#8 Sofia Vestergaard  

Frederiksen (40:34) 

#16 Esther Juul Thomsen (48:31) #8 Sofia Vestergaard  

Frederiksen (58:28) 

Poland extended their winning record against Denmark to eight after beating them in the first 5th-8th  place play-off on Saturday. World No. 5 Poland were the favourites going in, but world No. 10 Denmark  did well to hold their own against the higher-ranked side, employing a tight defence to shut their  opponents down. Both goalkeepers also starred for their respective sides as imperious figures in front  of goal to deflect all shots that came their way. Poland finally broke the deadlock in the 26th minute,  making good use of their numerical advantage during a power play when Hanna Samson squeezed the  ball in from a tight angle. Samson then doubled her team’s lead 30 seconds from time with her second  goal of the game, tapping in the rebound from Malwina Zagorska’s attempt. Never ones to go down  fighting, Denmark pulled one back seconds into the third period through forward Sofia Vestergaard  Frederiksen’s strike. But shortly after, Poland eventually added five goals in the final period to put the  game to bed. Poland next face world No. 6 Slovakia for fifth place while Denmark will play Latvia for  seventh on Sunday. 

“During the break, we talked about improving our accuracy of shooting and the need to play together  from the beginning (of the second period). Of course, we want to seek revenge for the group stage game against Slovakia tomorrow and we’ve already played with them many times so we know that it’s  possible to beat them.” – Hanna Samson, Poland Player of the Match 

“It feels really crappy to lose but we could have changed this game earlier because we felt we had  momentum in the first period and we should’ve done something earlier. I was happy to score and it  was at a crucial point of the game and we felt like this was our chance of coming back into the match.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t so. For our match against Latvia, we should go in with the same energy and  pressure we had in this game so we can get something from it. Maybe we’ll rest our legs a bit and then  we’ll be ready for tomorrow.” – Sofia Vestergaard Frederiksen, Denmark forward 

Singapore 1-13 Norway 

#8 Siti Nurhaliza Khairul Anuar (38:20) #7 Tone Einstulen (14:18) 

#9 Marte Pedersen (18:26) 

#2 Rikke Ingebrigtsli Hansen (19:37) 

#7 Tone Einstulen (27:58) 

#4 Kine Hedlund Eriksen (33:24) 

#17 Martine Simonsen (49:56) 

#2 Rikke Ingebrigtsli Hansen (50:10) 

#12 Ida Sundberg (50:28) 

#2 Rikke Ingebrigtsli Hansen (53:07) 

#26 Nicoline Marie Karlsen Olsen (53:30) 

#2 Rikke Ingebrigtsli Hansen (54:16) 

#4 Kine Hedlund Eriksen (54:02) 

#12 Ida Sundberg (58:49) 

Singapore matched their best-ever WFC result, finishing in 12th position after falling 13-1 to Norway at  the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The hosts were overpowered from the beginning as Norway came out  with all guns blazing from the starting whistle. The visitors recorded a total of 63 shots throughout the  match, while Singapore had just five. After Norway quickly racked up a 5-0 lead, Singapore earned  some reprieve through Siti Nurhaliza Khairul Anuar towards the end of the second period. But the  hosts’ defence unravelled in the third and Norway seized their chances, running rampant on an eight goal spree to take the win and place 11th. Singapore’s 12-placed finish matches their best result, which  was achieved at the 2019 WFC, and is an improvement from their 14th-placed finish from the previous  WFC in 2021.  

Quotes 

“I’m very thankful to be able to play and represent the country for the past 10 years. This match was  definitely tough. In terms of physique and speed, they outmatched us more than what I had expected.  But I’m proud my team put in the hard work and was able to at least score a goal. I hope the future  generation of floorballers will continue to don the flag and bring pride to our country. Every single  tournament has a different team so I don’t remember a particular one that shines the most but I would  say whoever I’ve played with for the past 10 years bring the fondest memories to me. If you ask me to  recall any tournament, I think I can remember everything. The Singapore Floorball Association has  really done a lot of outreach and brought up awareness for the community and floorballers now are  starting in primary school and that increases the number of players. I myself started at 17 which is  really late stage so I believe the next generation of floorballers will be able to have a good foundation and I hope the coaches and officials will continue putting in all the effort to bring up Singapore  floorball.” – Amanda Yeap, Singapore forward 

“We just wanted to end this tournament well and I think we did that. Every game is tough so it was  good to win today. It just feels good to end the tournament this way with a win.” – Tone Einstulen,  Norway captain 

Finland 8-2 Czech Republic 

#27 Oona Kauppi (01:12) #28 Veera Kauppi (13:12) #28 Veera Kauppi (22:15) #44 Milla Nordlund (29:12) 

#89 Jenna Saario (31:15) #28 Veera Kauppi (37:53) #80 My Kippila (48:38) #28 Veera Kauppi (55:58) 

#29 Vanessa Rebecca Keprtova (14:58) 

#24 Denisa Ratajova (29:45) 

Finland secured their Women’s World Floorball Championships 2023 spot with a convincing 8-2 win  over the Czech Republic. Oona Kauppi drew first blood for Finland, slotting home from her twin Veera’s  pass. Going a goal down early did not dampen the Czechs’ spirits as their supporters cheered them on  to keep fighting. The Czech Republic were brave to take shots but could not clear the final hurdle of  Finnish goalkeeper Noora Vuorela. Exactly 12 minutes after the first goal, it was then Veera’s turn to  score as Oona turned provider for her. Vanessa Keprtova pulled one back for Czech Republic before  the first break, but Finland came out blazing in the second period. They scored four goals to Czech  Republic’s one to lead 6-2 going into the final period. The Czech Republic did well to contain Finland in  the final period but were unable to find the net themselves. Finland defender My Kippila eventually  scored the only goal of the third period to complete her side’s decisive victory. 

Quotes 

“We were really good, especially in the second and third period. It was exactly what we were talking  about before the match so I think we were doing brilliant and had a good team performance so I’m  really happy but now I’m focusing on the final. Some people are saying that (my sister Veera and I have  the) twin connection but it’s that we know what the other one is thinking in the field. It’s really easy  to play with her because I think she’s the best player in the world right now so I’m just enjoying playing  with her. For us, it is a little bit easier because we’ve been practising for 26 years now together. As a  team, we were prepared that they will be pressing us but maybe we need to be more in the right here  and right now, focusing on only that moment. It’s a lot of good and positive things we want to bring  with us tomorrow when we are playing in the final.” – Oona Kauppi, Finland forward 

“They have the best line in the world and the best players in the world, and we couldn’t defend against  them and score more goals. Our goal for tomorrow is just to win. It’s simple – just win.” – Vendula  Maroszova, Czech Republic forward 

Sweden 4-2 Switzerland

#13 Wilma Johansson (3:14) #8 Ellen Rasmussen (10:25) #15 Ellen Backstedt (36:45) #13 Wilma Johansson (50:53) 

#7 Laila Ediz (16:07) #10 Celine Stettler (47:43) 

Defending champions Sweden survived what was arguably their toughest test in Singapore, battling  hard to hold back a persistent Switzerland side to triumph 4-2 in the WFC 2023 semi-finals. Sweden  were tested from the beginning but managed to edge ahead for a 2-1 lead at the end of the first 20  minutes. Ellen Backstedt widened the eight-time defending champions’ advantage to 3-1 by the end  of the second period. But Switzerland, having faltered at the very same stage at the 2021 WFC, showed  just how determined they were in the third period. They raised their level of play and stepped up their  attack, a move which was rewarded with Celine Stettler scoring Switzerland’s second goal. The latter  also kept a tight defence to successfully limit Sweden, until forward Wilma Johansson scored to extend  the lead to 4-2. Still, the Swiss remained unfazed as they continued to go for their shots. Sweden were  eventually saved by the final whistle, and will face familiar foes Finland in a repeat of the 2021 WFC  final. Switzerland will play against the Czech Republic for third place.  

Quotes 

“I was really happy when I scored, I had really good teammates who allowed me to score those goals.  Switzerland is a really good team. It was an intense match because we really had to fight for the win today. As expected, they were really good and we didn’t do everything right, but it was a really nice  win. (Finland) are a really good team and they have some of the best players in the world, but so do  we. It will be a tough game and it is going to be tight, and maybe there won’t be so many goals. We’ll  just have to play our best and take our chances.” – Wilma Johansson, Sweden forward 

“I’m sad we lost the game. I’m a bit angry that again I need to say that it was really close today and we  could have won. But again, we’re standing here and we lost the game, so I’m a bit annoyed by that. On  the other hand, I’m really proud of my team. We fought for 60 minutes and I’m really proud that we  played our best game today. I didn’t really have time to think a lot (during the game) because every 10  seconds, a situation happened. But I was actually thinking about my brother, he sent me a Swiss  German song he wrote for me before the game and I just heard the song in my head. That helped me  to focus over and over again. If we play with so much heart and passion tomorrow as we played today,  it would be a great game. It’s difficult to switch focus so fast. We don’t have a lot of time to recover  either so we need to relax, get a bit to eat, sleep well and then we need to switch focus to play again  tomorrow.” – Lara Heini, Switzerland goalkeeper 

Tickets are available at https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/wfc2023. More match updates are available at https://app.floorball.sport/leagueorganizer/Magazine/92#/leagueorganizersite/92/start. 

Featured Image: What’s The Plan Please

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