SINGAPORE, 10 December 2023 – Sweden held off a late charge from an inspired Finland side to win the Women’s World Floorball Championships (WFC) 2023 final 6-4 and clinch a record-extending ninth straight WFC title. The Swedes’ victory at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Sunday (10 December) also marked their 11th overall WFC title.
The final day of the 2023 WFC also featured exhilarating battles and heated contests in the play-off matches. Czech Republic, who placed fourth at the last five editions of the WFC, won a rollercoaster match as they edged out Switzerland 5-4 to finish third this year and match their best WFC result, which they achieved in 2011. Slovakia defeated Poland 7-4 to finish in fifth place while Latvia came from behind for a 6-4 win to finish seventh.
The 2023 WFC is only the second time that the biennial event is held outside of Europe – the first time was in 2005, when it was hosted in Singapore as well.
The results from 10 December are as follows.
|Denmark v Latvia (7th place play-off)
|Poland v Slovakia (5th place play-off)
|Switzerland v Czech Republic (3rd place play-off)
|Sweden v Finland (final)
The final standings for the WFC 2023 are:
3. Czech Republic
Summaries of the matches and quotes from the players are available below.
Denmark 4-6 Latvia
#8 Sofia Vestegaard Frederiksen (1:39)
#5 Sophine Bergen Jorgensen (20:22) #9 Lina Voldby (30:18)
#22 Therese Anna Gabrielsson (54:07)
#59 Evelina Garbare (23:54) #23 Emilija Salaciete (24:17) #41 Simona Grapena (47:45) #41 Simona Grapena (52:16) #77 Annija Darta Dankfelde (58:04)
#41 Simona Grapena (59:17)
Latvia staged a successful comeback to finish 7th in the WFC 2023, fuelled by forward Simona Grapena’s hat-trick in their 6-4 comeback victory over Denmark. A slow first period saw both sides struggle to find their rhythm, with Sofia Vestegaard Frederiksen scoring to give Denmark the 1-0 lead. Sophine Bergen Jorgensen made it 2-0 just 22 seconds into the second period, but Latvia displayed remarkable speed and skill to equalise swiftly. Latvia defender Evelina Garbare tapped one in to put her team on the scoreboard at 23:54, and team-mate Emilija Salaciete levelled the score less than 30 seconds later. Denmark took the lead again through Lina Voldby, who broke free from the cluster of Latvian players marking her to score her team’s third goal. A scintillating third period ensued as Grapena scored two goals to give Latvia a 4-3 lead. Switzerland, trailing for the first time, responded quickly through Therese Anna Gabrielsson. With less than two minutes of play, Latvia defender Annija Darta Dankfelde’s shot hit the top of the net and bounced out. There was a moment of trepidation as referees called for a review, followed by jubilation from the Latvia team as the goal was awarded. Grapena then scored her third goal in the dying seconds of the match to cement Latvia’s 6-4 victory.
“This one stung quite a lot because I really felt like we were the better team, but this just goes to show what happens when you don’t take your chances. During their power play, we had two open goals and we kind of laughed it off that we missed it at the time, but this just goes to show you can’t miss any chances. Latvia did a good job and took their chances when they had them so you have to give kudos to them. There’s not really much left to say because we knew what to do. There are no more games now so everything we had just had to come out in those two minutes that were left so we had to give everything, push it to the goal and be in front but unfortunately, it didn’t go our way. We’ve had a difficult year. A lot of challenges with getting a team put together so in a way, I’m just really proud that we got here. We didn’t really expect to make it to the top eight and that’s amazing in its own right. But it hurts now because we could have gotten higher than eighth and we really felt like we could have finished seventh today but it didn’t go our way today.” – Martina Morch, Denmark defender and captain
“We were confident it was a goal because we saw the review from the screens and it was a goal, so we were happy. I think we played our game from the start, we were good but we couldn’t score so it was a tight match. But in the end we managed to score, so that was good. We can do better, but I think seventh place is just enough for us. For now we need to just work hard.” – Simona Grapena, Latvia forward
Poland 4-7 Slovakia
#9 Maja Helman (28:19) #89 Hanna Samson (43:46) #9 Maja Helman (47:04) #77 Zuzanna Krzywak (57:29)
#44 Daniela Hrabovska (1:50) #6 Laura Chupekova (5:04) #16 Lenka Cervena (7:14) #6 Laura Chupekova (21:44) #22 Michaela Zivaska (35:56) #24 Linda Pudisova (54:21) #88 Kristina Hudakova (56:58)
Slovakia thumped Poland to match their best WFC finish of fifth. Previous matches between both sides were always a close affair, but it was all Slovakia. Less than two minutes in, Daniela Hrabovska whipped in a screamer from a tight angle to give the Slovaks the lead. Building on that momentum, they added two more in the next six minutes to take a 3-0 lead ahead of the second period. Buoyed by the cushion, Slovakia then added their fourth of the day early in the second period before Poland pulled one back through Maja Helman. The Poles tried to cut their losses, opting to play with a sixth infield player at times. Their risks paid off as they scored two goals without a goalkeeper in the final period. However, the gap proved insurmountable as Slovakia held on for their second win against Poland at the 2023 WFC.
“We were trying to fight till the end. No matter what the score was on the board, we were trying to fight for the victory and I think this was the greatest thing we could do at the end. It’s a mix of all the emotions. Of course I’m sad because we lost the game, it would have been great to end my career with a victory. I’m always proud to represent my country. It is also a bit sad I will hang up my jersey now. I will feel it more later but now I’m trying to keep calm. It’s crazy to think of a favourite moment because I’ve played for so many years but winning fifth place at the last championship, I think. Because this ensured that we were ranked fifth so this was memorable. I hope that there will be more girls who like to play the sport because it’s an amazing sport to play. It’s kind of easy, you just need a stick and a ball to do it. So I hope by watching such tournaments, people are encouraged to join and play this sport.” – Weronika Noga, Poland captain and defender
“I was very confident yesterday and luckily we made it today. I can’t really describe it, it’s something we’ve been focusing on for two years. The last time we were fifth was in 2017, it’s amazing for the country and the national team. I’m super proud of the team. It was not easy, it was a tight game. This is the type of game I really like and I’m super happy that we made it and had a happy ending. It was a little bit different today because we knew that this is the game where the team who wants it more will win. It’s not about the conditions or the tactics, it’s just about who wants it more. And I really believe that today we wanted it more. The tactics were more or less the same, we were winning (by) a pretty high (margin) after the first period so it was good for us, but they started to play with six against five a lot and that was really tight. But in the end, we were better.” – Katarina Klapitova, Slovakia captain and defender
Switzerland 4-5 Czech Republic
#21 Corin Ruttimann (16:35)
#7 Anna Bruchackova (29:56)
#17 Isabelle Gerig (27:59) #10 Celine Stettler (46:56) #17 Isabelle Gerig (59:15)
#29 Vanessa Rebecca Keprtova (37:23) #5 Eliska Krupnova (43:08)
#24 Denisa Ratajova (49:10)
#29 Vanessa Rebecca Keprtova (58:07)
Czech Republic emerged victorious in a heated battle for third place after defeating Switzerland 5-4 to match their best WFC result, which was last achieved at the 2011 WFC. Switzerland drew first blood in the 16th minute of the first period when Corin Ruttimann picked up a loose ball after a frenzy in the penalty box and smashed home to put the Swiss in front. Not long after, Isabelle Gerig scored her 9th of the tournament making it 2-0 in the 8th minute of the second period. The Czech Republic hit back instantly, halving the deficit after Anna Bruchackova’s super run into the penalty area ended with her slotting the ball past the goalkeeper. The Czechs continued to pile on the pressure and the breakthrough came when forward Vanessa Rebecca Keprtova levelled the score after an awkward bounce of the ball left her 1-1 with the goalkeeper. The Czech team took the lead for the first time early in the third period when captain Eliska Krupnova clinically dispatched the ball into the bottom left corner. But it didn’t take long for Switzerland to bounce back after a super strike from Celine Stettler landed in the top corner, making it 3-3. Czech Republic then took the lead again, pouncing on a mistake by the Swiss defence that allowed Denisa Ratajova to fire home from close range. The Czechs, who finished fourth at the last five editions of the WFC, put the game to bed two minutes from time after a swift counter-attack saw Keprtova get her second of the match. Switzerland’s Gerig pulled one back with 45 seconds to go but to no avail.
“I just feel emptiness. We fought and yesterday we had a really tough game. We were really close to getting into the final and today it was a tough loss. We were in the lead and then they came back. Then it was six against five and we made stupid mistakes, so yeah, it’s just emptiness. It’s hard to say (what we’ve learnt from this WFC), but we need to go from game to game. It doesn’t help you if you play good and then lose anyway. But I see that we have a really good young team that can compete for the title in the next few years, so I’m really looking forward to that. Now we’ll just have a break and then we prepare for the next WFC and we will see.” – Isabelle Gerig, Switzerland captain and forward
“It’s absolutely amazing, it’s marvellous. We’ve been waiting so long and we’re finally there. I’m super proud of the team. It was a great team performance and I’m honoured that I’m standing here right now. First of all, we had to recover mentally from yesterday as well, but this morning we did some mindset work and we were in a completely different mindset from yesterday evening. During the game, we wanted to win so badly and we believed it. We believed in winning, hard work and also to have the courage to do it. The first and second periods were tough, it was hard work throughout the game and then we had a two-goal lead. They did score when they were six against five on us, and then in the (last) 40 seconds we had to battle a war, basically. And we did it, so I’m super proud.” – Eliska Krupnova, Czech Republic captain and forward
Sweden 6-4 Finland
#11 Maja Vistrom (00:31)
#14 Moa Tschop (6:31)
#44 Lisa Carlsson (8:13)
#3 Amanda Delgado Johansson (12:23) #11 Maja Vistrom (15:56)
#8 Ellen Rasmussen (19:36)
#3 Sara Piispa (39:16) #15 Miisa Turunen (42:46) #27 Oona Kauppi (48:43) #89 Jenna Saario (56:43)
The 2023 WFC final got off to an electric start with Sweden scoring in the opening thirty seconds, sending the crowd into ecstasy. This was thanks to Sweden’s Maja Vistrom, who scored only her third goal of the tournament. Sweden’s dominance continued as they doubled their lead just six minutes later when defender Moa Tschop fired home from range. It turned out to be goals galore for the Swedish defenders with Lisa Carlsson scoring Sweden’s third with another long-range effort that found the bottom corner of the net – just two minutes after the defending champions netted their second goal. Forward Amanda Delgado Johansson scored Sweden’s fourth goal, making it five goals in as many matches at the WFC 2023. Vistrom extended the lead to 5-0, and Ellen Rasmussen made it 6-0 to cap off a perfect first period with a coolly-placed finish in the top right hand corner. The Swedish fans were left in disbelief at the dominance their team showed at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The second period of the match started off much tighter, marked by both sets of fans’ constant cheering. There was little to separate the two sides until the very last minute of the second period, which saw Finland pull one back through Sara Piispa’s low-driven shot to the bottom corner. Finland started the final period of the match in similar fashion with Miisa Turunen getting on the scoresheet. Finland halved the deficit just six minutes later after Oona Kauppi slotted home a well-placed finish. All the momentum was with Finland in their quest for another goal. With four minutes left on the clock, the Finnish scored their fourth through Jenna Saario to set up a nervy finish. But the Swedish defence held on tightly to their two-goal lead to stop any hopes of a comeback from Finland, and the final whistle cemented Sweden’s status as WFC champions for the 11th time.
“I’m very happy, but I’m also a little sad for my Finnish friends. This win means a lot to me. We’ve been here for two-and-a-half weeks and I’m very happy. It has been tough to be away from family and my girlfriend for so long, but now I’m so happy so it means a lot. It was a very big relief to score that first goal and then we can relax a little bit and keep on going so it was a perfect start. We became a little bit passive after the first period. We always talked about how we cannot stop playing, we have to continue to score more goals and that was the only thing we were talking about. But I don’t know how much we succeeded with that, but at least they didn’t score as many goals as we had. It’s very important that the sport and WFC is going to countries outside Europe. That’s how we get the sport to grow so it’s very important and Singapore is a beautiful country so I’m happy to be here.” – Maja Vistrom, Sweden forward and Player of the Match “I have good feelings except about the game. We had a good tournament but I think we needed to do more. It’s a huge disappointment now but there are things to be learnt. It’s hard to think of any lessons right now, I just feel sad and disappointed. I think we are the better team and that’s why it hurts so much. We need to be better all the time. I know that next time we will do better.” – Milla Nordlund, Finland forward and Player of the Match
Featured Image: What’s The Plan Please