Switzerland and Czech Republic reach Women’s World Floorball  Championships 2023 semi-finals, to battle Sweden and Finland in last four

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SINGAPORE, 8 December 2023 – Dominating victories from world No. 3 Switzerland and world No. 4  Czech Republic saw them reach the semi-finals of the Women’s World Floorball Championships (WFC)  2023 on Friday (8 December). Both sent warning shots to their upcoming rivals with convincing scorelines as Switzerland beat Slovakia 8-4, while the Czech Republic demolished Denmark 13-1.  

The Swiss will next face defending champions Sweden after world No. 2 Finland take on the Czech  Republic at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday in a repeat of the WFC 2021 semi-finals.  

Meanwhile, Japan came from a goal down to beat Germany 4-1 and finish ninth.  

Besides the semi-finalists, hosts Singapore will also be in action on Saturday when they will aim to  achieve their best WFC finish by beating Norway for 11th place.  

The results from Dec 8 are as follows. 

Game Score
Switzerland v Slovakia (QF3) 8-4
Czech Republic v Denmark (QF4) 13-1
Japan v Germany (9th place play-off) 4-1

The schedule for Dec 9 is as follows. 

Singapore Indoor Stadium OCBC Arena Hall 1
11am: Latvia v Slovakia (5th-8th play off: 2)1230pm: Poland v Denmark (5th– 8th play-off: 1)
2pm: Singapore v Norway (11th place play-off)
5pm: Finland v Czech Republic (SF2)
8.15pm: Sweden v Switzerland (SF1)

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

Switzerland 8-4 Slovakia 

#26 Nathalie Spichige (01:49) #12 Seraina Fitzi (14:15) #17 Isabelle Gerig (23:57) #2 Leonie Wieland (24:51) #17 Isabelle Gerig (26:10) #10 Celine Stettler (28:22) #96 Chiara Gredig (31:02) #26 Nathalie Spichige (51:08) 

#30 Paulina Hudakova (11:36) #61 Kristina Belicova (33:39) #30 Paulina Hudakova (45:04) #12 Katarina Klapitova (56:15)

Switzerland booked their place in the semi-finals of the WFC 2023 with a resounding 8-4 victory over  Slovakia, who had no answers to their opponents’ attacking play. Nathalie Spichiger opened the scoring  for Switzerland just 1 minute and 49 seconds into the game. Though Paulina Hudakova equalised,  Slovakia’s joy was short-lived as Switzerland responded swiftly through Seraina Fitzi to regain the lead.  Switzerland continued to rack up the score, reeling off five goals in the second period – including four  that were scored within five minutes – while limiting their opponents to just one. Slovakia returned  steadier in the third period with goals from Hudakova and captain Katarina Klapitova, but Switzerland  were too far ahead and with Spichiger scoring her second goal of the match, the world No. 3 side  secured their spot in the last four. They face defending champions Sweden in the semi-finals on  Saturday. 

Quotes: 

“It’s great to reach the semi-finals, this was an important win for us. It (My goal) was a very important  goal, I scored it to help us lead 2-1 so I’m happy I scored in an important situation. Of course a goal is  always nice, but other people who don’t score did also an important job, it’s just about helping the  team to get the win. We have to check how we can beat Sweden and the coaches will have good  solutions.” – Seraina Fitzi, Switzerland forward 

“In the first period we were really good. We were fast and we were keeping pace with Switzerland.  Unfortunately, the beginning of the second period was bad for us. We conceded four quick goals and  that was decisive for this match. Latvia plays really aggressively, they have aggressive players that won’t  give us anything for free so we have to concentrate on our performance and just be better. We have  to start the match with the right attitude.” – Paulina Hudakova, Slovakia defender 

Czech Republic 13-1 Denmark 

#5 Eliska Krupnova (01:50) #23 Karolina Sucha (09:15) #7 Anna Bruchackova (10:29) #5 Eliska Krupnova (12:21) #2 Eliska Chuda (17:19) 

#21 Martina Repkova (19:34) #21 Martina Repkova (27:25) #4 Michaela Kubeckova (32:47) #27 Vendula Maroszova (36:19) #7 Anna Bruchackova (38:32)  (Penalty Shot) 

#21 Martina Repkova (39:37) #7 Anna Bruchackova (46:07) #5 Eliska Krupnova (56:11) 

#9 Lina Voldby (49:08) 

Both sets of fans turned out in full force, hanging flags of their respective countries with encouraging  messages and donning jerseys, hats and even tailored suits bearing their team flag. World No. 4 Czech  Republic needed less than two minutes to begin their rout as captain Eliska Krupnova took Ivana 

Supakova’s pass head on and swept the ball past Denmark goalkeeper Mette Thorsager Jensen. The  Czechs would add five more goals from 21 shots in the first period, while limiting their opponents to  just four shots. Continuing their dominance, the Czech Republic then added five goals in the second  period and another in the third before Denmark pulled one back with a stunning solo effort from  forward Lina Voldby. Voldby skilfully dribbled past the Czech defence and remained calm to slot home.  But it was still the Czechs who had the last laugh when captain Krupnova added her side’s 13th and  her third goal of the night four minutes from time. The Czech Republic will be looking to improve on  their best WFC finish of third in 2011 but face a massive challenge in Saturday’s semi-finals, when they  have to overcome world No. 2 Finland. The Czechs have registered just three wins against Finland with  the last one coming in 2016, while Finland have beaten them 33 times. 

Quotes 

“We had a lot of goals, so it was not too difficult, but we still had to do the work. I wouldn’t call it easy, I think we did the work. Our play was of better quality and we scored the goals, so eventually it was a  dominant victory. With a win like that, it will definitely help us ahead of the semi-finals. It also helps  that a lot of our team’s players have scored goals and put themselves on the scoreboard which also  helps in building confidence which we will need for tomorrow. I hope that we still have some shots  and saves saved for tomorrow. But tomorrow will be a completely different game with a completely  different opponent. It will be a game of higher tempo, so we need to prepare and recover well, and  do some tactical preparation, which we’ve done already as we kind of expected to meet Finland in the  semi-finals. It will be essential for us to recover well and be ready for the semi-finals. For me, to have  pressure on you is a privilege because it means that you have achieved something. So, I will transform  the pressure into motivation. Tomorrow, we have nothing to lose. We are the underdogs, so maybe  there is a bit of pressure on me but as a team we are the underdogs. We have nothing to lose and we  want to win. We will go into the game wanting to win it; it will be difficult of course but we are ready.”  – Eliska Krupnova, Czech Republic captain 

“We knew it was a tough team to go up against and we tried to bring the energy we had yesterday to  Norway (when we won 4-3 in overtime) but it wasn’t enough. It was a relief to score and it feels a lot  better with a one up there on the board than a zero. For our next match against Poland, we need to  be more stable in our defence and communicate a lot more than we did today. Otherwise, we just  have to reload and bring the same energy again.” – Lina Voldby, Denmark forward 

Japan 4-1 Germany 

#19 Yu Abe (22:41) 

#3 Yui Goto (52:48) 

#13 Fuku Shibata (58:38) #8 Mahiro Shimizu (59:12) 

#9 Vanessa Weikum (9:09) 

Japan concluded their WFC 2023 campaign in 9th place after a 4-1 victory over Germany in a contest  that was slow to start but delivered thrills and spills in the final 10 minutes. Germany drew first blood  through Vanessa Weikum in the first period and Yu Abe equalised early in the second, but both sides  were unable to break the deadlock throughout the rest of the second period. Japan also suffered a  scare when captain Yui Goto took a tumble during the second period and spent several minutes on the  ground. She returned to the court for the third period, which continued with neither side succeeding  in their attempts to score. But Germany’s Hannah Gotze was handed a penalty in the 52nd minute for obstruction, and their Japanese opponents seized the opportunity to consolidate their attack. Goto  produced a beautiful solo effort to give Japan a 2-1 advantage, to the delight of the flag-waving Japan  fans in the crowd. With the timer counting down and Germany looking to mount a comeback, the  latter opted to play the final three minutes without a goalkeeper. It was a strategy that backfired,  however, as Japan plundered two more goals into an empty net through Fuka Shibata and Mahiro  Shimizu. Japan’s 9th-placed finish is an improvement from their last WFC outing in 2019, when they  finished in 13th position. Meanwhile, Germany placed 10th to match their result from the previous WFC  in 2021.  

Quotes 

“I felt really happy (to score Japan’s second goal) and I was happy that it came at such a good time.  There was no problem after I fell, I was fine. After this WFC, we’ll have more training and we’ll aim to  go even higher in the rankings. I’m really happy with the team’s performance here in Singapore and  I’m thankful for the experience.” – Yui Goto, Japan forward and captain 

At the beginning, we did quite a good job and then we got frustrated because Japan did a very good  job by blocking a lot of shots and we did a lot of (mistakes) ourselves. Our technique wasn’t so good  anymore and then we got nervous, especially when we conceded the (second) goal then we didn’t  have the coolness to play again. We had three very good group games and it was very hard that we  lost the play-off game against Poland. That was very cruel for us but I’m very happy that we won the  game against Norway because it’s just the second time we won against them and it was a nice game  again. It would have been nice to win today, but that’s floorball. Outside of floorball, it’s been hot and  sweaty and humid but no, it has been a very nice time. None of us have been here and it was a very  well organised championship. We had a great time on and off the field, we did some sightseeing and  had very nice things to do. So for every one of us, maybe except this game and the Poland game, it  was a very nice time.” – Randi Kleerbaum, Germany forward and captain 

Featured Image: What the Plan Please

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