After a very impressive tournament, Czech Republic have become the unadulterated winner of the U19 World Floorball Championships 2019 held in Halifax, Canada. After a strong group stage, in which the team defeated Sweden with resounding numbers, Switzerland was put aside relatively easily in the semi-finals. In the final, in which Sweden was given the opportunity to retaliate, the Czechs made it clear that the earlier victory over Sweden contained no luck. The final score of Czech’s historical win was 8-2.
Armed with the combined experience of the previous group stage meeting, both U19 teams met again to decide the winner of the U19 WFC2019. Sweden started the match strongly and, unlike the previous meeting, left few opportunities for the mostly defensive-oriented Czech Republic. With a lot of possession on the ball Sweden tried to put the game to their advantage but could not transform possession into goals. The Czech Republic also failed to score, which meant there were no goals in the first period.
In the second period it was again Sweden that started the period strongly and leaned continuously against the Czech defense. It seemed that the first goal would fall for Sweden, but the Czech Republic defended like a concrete wall. The Czech Republic even, perhaps surprisingly, took the lead when Jonas Kreysa received a free entry ticket to Sweden’s slot and calmly placed the ball behind the Swedish goalkeeper. Sweden, in return, got a huge chance at the equalizer with a power play but it was Czech Republic in shorthanded play who scored after a huge throw by Czech goalkeeper Martin Hales. Less than a minute later, the Czech Republic struck again after Filip Langer rewarded himself with a goal after an impressive solo run to set a 3-0 lead.
Where Sweden failed to find the net in the first two periods, it only took the team 93 seconds in the final period to score. It was Sirius-marksman Filip Eriksson who took advantage of a slip in the Czech defensive, entered the slot unmarked and finished decisively, thereby raising hope for the many Swedish fans that made the journey all the way to Canada. However, the boys from Czech Republic were not done yet and answered less than 3 minutes later after Martin Rezac’s free-hit cross sliced through Swedish defense and was a welcome snack for sniper Daniel Eremias. With Sweden pressing on the Czechs, it once became clear that a 2-point lead in floorball is anything but comfortable, even with only ten minutes to play. The tension increased significantly when Sweden got a power play, but goalkeeper Hales played his hind end off this game, and brought two crucial rescues. An all important 5-2 goal, however was what followed (article continues below video):
With only minutes left on the clock, Sweden found themselves leaning on their back heel and pulled their goalkeeper in a final attempt to turn over the match but it were instead the Czechs to walk away with eternal glory after no less than 3 empty net goals.