The eight teams in Division 1 had a day off today, while the teams from Division 2 started the second phase of the competition at the 22nd World U20 Championships in Otopeni.
Romania and the Netherlands beat Australia and Japan, respectively, in the playoffs and secured themselves relatively easier opponents in the eight-finals. But, there are no weak teams in Division 1. The first three competition days showed that all eight teams in a higher division were of similar quality.
The Netherlands beat Japan 18:12. The Dutch will play against Italy, and Japan against Croatia in the eighth-finals tomorrow.
Host Romania defeated Australia by six goals. The defense was key to Romania’s success – 11:5. The home team kept Australia goalless for 14 minutes in the middle of the game. The Romanians’ rival in the next round will be Greece, the only team in Division 1 that didn’t win a single point in the group stage. Australia will face the USA. Therefore, it’s sure that one non-European team will play in the quarterfinals.
Playoffs (June 13) – Playoff match 1: Netherlands – Japan 18:12, Playoff match 2: Romania – Australia 11:5
Eighth-finals (June 14) – EF1: Croatia – Japan, EF2: USA – Australia, EF3: Italy – Netherlands; EF4: Greece – Romania
Quarterfinals (June 15): QF1: Spain – winner EF4, QF2: Hungary – winner EF3, QF3: Montenegro – winner EF2, QF4: Serbia – winner EF1
Semifinals (June 16): SF1: winners QF1 – QF4, SF2: winners QF2 – QF3
Brazil, Argentina and Iran recorded wins in the first matches in the groups of the 13th – 19th place classification.
2023 World U20 Championships, Otopeni, Day 4
Netherlands – Japan 18:12 (6:5, 2:0, 5:3, 5:4)
Netherlands: Ten Broek 4, Van der Weijden 3, Heitink 3, Voorvelt 2, Snel 2, Mejin 2, Schouwerwou 1, Ketelaars 1.
Japan:Ogihara 4, Fukuda 2, Sasaki 2, Inoue 1, Ura 1, Takeuchi 1, Moriya 1.
Even 11 goals in the first quarter indicated the game would be a scoring festival. Japan earned an early two-goal lead (2:0 and 3:1). But, the Netherlands produced a 5:0 run and jumped to 6:3. Still, the Japanese closed the first quarter with two goals, so they were still in the game.
The second period differed from the first quarter significantly. There were no goals until the 13th minute when Lars ten Broek doubled the Europeans’ advantage. In the dying seconds of the first half, Heitink made it 8:5. The Dutch kept the momentum after the middle break. Mart van der Weijden scored two goals in the first 110 seconds of the third quarter (the first one from a penalty shot) and the Dutch earned a solid 10:5 advantage. That 4:0 series made at the finish of the first and the beginning of the second half proved crucial for the Dutch’s victory.
The persistent Japanese did their best to get back into the match, but they only reduced the gap to three a few times. The Netherlands restored a five-goal lead before the final quarter (13:8). Japan didn’t surrender. The Asians scored the first two goals in the fourth period for 10:13, but the Europeans answered with a 5:0 rush. They jumped to 18:10 and secured a convincing victory.
The Netherlands was aggressive in the attack and scored 18 goals, even though its shot percentage was lower than 50% (18/41). Japan scored 12 goals from 31 attempts.
Romania – Australia 11:5 (2:2, 1:0, 4:1, 4:2)
Romania: Neamtu 4, Belenyesi 3, Dinca 2, Tepelus 2.
Australia: Berehulak 2, Krstic 2, Grgurevic 1.
Romania took an opening 2:0 lead, and Australia leveled at 2:2 before the first break. In the second quarter, the Romanians’ defense started improving. Goalkeeper David Dumitru had a great day. He posted eight saves already in the first half (until the end, he collected 13 saves). But Romania needed a lot of time to find its rhythm in the offense. Belenyesi made it 3:2 in the 11th minute. It turned out to be the only goal in the second quarter.
However, the Romanians started dominating after the middle break. AFter just 15 seconds of play in the second half, DInca scored for 4:2. The hosts’ captain Neamtu found the net from a difficult position less than a minute after for 5:2. An excellent defense, and Dumitru’s saves were an additional stimulus for the Romanians, who went to 7:2 (21st minute). After Romania’s 5:0 run, Grgurevic ended Australia’s goalless phase that lasted for 14 minutes with an action goal for 3:7. However, Romania controlled the game and earned a 6-goal win.
What do statistics say? Australia’s shot percentage was only 17% (5/29). Romania scored 11 goals from 25 attempts (44%). Each team scored only one power play goal each -Romania ½, and Australia 1/6.
Classification 13th – 19th place
GROUP G, Round 1
New Zealand – Argentina 9:11 (1:5, 2:1, 3:4, 3:1)
New Zealand:McDowell 2, Dodunski 2, Keightley 1, Pickering 1, Johns 1, Brown 1
Argentina: Giri 3, Lucero 3, Fernandez 2, Medici 2, Frassinelli 1
The most exciting match on the opening day in the 13th – 19th place classification was the encounter between New Zealand and Argentina.
The South Americans led for almost the entire match, but the „Kiwis“ were coming back from time to time. New Zealand scored an opening goal, but Argentina responded with five by the first break. After that, the South Americans held back all New Zealand’s comeback attempts.
Midway through the second quarter, New Zealand cut the deficit to two (3:5). However, Argentina rebuilt a 4-goal lead early in the third quarter (7:3). New Zealand didn’t surrender and tried to come back (5:7, 6:8), but Argentina controlled the game and didn’t let New Zealand come closer. Four minutes before the end, Mateo Giri made it 11:7. Two new goals from New Zealand came too late.
GROUP H, Round 1
South Africa – Brazil 7:20 (1:5, 1:6, 1:4, 4:5)
South Africa: Botha 2, Mansvelt 2, Bungane 1.
Brazil: Diaz 4, Oliveira 4, Wulfhorst 4 Catasalde 2, Freitas 2, Caumo 2, Gomes 1, Fiszer 1.
After two losses to the Netherlands in the first phase of the World Championships, Brazil opened the second part of the tournament with a convincing win over South Africa.
The South Americans reached the double-digit margin already in the 18th minute (12:2). Their defense weakened in the fourth quarter. Still, the Brazilians’ attack continued working like in the first three periods, so the South Americans recorded a 13-goal win.
Peru – Iran 6:12 (2:3, 2:4, 1:2, 1:3)
Peru:D.A. Contreras 2, Pinilos 1, Lopez 1, Rebessi 1, Rodriguey 1,
Iran: Abolghasemi 5, Shams 2, Mehrikohneshahri 2, Rezvani 2 Iranpourtari 1,Adham 1
Peru got off to a good start. In the early stage of the game, it led 1:0 and 2:1. Iran turned the score before the first break. Peru leveled at 3:3 at the beginning of the second period.
But, midway through this quarter, Iran started taking control. The Asians,led by Ali Abolghasemi (five goals) earned a 3-goal lead before the middle break. In the second half, Iran stretched the margin to six.