Most of the games of Day 1 of the 21st World Men’s U20 Championships, which started in Prague today, were one-sided contests. Favorites passed their first hurdles with ease.
The most exciting game of the day was an encounter between the USA and Slovakia. After a balanced first half, the Americans took control and achieved a 12:7 win.
Russia recorded the biggest win of the day by downing Uzbekistan (38:1). Serbia didn’t let the Czech Republic score a single goal (28:0). Croatia, Germany, and South Africa were too strong for their respective rivals, just like Serbia and Russia.
Results – Group A: Uzbekistan – Russia 1:38, Croatia – Argentina 20:7, Group B: USA – Slovakia 12:7, Serbia – Czech Republic 28:0, Group C: Germany – Egypt 14:4, Group D: South Africa – Montenegro 5:16.
Uzbekistan – Russia 1:38 (0:10,0:8,0:12,1:8) – full statistics
Uzbekistan: Abdullin 1.
Russia:Volkov 7, Krasnov 7,Vasilev 7, Zhabkin 3, Iarullin 3,Makhiyanov 3, Ivanikov 2, Andriianov 2, Nikolaev 2, Mirziev 1, Ivanov 1.
Croatia – Argentina 20:7 (4:2, 5:1, 6:3, 5:1) – full statistics
Croatia: Brubnjak 5, Burburan 3, Vukojevic 3, Condic-Kadmenovic 2, D.Akrap 2, Penava 2, R.Akrap 1, Babic 1, Zuvela 1.
Argentina: M.Giri 2, Conti 2, Lema 1, T. Giri 1, Soler 1.
Extra player shots: Croatia 2/3, Argentina 3/6. Penalty shots: Croatia 2/2.
Russia demolished Uzbekistan in the opening match of the 2021 World U20 Championships. The big difference in quality was obvious from the first minute. Three players of the Russian team scored more than half of the goals. Volkov, Krasnov and Vasilev found the net seven times each. Uzbekistan managed to score only one goal. It happened in the middle of the last period (1:34), but the Russians didn’t slow down until the end, and increased the margin to 37!
The second match of the day lacked excitement, too. The Croats, who were heavy favorites, started slowly. They took an opening 1:0 lead. But, Argentina kept up with the Europeans until the first break. The South Americans equalized in the middle of the first quarter (1:1). Croatia responded with three quick goals to go to 4:1. Argentina reduced the gap (2:4) and kept the distance for a while (until 3:5). Croatia took control after that, and produced a 6:0 series for an 11:3 lead and proved who the favorite was.
USA – Slovakia 12:7 (2:2, 3:2, 6:3, 1:0) –full statistics
USA: Tierney 3, Avakian 2, Cain 2, Zamanian 2, Reynolds 1, Hosea 1,Kranz 1,
Slovakia: Tisaj 3, Ravinger 1, Adamec 1,Baco 1, Juhasz 1
Extra player shots: USA 4/4. Penalty shots: USA 1/1.
Serbia – Czech Republic 28:0 (8:0, 6:0, 6:0, 8:0) – full statistics
Serbia: Radulovic 6, Gavrilovic 4, Radovic 4, Jaksic 2, Milojevic 2, Martinovic 2, Brankovic 2, Stanojevic 2, Mitrovic 2, Pljevlancic 1, Gak 1.
Extra player shots: Serbia 4/4, Czech Republic 0/5. Penalty shots: Serbia 2/2
Slovakia played excellently, but it couldn’t surprise Team USA. The Slovaks dictated the pace in the first half. They took the lead three times, but the Americans equalized on each occasion (1:1,2:2, 3:3). In the 15th minute, the USA went ahead for the first time (4:3). The Slovaks replied for 4:4 and caught up with the more experienced rival for the last time. Early in the third quarter, the USA earned a 2-goal lead (6:4). By the middle of this period, the Americans doubled an advantage (9:5), and there was no way back for Slovakia, which didn’t surrender until the end.
The home team faced a too high hurdle in its first-ever match at the World Junior Championships. The Czech Republic, the only debutant at the Prague Championships, played against the silver-medalist at the previous World U20 Championships. Serbia showed no mercy. Serbia’s defense kept a clean sheet, so the hosts still have to wait not just for their first point but for a first goal. All Serbia’s field players found the net, while Marko Radulovic topped the scorers’ list with six goals.
Tomorrow, the Serbs will have a much harder exam. They will play against Spain, and that duel might be crucial in a battle for the top spot in the group.
Germany – Egypt 14:4 (5:1, 3:0, 3:2, 3:1) – full statistics
Germany: Chiru 4, Bozic 3, Gansen 3, Hulshoff 2, Sekulic 1,Seifert 1.
Egypt: Elsayed 1, Ah.Hamed 1, Ezzat 1, Mohamed 1.
Extra player shots: Germany 3/4, Egypt 0/4. Penalty shots: Egypt 1/1.
Hungary and Brazil bye
Germany, which returned to the World Junior Championships after a 14-year absence, opened the tournament with an easy victory over Egypt. The team from Northern Africa has been a regular participant in the World Junior Championships in the last six years. Still, Germany has a better and more experienced team. Egypt scored only one goal in the first half (for 1:2). After that, the Germans dominated, scored seven goals in a row for 9:1, and secured a convincing win.
South Africa – Montenegro 5:16 (1:3, 0:6, 1:3, 3:4) – full statistics
South Africa: Sneddon 2,Rees-Gibbs 1, Tucker 1, Harrod 1.
Montenegro:Draskovic 4, Vujovic 2, Radovic 2, Perkovic 2, Milic 2, Stanojevic 2,Vucurovic 1, Korac 1.
Extra player shots: South Africa 0/4, Montenegro 6/9. Penalty shots: SOuth Africa 1/1, Montenegro 2/4
Greece and Kazakhstan bye
The match against South Africa was warming up for the Montenegrins. They grabbed an early 3:0 lead before South Africa scored its first goal, which happened 32 seconds before the first break. In the following 11 minutes, Montenegro netted eight unanswered goals to earn an 11:1 lead. After that, they slowed down and saved energy for derby games.
Group A: Argentina – Uzbekistan (15:00), Italy – Croatia (16:30)
Group B: Czech Republic – USA (9:00), Spain – Serbia (10:30)
Group C: Brazil – Hungary (12:00)
Group D: Greece – Kazakhstan (13:30)