Spain, Montenegro, Hungary and Serbia qualified for the quarterfinals after the group stage at the 2023 World U20 Men’s Championships in Otopeni.
Montenegro and Hungary secured the quarterfinals yesterday. Spain and Serbia joined them after today’s wins.
The teams ranked 3rd and 4th in the groups of Division 1 (Croatia, Italy, USA and Greece) will play in the eighth-finals.
Italy beat Montenegro 9:7 in the first match of Day 3 in Group A. That victory meant not for the Italians in terms of standings, but it opened the question of 1st place. Spain and Croatia met in the second game. Croatia needed two, and Spain needed all three points to climb atop. Spain defeated Croatia by five goals (12:7) and finished 1st, ahead of Montenegro, Croatia, and Italy.
As for Group B, Serbia earned a hard-fought victory over Team USA (8:7) and advanced to the quarterfinals from 2nd place. Hungary confirmed 1st place with a comfortable 16:9 win over Greece. Hungary is the only unbeaten team in Division 1. Team USA is in 3rd and Greece is in 4th place in Group B
Japan, Australia, Netherlands and Romania advanced to the eighth finals from Division 2 (today’s report in the second half of the article)
Tomorrow, all teams from Division 1 will have a day off. The winners of Division 2 groups will face each other in the playoffs, while the remaining teams will start the battles in the 13th-19th place classification.
Playoffs (June 13) – Playoff match 1: Netherlands – Japan, Playoff match 2: Romania – Australia
Eighth-finals (June 14) – EF1: Croatia – loser PO1, EF2: USA – loser PO2, EF3: Italy – winner PO1; EF4: Greece – winner PO 2
Quarterfinals (June 15): Spain – winner EF4, Hungary – winner EF3, Montenegro – winner EF2, Serbia – winner EF1
2023 World U20 Championships, Otopeni, Day 3
Italy – Montenegro 9:7 (3:2, 3:2, 1:2, 2:1)
Italy: Balzarini 3, Condemi 2, Faraglia 1, Provenziani 1, Somma 1, De Simon 1.
Montenegro: Stevovic 2, Vukicevic 2, Mrsic 1, Stupar 1, Sladovic 1.
The Italians recorded their first win in the tournament, but these three points didn’t help them move from 4th place. As for the Montenegrins, today’s loss prevented them from finishing on the top of the group. Montenegro didn’t take advantage of a 4-minute interval when it had a player more in the field.
Italy led throughout the match, which was open until the very end. After a 3:2 first quarter, Italy built a 3-goal advantage by the middle of the second period (6:3). But, a brutality foul, committed by Braganti three and a half minutes before halftime, stopped that rush. Marko Mrsic, a hero of yesterday’s win over Croatia, converted a penalty awarded after the red card and narrowed the difference to 4:5.
However, Montenegro didn’t add a single goal in the following four minutes in which Italy had a player fewer. Still, the Montenegrins managed to level late into the third quarter (6:6), but Italy’s Agostino Maria Somma closed this period, with a nice action goal for 7:6.
Provenziani opened the fourth with a goal from a counter-attack to double the Italians’ lead. In the following minutes, both missed a few chances and made several mistakes. Vukcevic halved the distance (7:8), and had a man-up to equalize, but didn’t score. Italy wasted its chances and one 6 on 5 action, too.
Montenegro set up a 7 on 6 attack in the last 30 seconds. Goalkeeper Radovic joined his teammates in the attack. However, Montenegro lost the ball eight seconds before the end. Balzarini sent the ball into the empty net to set the final score.
Spain – Croatia 12:7 (3:1, 3:3, 2:1, 4:2)
Spain: Villamayor 4, Valls 3, Lopez 1Ramon 1, Bargallo 1, Ivaylov 1.
Croatia: Radic 2, Pavlic 1, Cubranic 1, Prkoca 1, Zvono 1, Tonicic 1.
Since Italy beat Montenegro, the encounter between Spain and Croatia was a battle for 1st place.
Spain defeated Croatia quite convincingly. But the game was an even contest until the middle of the fourth period. Spain secured a big win with three late goals.
The Spaniards dictated the pace from the beginning. They earned a 2-goal lead in the first quarter and stretched the margin to three in the second period (4:1, 5:2). The Croats came very close once (4:5), but Spain restored a 2-goal lead before the middle break (6:4).
Midway through the third period, the best scorer of the match, Villamayor scored from a counter-attack and Spain regained a three-goal advantage (7:4). The teams exchanged goals until the end of the quarter, so Spain headed with an 8:5 lead into the fourth quarter. But, at the beginning of the final period, Ramon was excluded for a brutality foul. Croatia had a man-up for four minutes and a chance to turn the score. The Croats narrowed the gap to one in the 27th minute (7:8) and had two attacks to level the score, but failed and paid for it. After the second of these missed chances, Villamayor scored another fastbreak goal for 9:7. At that moment, Spain still had a man fewer in the water. That goal boosted the Spanish team’s self-confidence. After a 4-minute exclusion expired, Spain produced a 3:0 run for a comfortable 12:7 victory.
1. Spain 3 games – 6 points
2. Montenegro 3 – 5
3. Croatia 3 – 4
4. Italy 3 – 3
Serbia – USA 8:7 (1:2, 2:3, 3:1, 2:1)
Serbia:Gladovic 2, Kojic 2, Dimitrijevic 1, Gavrilovic 1, Stanic 1, Kovacevic 1.
USA: R. Dodd 4, Ch.Dodd 2, Schneider 1.
Serbia trailed by four goals in the 14th minute, but produced a quick comeback, which put it on the right track.
Both teams struggled in the attack in the first quarter. Team USA earned a slim 2:1 lead. After the first break, the Americans imposed their rhythm, while Serbia still couldn’t find good solutions in front of the rival’s goal. Ryder Dodd led the Americans; he scored four of the first five goals for the USA that had a 5:1 advantage 14th minute. The difference would have probably been bigger if the Americans hadn’t missed several nice opportunities with an extra player.
Serbia started waking up at the finish of the first half. Immediately after USA’s fifth goal, Gavrilovic forced an exclusion. He was the one who converted that 6 on 5. Thirty-five seconds before the middle break, a penalty shot was awarded to Serbia due to a foul on Gavrilovic. Kojic sent the ball into the net from the 5m line – 3:5, and Serbia started climbing back.
The defending champion added three goals in the third quarter. In the 21st minute, Nikola Kojic scored from a distance for 6:5. But the USA leveled shortly after. Chase Dodd ended his team’s silence, which lasted for almost nine minutes, and the teams were tied at 6:6 before the final eight minutes.
Serbia earned a 7:6 advantage early in the fourth period when Kovacevic scored from a difficult position. In the middle of the quarter, Chase Dodd added his second goal and equalized at 7:7. The decision came 72 seconds from end – Gladovic scored with an extra man (8:7). In the next possession, Team USA wasted a man-up, and the Serbs managed to keep the ball in the last 48 seconds ( they got a new possession after a corner throw) and booked a ticket for the quarter-finals.
Greece – Hungary 9:16 (2:4, 2:6, 3:2, 2:4)
Greece: Kandenoleon 2, Almyras 2, Georgaras 1, Gkillas 1, Bitsakos 1, Pouros 1, Spahic 1.
Hungary:Ekler 3, Tatrai 2, Peto 2, Vismeg 2, N.Nagy 2, Vigvari 1, Szecsi 1Molnar 1, MEszaros 1, Lakaros 1.
Hungary needed two points ( a win in a penalty shootout) to keep the top spot. However, the Hungarians didn’t leave the decision for the finish of the match. They cemented 1st place with a very convincing victory.
The Hungarians scored the first two goals in the match and were always in front. Greece halved the deficit twice (1:2, 2:3).
But, shortly after the first break, Hungary ruined Greece’s hopes that it could earn the first points. Hungary doubled its advantage early in the second period (6:2). At halftime, it stood 10:4 and the winner was decided. The Hungarians opened the second half with two goals from penalty shots and went to 12:4. Still, they didn’t continue in the same rhythm and Greece avoided a catastrophe.
In the remaining time, both coaches tested some tactics before the knockout matches. Almost all players of Hungary got on the scoreboard
1.Hungary3 – 8
2.Serbia 3 – 7
3. USA 3 – 3
4. Greece 3 – 0
Germany – Japan 12:13 (2:3, 1:5, 4:4, 5:1)
Germany: Sekulic 4, Portisch 2, Bauer 2, Hofmann 2, Rotermund 1, Taubert 1.
Japan: Ogihara 5, Moriya 2, Inoue 2, Jo 1, Sato 1, Fukuda 1, Ura 1.
South Africa bye
Japan edged out Germany in a decisive match for the top spot, and the Germans remained the only European team that didn’t qualify for the eight-finals from Division 2.
Until the middle of the fourth quarter, it seemed that Japan would record a comfortable win. The Germans took the lead only once (1:0) and leveled at 2:2 late into the first quarter. The Japanese jumped to 6:2 in the 13th minute and had a solid 8:3 lead at halftime. The third period saw eight goals, but Japan’s big advantage was never in danger. Japan maintained a 5-goal distance until the 28th minute (13:8). The Germans took control then, scoring four goals in a row. Sekulic made it 12:13 with 89 seconds left on the clock. There was still enough time for the Europeans’ comeback, but Japan kept a slim advantage since neither of the sides found the net at the finish.
Germany paid for a poor conversion of man-up shots (2/8). Japan scored six power-play goals (6/9).
Standings: 1. Japan 6 (2), 2. Germany 3 (2), 3. South Africa 0 (2).
Brazil – Netherlands 8:13 (2:4, 2:2, 2:3, 2:4)
Brazil: Oliveira 3, Carsalade 2, Freitas 1, Fiszer 1, Wulfhorst 1.
Netherlands: Mejin 3, Wijgers 2, Snel 2, Van der Weijden 2, Van den Dobbelsteen 2, Schowerwou 2, Ten Broek 1.
The Netherlands proved once again that it was a better team than Brazil. The South Americans had a mountain to climb in this match. The Dutch won the 1st match by seven goals, and Brazil needed a 8-goal win to climb to 1st place and qualify for the eight-finals.
Brazil was never close to a miracle, even though it started well and led 1:0 and 2:1 in the first period. The Dutch produced a 3:0 run to earn a 4:2 advantage at the first break and were always in front in the remaining three quarters. Brazil was trying to come back and reduced the gap to one a few times. The turning point was the Dutch’s 3:0 run in the third period. The Europeans jumped from a 6:5 to a 9:5 lead, and it was clear that Brazil wouldn’t record a consolation victory.
Standings: 1. Netherlands 6 (2), 2. Brazil 0 (2).
New Zealand – Peru 21:4 (6:1, 7:0, 4:0, 4:3)
New Zealand: Keightley 5, Phillips 5, Soldatovic 3, Morton 2, Frazer 2, McDowell 1, Doodunski 1, Johns 1, Brown 1.
Peru: D.A. Contreras 2, Lopez 1, Rebessi 1.
The game had no importance since both teams will continue the Championships in a battle for 13th place, but New Zealand was very motivated to finish the first phase with a convincing win and left no chance to Peru.
Standings: 1. Romania 6 (2), 2. New Zealand 3 (2), 3. Peru 0 (2)
Iran – Australia 3:17 (2:5, 1:3, 0:4, 0:5)
Iran:Behzadsabouri 1, Iranpourtari 1, Mehrikohneshahri 1.
Australia: Munk 4, Krstic 3, Berehulak 2, Valentine 2, Krenkels 2, McKell 1, Lancaster 1, Grgurevic 1, Bognolo 1.
Australia finished 1st in Group F with two very convincing wins.
Yesterday, the “Sharks” beat Argentina 16:4. Today, they were more convincing in another 20-goal match. Australia started slowly, like in the game against Argentina, and let Iran take an opening lead (1:0, 2:1). The Australians netted four consecutive goals in the last 02:11 minutes of the first quarter and dominated in the following 24 minutes.
Standings: 1. Australia 6 (2), 2. Iran 3 (2), 3. Argentina 0 (2).
The teams in the 13th-19th place classification will be split into two new groups.
Group G: Germany, New Zealand, Argentina.
Group H: South Africa, Brazil, Peru, Iran.
The groups will be played in a round-robin system, and after that, the games for the final standings will be played: for 13th place (1G – 1H), For 15th place (2G – 2H), For 17th place (3G – 3H).