Day four of World Championship U21 Budapest 2018 recap

It is already day four of the IKF World Championship U21 in Budapest. Today some decisions could be made already, or at least important steps will be taken. This is already the case in the first game of the day. Germany will want to build on yesterday’s performance and Turkey will want to try to get their first win today. Looking at the games so far, Germany should be able to win this one.
It looks though, that Germany is not able to continue the good form they showed yesterday. The first quarter is one with many mistakes of both sides, which leads to a 4-1 score after ten minutes. In the second quarter, Germany is unable to score. The penalty shot in the last second is also missed, which allows Turkey to completely come back in this poor game. Halftime comes with a 4-4- score.
Turkey take the lead in the third quarter, but Germany counters immediately and this is the start of an interesting third quarter which ends quite surprisingly in a 7-9 lead for Turkey. Now it is time for Germany to stand up, if they still can and for Turkey to hang on to secure their first win. It looks like it will be the latter, as halfway through the final quarter it is 8-11 when the Turkish coach takes a time out. Turkey scores once more and that means they win this hard fought game with 8-12, securing their first win this tournament. Player of the game is Eyup Butahan Arslan for his tremendous work in rebounding and with that, playing a crucial part in this victory.

Next up are England and The Netherlands. England has been disappointing so far and it looks like they will finish last in the group. Tomorrow they will face Belgium, but today the will play against the Dutch, who were on fire yesterday. They are not as hot as yesterday, but they still score a lot of goals in the first ten minutes, which ends in 1-12. Both teams double their score at halftime. Not much more to say actually. England doesn’t seem too inspired and the Dutch are just cruising to another smashing victory.
After halftime, England is very consistent, as they again score only one. The Dutch score two more which makes a 3-38 score after thirty minutes. If the Dutch keep their focus, it will be fifty again. Player of the game, Sanne van der Werff, makes the fiftieth of The Netherlands and her seventh. With that the final score is 5-50, as England scores two in the final quarter.

Czech Republic against Hong Kong will most likely determine who will finish third in the group, behind The Netherlands and Belgium. Let’s hope the Czechs will not be too shaken after the heavy defeat yesterday, but they probably calculated that one. For Hong Kong to win, they would have to play their best, like in their first game of the tournament against England. Korfball Heroes Renata Havlová and Michal Marek both start the game in which Havlová counters Hong Kong’s first goal. After that, Czech Republic takes the lead at 5-2, but Hong Kong slowly comes back and with a buzzerbeater, the first quarter end in 8-7. In the second quarter Czech Republic seems a bit chaotic in both defense and attack. They do extend their lead to 11-7, but this could have been more. It looks like the two new guys, Jakub Novotny and Daniel Stefak are brought in for more movement and speed, but sometimes this backfires into chaos.
In the third quarter this already looks more streamlined and the effectiveness of their plan shows more. Czech Republic is now running away to 19-9 and the game should now be theirs for the taking, playing quite well. Building on that, they extend their lead in the final quarter and win the game comfortably in the end with 26-10. Petr Snajdr is player of the game. He is scores four goals when in this game, he is not even the main attacker in his zone. Also always energizing his teammates, making them play their best.

Game number four is also an important one for the other group. Hungary will face Portugal and this can be an interesting one. Portugal should be able to win, especially if they play like they did yesterday against Taiwan, but then they have to play a solid and consistent game, as Hungary has shown they can play quite well too. And they show that again today, as they take the lead after ten minutes, although only by one goal. The score after the first quarter is 5-4, but they extend their lead in the second quarter to 9-5, but then they start to struggle a bit and Portugal takes over the games. They rapidly come closer and three minutes before halftime, Portugal is ahead for the first time in the game. They score another one, making it 9-11 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Portugal is the better team. Hungary seems to rush things in attack and Portugal takes advantage by simply scoring good goals. After thirty minutes of play, the score is 13-20 and it looks like Portugal will win this one. And they do. Hungary seems to be tired and Portugal simply closes the game to a 14-24 final score.
Captain Sebastiao Condado is player of the game. As all Portuguese, he is constantly passionately encouraging his teammates. He is also one of the topscorers with five goals.

Finally it is the Asian clash between Taiwan and China. Taiwan will win this one, but will the Chinese continue their improving form against this better opponent? They are a bit in luck, as Taiwan does not field their strongest team. That doesn’t mean China will have a serious chance at winning, but it does mean they can show their talent just a bit better. Sometimes it comes through and they are able to score three goals in the first ten minutes, which ends in 8-3. In the second quarter though, the performance level drops, especially in finishing as we only see two Taiwanese goals, so halftime arrives with a meagre 10-3.
The level picks up again at the end of the third quarter. Linpeng Zhu comes in for China and scores three, but Taiwan is also able to find the korf again, so we start the final quarter with 16-6. Taiwan builds their lead slowly, although China can follow well in this quarter and even equals Taiwans five in the end. Final score is 21-11, with Taiwanese captain Chia Chuan Chang leading the pack, winning most of his rebounds and scoring six, which makes him topscorer of the game.