World Games Korfball Second Day Roundup

Today marks day two for the Korfball event during the World Games. An interesting day, as we have some potential tight games. After yesterdays’ games, we are expecting some more close battles, seeing China and Australia face each other, Taiwan will face Great Britain, we have the ‘classic’ between The Netherlands and Belgium and to finish it all off, hosts Poland will try to follow up their second half of yesterday against neighbors Germany.

China – Australia

As said, we start with China – Australia. Two squads that had a very difficult opening day. They both suffered heavy defeats against The Netherlands and Belgium. This game will be key to secure third place This game starts out to be a great one. After ten minutes of play, the score is even at 8-8. For China, Jing Zhao is on fire with four goals, while for Australia Ashlee Othen makes three. In the second quarter, both teams keep it up. Initially, Australia leads 10-13, but China fights back resulting in a thrilling half time score of 14-14.
In the beginning of the second half, China comes out best. Three goals of Shuaishuai Liang help China to a 18-15 lead, but this time it is Australia showing fighting spirit, coming back to 18-17 in the last minute. The decision will be made in the final quarter. At first, China scores, but Australia’s five goals in a row makes it 19-22 with four minutes to go. In these last minutes, Australia manages to counter every Chinese goal , except for the last. This means that this thrilling game ends in a hard fought 23-25 victory for Australia. A great game to start the day with, in which Ashlee Othen claims MVP.

Taiwan – Great Britain

After this exciting game, it’s time for Taiwan against Great Britain. Can they follow in the same spirit? After the first quarter, it looks like it. Fewer goals, but this game also turns out to be a close one, with a 4-3 score after ten minutes. Korfball Hero Ya-Wen Lin scores three of the four Taiwanese goals. Unfortunately for the game, Great Britain cannot counter the Taiwanese goals of Ya-Wen Lin and Szu-Yu Lin, meaning they are behind at half time by 13-8.
In the second half, Great Britain has to overcome three quick goals from Taiwan. They do respond after a while, but an eight point gap, mainly created by Hsiang-Lin Chuang, could be too much now. After a few minutes though, they get back into the game a little bit, ending the third quarter with an even 4-4 score. This does not continue in the final quarter though. Despite a small revival of Joseph Bedford, Great Britain falls short and sees Taiwan leaping away to a 23-16 final score. Can’t help but feeling there was more in it for Great Britain, but MVP Ya-Wen Lin (first half) and honorable mention Hsiang-Lin Chuang (second half) were a bigger obstacle than they could handle.

The Netherlands - Belgium

Next up is the game between the reigning champion The Netherlands and their main rival Belgium. Halfway through the first quarter, the game already seemed over and done with a 7-1 lead for The Netherlands. After some discussions with the referee from Belgium, Nick Janssens had other plans though and scores four, of which two penalty shots. After ten minutes, the lead is cut to 9-5. In the second quarter, Belgium have more calm in their offensive approach and they make fewer mistakes. This, combined with less precise finishing from the Dutch makes a closer second quarter, but still The Netherlands extend their lead at half time to 13-8. Even though it is not over at this point, Belgium will need to find more variety in their offensive gameplay to be able to surprise The Netherlands.
The third quarter is a lot more physical, with a lot of players on the floor during these ten minutes. The game of both teams suffers from it, but Belgium can keep up with the Netherlands now. Though ‘losing’ the third quarter also, it is again with only 4-3, making it 17-11 after thirty minutes. It is in the final quarter that The Netherlands makes the gap really bigger, resulting in a rather clear 24-16 win for the Dutch. For Belgium, Nick Janssens and Jami Amorgaste took care of eleven goals. Six of those were penalty shots (out of a total eight for Belgium), but this shows that the Dutch defense was too well organized, with Kunst and Pikaar sometimes even defending with their backs to their opponents.
Regarding MVP for this game, it’s very difficult to choose out of so many great players on both sides. As mentioned, Janssens and Amorgaste carried Belgium with their goals. Korfball Hero Brent Struyf played well and was the only Belgian male playing the whole game. From The Netherlands, all players are world class off course, but for me, the one making the difference in the first quarter (and essentially in the game because of that) was Marjolijn Kroon, as she was everywhere in attack and had a crucial part in the lead The Netherlands took to claim this victory.

Poland - Germany

The last game is Poland against Germany. This starts out rather disappointing. Poland is not able to follow up on their second half of yesterday and, after 0-10, they finish the first quarter 2-11 behind. The Polish crowd, which turns up in higher numbers today, keeps on cheering “Polska”, which was nice to hear. It also seems to work, because Poland has control over the German attacks now and they start to score. This results in an even matched second quarter, which was decided in Germany’s favor by a buzzer beater of Sven Muller. Half time score is 5-15.
The first minutes of the second half, Poland is the better team. They score three, but Germany is helped by some arguable decisions of the referee, from which Germany scores twice and then Poland lose control and Germany gets away again. By the end of the third quarter, Germany leads 21-9 and referee Dahiya has his hands full. After the short break, Poland clears their heads and start well in the final quarter. Tamara Siemieniuk steps up with some interceptions and three goals and Kamil Muslianlinski is brought in and scores two goals, but the gap is too big to overcome. In the, despite ‘winning’ the final ten minutes 6-4, Poland loses 15-25. The direct confrontation between Anna Orth and Tamara Siemieniuk ends undecided in four goals each and they are their teams MVP for today.
It would be nice for the home crowd if Poland can start tomorrow’s game as they finished the last two, although Taiwan will be even more difficult to overcome.

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