WFC 2013

11 December 2013

The first game in front of the opulent stands of Ostrava's ČEZ Arena was the first quarterfinal, which featured the teams of Finland and Norway. The favourites from Finland had surprisingly much trouble with their opponents. But in the end they managed to overcome the Norwegians.

A devoted Finnish fan, who spread portraits of his favourite players on empty seats around himself during the second period, was quite close to packing his stuff into a bag and setting out on his way back home, because for a long time the Finns couldn't find a recipe for the well-organized Norwegian defence.

The players led by Patric Jonsson even opened the score of the game. Sandra Vika sent a high ball on Jonna Mäkelä's goal and right in front of her Næss deflected it into the net. For the entire first period the Finns were trying to conquer the Norwegian territory, but to no avail. Like in Brno they were struggling in finishing. They broke the bad luck in scoring in the 25th minute only, with a goal by Nina Rantala. Her team surely felt a relief, but they were not yet home and dry. The Norwegians were very dangerous from breakaways, which were eliminated by Mäkelä with sang-froid. In the 33th minute Laura Kokko sent a long-range shot, the Norwegian goalie only parried it and Tikkanen sent it into the net.

The Finns were apparently controlling the game, but they couldn't convert their pressure into goals. The captain Laura Kokko encouraged her team in the post-match interview: “In the semifinal we have to play much better. We'll improve,” she promised (more here). The Finns can be grateful to Rantala, who scored her second goal of the game in the 43rd minute, and secured the spot in the Saturday's semifinal against Switzerland for her team. At the other end of the court Farnes tried to turn the score around, but she remained solitary in her efforts.

“It was close. But we weren't converting our chances, whereas the Finns were,” the Norwegian Tone Einstulen admitted in the interview (more here). In their huge effort to turn the game the Norwegian players forgot about the defence and allowed a goal from Uimonen as well as a shorthanded one from Karoliina Kujala, who secured the Finnish victory.

Skupina ČEZ
Ostrava - City of sport

Moravskoslezský kraj
Konica Minolta

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