Floorball: Floorballers eye best finish after beating Japan

Singapore are second in the four-team Group B with three points (two points for a win) and would record their best result if they reach the knockout stage because there are now 16 teams.
Singapore are second in the four-team Group B with three points (two points for a win) and would record their best result if they reach the knockout stage because there are now 16 teams. PHOTO: SINGAPORE FLOORBALL ASSOCIATION

He had been part of the teams consigned to last place by Japan in two of Singapore's last three World Floorball Championship (WFC) campaigns in 2010 and 2012.

So when the 17th-ranked Republic upset the No. 16 team 9-5 in their second Group D game at the O2 Arena in Prague yesterday, captain Syazni Ramlee was overjoyed.

He told The Straits Times: "It feels great. Finally, we did it! (But) what is more important is that the team fought all the way and were really hungry in the last period."

That hunger stems from their desire to at least match their highest WFC finish: 12th out of 12 teams at the inaugural tournament in 1996.

They are in the driver's seat to qualify for the top-12 play-offs after also recording a 4-4 draw with world No. 12 Canada on Sunday.

Singapore are second in the four-team Group B with three points (two points for a win) and would record their best result if they reach the knockout stage because there are now 16 teams.

World No. 10 Slovakia lead the group with four points after beating Canada and Japan. Canada are third with one point and Japan bottom with two losses.

 

The two best teams from Groups A and B proceed to the quarter-finals. The bottom two will play the top two from Groups C and D for the remaining four spots.

Singapore will make the top 12 with a draw against Slovakia or if Canada fail to beat Japan today. If Canada beat Japan, Singapore will have to ensure they have a better goal difference than Canada.

Singapore thrice took the lead in the first two of three 20-minute periods but each time, Japan pegged them back at 1-1, 2-2, and 5-5.

Hafiz Zubir, Mazran Sutiman, Vignesa Pasupathy (two each), Hamka Shah, Ng Juin Jie and Gary Wong were Singapore's scorers.

Singapore coach Matti Joutsikoski said: "We have a clear, effective game strategy every player shares. We focus on our strengths to deliver fast-flowing floorball.

"We took significant steps forward during our training programme in Singapore and training camp in Finland, and we continue to improve in this tournament. We will stick to our game plan as we know it is effective.

"We won't focus on the goal difference against Slovakia but we will focus on each shift at a time."

David Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2018, with the headline 'Floorballers eye best finish after beating Japan'. Print Edition | Subscribe