Recap Day 2 – Argentina wins thrilling five-set match, while Germany and Austria are on track for group victory

Jul 23, 2023

Title defenders Germany maintained their flawless record on the second day of the 16th IFA Men’s Fistball World Championship and impressively demonstrated their strength with a 3-0 victory against Switzerland, in front of 2.500 spectators at the Rhein-Neckar Stadium. Austria showed improvement and secured an important win in the top match against Brazil.

Germany – Switzerland 3-0 (11-9, 11-4, 11-3)

A fantastic atmosphere at the Rhein-Neckar Stadium as the German team thrilled the spectators in their second group stage match. Switzerland managed to keep pace with Germany towards the end of the first set, coming back from a 5-8 deficit to level at 9-9. However, the German strickers, Patrick Thomas and Johannes Jungclaussen, stepped up to win the set. Germany continued their dominant performance, quickly taking a 5-0 lead in the following sets. Switzerland, who were strong opponents in last year’s World Games final, stood no chance. Coach Olaf Neuenfeld made substitutions in the defense during the game, but the quality did not diminish with the inclusion of Oliver Kraut, Tim Albrecht, and Jakob Kilpper.

Denmark defends Belgium’s offense
Denmark – Belgium 3-0 (11-6, 12-10, 11-7)

Denmark secured second place in Group D after their second group stage victory, this time against Belgium. The Danes delivered convincing performances, especially in the first and third sets. In the second set, Belgium, leading 6-4 at one point, came close to winning a set. The game remained even until 10-10, but in the crucial moments, Denmark managed to step up their game.

USA leads Group D
USA – Serbia 3-0 (11-7, 12-10, 11-6)

The Americans lead Group D after two dominant victories and will face Denmark on Monday to decide the group winner. Serbia displayed some spectacular moves and great defensive actions, making the second set challenging for the USA, as they were briefly trailing behind at 10-9. However, the USA showcased their class and won both the set and the match.

Thrilling five-set match in the South American clash
Chile – Argentina 2-3 (13-11, 6-11, 4-11, 12-10, 7-11)

The thrilling game of the World Championship at the Rhein-Neckar Stadium between Chile and Argentina was not for the faint-hearted. In front of 2500 spectators, Chile took the lead but fell behind in the following sets. At 10-5 for Argentina in the fourth set, it seemed the match was decided, but Chile fought back, resulting in an incredible turnaround. Both teams engaged in a defensive battle with long rallies. Chile fought off five match points and scored an impressive seven consecutive points to win the set. However, in the decisive fifth set, Argentina sealed their first group stage victory.

Austria outshines Brazil
Austria – Brazil 3-1 (7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 12-10)

In the crucial match for the group victory, the cards were clearly stacked in favor of Brazil. Only the winner is likely to avoid tournament favorite and reigning world champion Germany in the semifinals. The South Americans had the better start, and Austria made mistakes, appearing nervous. Consequently, Austria lost the first set. However, the Austrians turned the game around when they trailed 6-8 and won the second set 11-9. Brazil seemed paralyzed afterwards, unable to find their flow. Austria won the third set and started the fourth set with an 8-6 lead. Despite Brazilian mistakes, and thanks to the impressive performance of striker Karl Mühllehner, Austria secured the vital 3-1 victory.

New Zealand remains undefeated
New Zealand – Japan 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-9)

With their second win, New Zealand secured the top spot in Group C. Japan, known for their acrobatic plays, showed improvement compared to the opening match and came close to winning the third set. Despite not yet having won a match, they have already become crowd favorites.

Australia struggles to victory against Czech Republic
Czech Republic – Australia 2-3 (11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 9-11, 5-11)

In an evenly-matched and exciting duel, Czech Republic’s two-set lead was not enough for a second group stage victory. Australia fought back to equalize and dominated the decisive fifth set.

Determined Italy defeats tenacious Namibia
Italy – Namibia 3-0 (15-13, 11-9, 13-11)

In a tight and thrilling floodlit match, Italy emerged victorious against the African team. The “Azzuris,” led by veteran Armin Runer, won two of the three sets in overtime. Namibia put up a passionate fight but could not reward themselves with a set win.

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