Day of dissapointments at Euro 2016
The first day of the final stage of the 2016 European Korfball Championships turns out to be filled with five one sided games, leaving less to be cheerful about.
The opener is England against Turkey. This can potentially be an interesting game. Just today England finds the way up, while Turkey has their off day which comes with a squad in this phase of development. Right from the start England is in control. Turkey stays out of control and loses clearly 25-7. They will focus on the last two games for places 8 to 10. England can prepare for the traditional clash with Germany for fifth place.
The game between Germany and Poland is expected to be fairly one sided, but Poland also seems to have an off day. Also their better players seem to lack the spirit to battle their western neighbours with fire. Germany wins 23-11, allowing Poland more goals than Turkey is allowed by England.
Long gone are the days that Russia is a serious force in international korfball. Czech Republic gets a chance to fill up with confidence against the Russian squad. This is game number 3 that is never a real game between these number fours of their respective pools. 9-25 Is the final result and shows a clear division between countries 4 to 7 and 8 to 10. Russia may have had the weakest performance of these bottom three countries. Let's see how they fare on Saturday.
The anticipated clash between Catalunya and Belgium is a deception for those hoping for a stunt or even a tight game. Seven minutes there is hope for a Catalan revolt, then Belgium brings the big Nick and Jesse show. Also here Catalunya seems to play their worst game so far. So Belgium, with Korfball Hero Nikki Schilders, is off to the finals and Catalunya has the Iberian rumble with Portugal for bronze. The end result here is 26-13.
Portugal gives hope for a small stunt by staying in the Dutch trail for eight minutes. That may be partly due to an administrative error from the Dutch side, leading them to make six substitutions right in the beginning of the game to get the zones they want. In this confusion we forget that after eight minutes it's 5-4 only, Portugal is strong. They lose it a bit in the last ninety second of the first quarter and sadly that is the end of the brave resistance against the Dutch semi-professionals. With 31-10 the expected result is crystal clear, Netherlands to the final.
This leads to Portugal - Catalunya for bronze and Belgium - Netherlands for gold on Sunday. What will be on Saturday is a big mystery, as on all informational sites about the championship are only two games mentioned where before there were six... All we know so far is that Saturday's games are even shorter.