After leading late in regulation, the Philippines could not avert a Thailand comeback, suffering an 8-9 loss in a shootout in their final match of the 2020 Men’s World Floorball Championship, Wednesday at the Helsinki Ice Hall 2.
A win could have sent the Philippines to a possible ticket to next year’s World Games in Birmingham, USA, so instead, it is the reigning Southeast Asian Games champions who grabbed that opportunity. Nonetheless, it is still a debut to remember for the Nationals.
The tournament first-times were minutes away from ending the competition on a high note, but the Thais have been at this stage and would want some extra drama. Their captain Pawat Thaudit found an opening and shot past Philippine goalie Patrik Nessbo to level the match at 7 before he sent Jeerayut Yaemyim the ball for the go-ahead goal at 8-7 with less than five minutes left in the clock.
Ryan Hallden, who has not played against USA, then prolonged his career with the national team for at least 10 minutes, when he turned in a Kim Varga pass and sent the match into sudden death.
With both teams turning their defense up, the contest eventually went into the shootout. There Alexander Rinefalk provided the marginal goal to send the Thais to the win.
Chusak Narkpraset provided the lead for the Thais with a beautiful shot past Kristoffer Jandelius, before Rinefalk doubled the advantage with his own conversion.
Philippine debutants Melvin Alm and Kim Varga then crumbled against Auttuchai Sohtree as the veteran keeper sent the Philippines to the brink. However, Fredrik Dahlmen brought the Nationals back to life with a collective effort for the goal.
Jandelius turned it up a notch at the net after that Dahlmen goal and denied back-to-back chances from Thailand. Nonetheless, Hallden could not duplicate his regulation time heroics and missed on his turn against Sohtree, as Thailand consequently snagged the win.
The Philippines had to climb back themselves after going down at 3-0 at the onset of the battle, but thanks to two goals from the combination of Alm and Alexander Springfeldt, the Nationals came within one.
Two goals then came in the second period despite some tough defense as Rhodell Esguerra and Simon Andersson found the equalizer and the go-ahead goals, respectively. Thailand, however, drew back with a Santipong Sukkasem goal.
Varga then came to life in the third period to take the Philippines at the advantage with his three goals of the contest, before Thailand countered with Thaidit at the helm to eventually rewrite the story of the battle.