Austria rock the Boxen

MATCH REPORT: Roland Schlinger celebrated his 150th international for Austria with six goals in stunning 10 goal win against the Czech Repubic

Photo: Uros Hocevar

Sunday evening's early match in Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning ended in a stunningly large 30:20 (14:10) win for Austria against the Czech Republic.

This win obviously gives the Austrians a tremendous boost in their efforts to reach the main round from Group A, and to even reach the best twelve with points on their account.

The Czechs, for their part, will apparently have to struggle in order to stay in the tournament beyond the preliminary round.

"We did not expect to lose the game with 10 goals. We thought we could keep up with them during the match, but that was not the case. It was not good enough," said Filip Jicha.

The win was a special triumph for Austria's Roland Schlinger. The 31-year-old left back celebrated his 150th international not only with this big win, but also with 6 goals himself which made him joint-second top scorer for his team together with playmaker Viktor Szilagyi behind the spectacular Robert Weber.

Apart from the surprisingly large distance in the final minutes, the match will be remembered for a spectacular detail after 16 minutes and 30 seconds in the first half.

Austria's right wing Robert Weber actually seemed to have lost the ball in a counter attack, but he somehow managed to grab it and in the same movement flip it on to wing colleague Raul Santos who, flying above the circle, sent the ball into the net to 8:6 for his team.

This happened at the beginning of Austria's strong period in the first half, when they changed a 3:5 deficit into a 9:6 lead and an eventual half time result of 14:9.

Actually, this strong period which came after an equal start, was going to go on for the rest of the match. Even being two players less twice did not shake the Austrians. 

Unbeatable Marinovic

Apart from Schlinger and a constantly dangerous Viktor Szilagyi, who did not seemed to be particularly bothered by his injured ankle, Austria's goalkeeper Nikola Marinovic could also take a large part of the credit not only for the clear Austrian lead at half time, but also for the fact that lead was constantly increased throughout the second half.

His many important saves earned him the honour as his team's best player.

"Winning with 10 goals today was like a dream. The whole team fought for each other and our keeper, Nikola Marinovic, was fantastic," said Szilagyi.

"I was not sure if I could play today, but I was happy I could. But after twenty minutes of the match I felt that it was a little bad. So we will have to see if I get ready for the next match on Tuesday."

For the Czechs, Filip Jicha and Pavel Horak did their best to keep their team in the game, but in spite of scoring six and five goals respectively, they both struggled in vain in a surprisingly slow-paced Czech team.

Right wing Jan Sobol was awarded best player for the Czechs.

written by Peter Bruun / cor