Top Goal-scorer: Pat Harris, USA, 7 goals
Player of the Tournament: Shane O'Donoghue, Ireland
Goal-keeper of the Tournament: David Harte, Ireland
Best Junior Player of the Tournament: Francesco Padovani, Italy
|7 March 2015|
|20||Semi-final||3:15pm||AUT - RUS||1 - 1 (4 - 2 SO)||Final|
The two European teams had squeezed through the quarter-finals with narrow wins over the USA and Chile, and it was hard to predict from the early stages of the match which team would emerge as winner and qualify for the next round of the World League.
Play was balanced but certainly not as intense and structured as the previous semi-final between Ireland and Canada. There were many phases played at a pedestrian pace, as if the players were trying to preserve themselves from the Californian afternoon heat. Austria were trying to speed up their play but the Russians seemed satisfied to pass the ball in the backfield waiting for an opening to materialize.
Neither Mateusz Szymczyk in the Austrian goal nor Marat Gafarov for Russia were called into pressing action until the 27th minute, when Benjamin Stanzl created havoc in the Russian circle after a long run on the left wing. Austria earned a penalty-corner and Julius Heimans did not miss the opportunity to break the deadlock for a 1-0 lead going into the break.
Russia came back level just after half-time with a penalty-stroke well taken by Igor Siniagin and the two teams were back to square one. The Russians maintained their momentum and earned a penalty-corner that resulted in a messy situation in front of the Austrian goal; they thought that they had scored but their celebration was cut short by the umpire who had spotted a foul.
Under the Russian increasing pressure, Austria could not manage to keep the ball long enough to develop dangerous plays. On the other hand, the Russians, smelling that they were within reach of a positive result, were pouncing on every ball and immediately creating danger. Intensity of play had increased a few notches with the urgency to score but players seemed to be drained of energy and many unforced errors broke the rhythm of play.
Finally, in a last ditch attempt, Russia earned a penalty-stroke… with 4 seconds left on the clock. Incredibly, Austrian goal-keeper Mateusz Szymczyk saved the attempt to push the match into shoot-outs. Austria were more on target than the Russians (4-2) and squeezed through to the Final and booked their tickets for the next round of the World League.
|AUT||STANZL Benjamin (#13)||GAFAROV Marat (#18)||X|
|RUS||GOLUBEV Pavel (#10)||SZYMCZYK Mateusz (#32)||X|
|AUT||UHER Dominic (#24)||GAFAROV Marat (#18)||X|
|RUS||YANKUN Nikolay (#17)||SZYMCZYK Mateusz (#32)||X|
|AUT||FRÖHLICH Daniel (#10)||GAFAROV Marat (#18)||X|
|RUS||SINIAGIN Igor (#9)||SZYMCZYK Mateusz (#32)||O|
|AUT||EITENBERGER Sebastian (#5)||GAFAROV Marat (#18)||O|
|RUS||PLESETSKIY Pavel (#13)||SZYMCZYK Mateusz (#32)||O|
|AUT||KÖRPER Michael (#9)||GAFAROV Marat (#18)||X|
|RUS||ZAMALUTDINOV Ilfat (#8)||SZYMCZYK Mateusz (#32)||-|