Swedes blown away by Northwind at Mordialloc
Sunday, August 17 2014 @ 08:20 am ACST
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
Canada put on a slick display of football at Mordialloc on Saturday, winning 20.10 (130) to Sweden no score.
Whilst both sides impressed the enthusiastic local crowd with fast, tough, physical footy, it was the Canadians who entertained with their precision hand and foot skills.
The match potentially could have awarded the Canadians fourth spot after the pool matches and a shot at lifting the International Cup, and the Northwind players knew they wanted to hit the ground running.
Played after the Mordialloc vs Skye reserves match, the crowd was already of a decent size when the Canadians and Swedes lined up for their national anthems. The Mordialloc Bloods fans were notably favouring their red-and-white compatriots in the Northwind, but the Elks had a good contingent of local Swedish expats on hand to support - evidenced by the impassioned cry that went up when Andy Svensson yelled "are there any Swedes in the crowd?" in Swedish.
The first quarter opened with Canada attacking but struggling to find targets, until big Neil Casey marked in the goalsquare and kicked the Northwind's first. This was followed by two goals from set shots to Nathan Strom, another from a strong mark taken by Michael Kolwinski, and finally one to Adam Nash, who roved off a dropped mark and tumbled through a goal.
At the first break, it was Canada 5.2 to Sweden yet to score. The Swedes were finding it tough to break through into their forward half of the ground, with the Canadians holding them tight across the centre.
The second quarter opened with more of the same, Nathan Miller impressing the crowd with his precision passing via his left foot. Strom slotted another from a long way out, then Nash picked up another from a 50m penalty. For the Swedes, the bearded Kevin Navarro was working hard across halfback, and stalwart veteran Andreas Svensson was leading by example in the middle. However, the Elks were still unable to hit any targets and clear past the centre, with their decision-making under pressure seeing them give away numerous turnovers.
A goal after the siren to Neil Casey saw the margin at half time 75 points in Canada's favour.
Canada hit hard in the opening stages of the third quarter. Strom, Nash, Casey and Kolwinski continued to generate goals, including a spectacular gather and tumbling goal late in the quarter from Nash.
The final term saw Neil Casey kick two roving goals, manipulating his 198cm frame into position to gather and snap around the corner. The crowd who had arrived to watch the senior match between SFL clubs Mordialloc and Skye were vocal in their appreciation of both sides' efforts - with many noting that some of the Canadians were displaying better foot skills than a lot of players who had grown up playing suburban Melbourne footy.
For the Swedes' part, Kavarro continued to battle in defence right to the end, and the crowd were right behind veteran Svensson and Chris Mårtensson.
The Swedes landed 13th position overall for the IC, although this should give them the opportunity to comfortably account for Indonesia on Tuesday. Canada achieved fifth, and could have made it into the top four if the South Africans had managed to beat PNG by another few goals at Geelong. As it stands, Canada will face Pakistan on Tuesday, which they would be strongly favoured to win, setting themselves up for a clash against either Fiji or Tonga to win Div 1.
Canada: Casey 5, Nash 5, Strom 4, Kozlowski 3, Lund 2, Millar
Canada: Strom, Nash, Casey, Duggan, Armstrong, Millar
Sweden: Svensson, Martensson, Sund, Olsson, Koinberg, Tellstrom