Ireland v Sweden

Battle for European Championships Down to Ireland and Denmark

Ireland and Denmark clinched their spot in the gold medal play off this Saturday, after both sides notched up their third straight win and finished top of their respective groups. Day Three of the European Championships of Australian Football saw the final round of group games, the results of which would determine the fixture for the play-off matches this Saturday.

A fit, well-drilled, ruthless Irish side defeated host nation Sweden in Malmö, in front of a crowd of around 400 people: Sweden 2.4 (16) to Ireland 13.21 (99). Playing what is arguably the best team in Europe, Sweden did well to restrain the Irish and remain within touching distance for most of the match. But in the end Ireland’s superior stamina, pace and physical presence overwhelmed a clearly tired Swedish side.

In Farum Denmark, the Vikings defeated Great Britain to finish top of their group and ensure a top two finish: Denmark 10.11 (71) to Great Britain 5.5 (35). The two results mean Sweden and Great Britain will now play each other for Bronze.

In the day’s other games, Croatia defeated Germany in what is fast becoming a fierce rivalry in European Australian Football: Croatia 9.12 (66) to Germany 3.3 (21). Clearly determined to notch up their first win, the Croatians came out firing to score five goals in the first quarter to Germany’s solitary behind. The remainder of the game was tightly contested and often fiery, but Germany were never able to make up for the ground lost in the opening quarter.

In Denmark, Iceland defeated Finland in a close match where the lead changed constantly, before Iceland managed to break away just enough to clinch their first ever win in 16-a-side footy: Iceland 8.9 (57) to Finland 6.8 (44).

The scene is now set for an exciting final day of competition this Saturday in Malmö. Germany will play Finland as both sides hope to end the tournament with a win and avoid the dreaded wooden spoon. Iceland and Croatia will play off for fifth spot, while Sweden and Great Britain will battle it out for Bronze. Finally, the tournament will reach its climax when Ireland play Denmark in the competition’s Grand Final to determine which nation will be the first ever Champions of Europe.

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