Mannheim, Germany (July 26, 2023) – The United States triumphed in an intense 3-1 (11:7, 10:12, 11:8, 11:8) match against New Zealand, securing their spot in the President's Cup finals. The thrilling game took place on a rainy Wednesday (July 26th) at Rhein-Neckar Stadium. Todd Strassberger from the American team set the tone early on, applying immense pressure on the Kiwi defense with his powerful serves. New Zealand, however, responded well in the second set, keeping the Americans on their toes with a series of cleverly placed short balls. As a result of some American errors, New Zealand managed to clinch the second set. Nevertheless, from that point onwards, it was all Team USA. Substitutes Cory Dahn and Pat White breathed new life into the American side, propelling them to deliver their best two sets of the entire tournament. Their exceptional performance enabled them to defeat the young, agile, and determined New Zealand team.
This well-deserved victory secures Team USA a place in the President's Cup Final, scheduled for Friday (July 28th), where they will face Namibia. A win in the President's Cup Final would mark the United States' best finish at a World Championship since 2015. Namibia, having never finished below 9th place at a World Championship, has been on a remarkable run since their exit from the tournament and World Games qualification, thanks to a defeat by Group D winner Denmark in their crossover match.
The upcoming clash between the United States and Namibia will be a highly anticipated contest as they have met only three times in the past, with Namibia leading the series 2-1. Their last encounter was at the 2019 World Championships, where Namibia secured a 3-1 victory over the United States.
The President's Cup final will kick off at 2:00 pm Local Time (8 am EST, 7 am CT) at SAP Arena, which is an ice hockey stadium that has been converted to a fistball field for the finals of the World Championships. Alongside the 9th place match between the United States and Namibia, fans will be treated to more action, including the 7th place match between Denmark and Italy, as well as the two semi-final contests: Brazil vs. Germany, and Switzerland vs. Austria.
A victory in their final match would be extremely meaningful for the Americans as several veteran players have signaled that this will be their last World Championship. The match can be seen live on fistball.tv. USA Fistball encourages fans to stay up to date by following us on all our social media platforms.
Photo: Ines Maringer (IFA)