The team and supporters were nervous, yet excited, ahead of the first game of the tournament. Upon arrival the stadium was very hot as it didn't have air conditioning, so the heat was quite a challenge for all. The event staff and organisers have been extremely friendly and helpful to our team and supporters and luckily the potential language barrier hasn’t been a problem.
A group of Japanese children came to watch the game, some were the kids who had trained with the NZ team a few days ago. They were cheering the boys on and waving the NZ flag - it was great to have some locals supporting the team (along with our dedicated supporters!), especially during what turned out to be a tough game!
Matthew Bertschinger was named captain, with Tom Kibblewhite and James Matheson also stepping up to form the leadership team.
Despite their best efforts New Zealand were unable to match Australia who scored two goals per period. NZ got one on the board but couldn't capitalise on some key power play opportunities. Final score New Zealand 1 - Australia 6
Best player for NZ was awarded to Arnie Lowe, who scored his first international goal from a quick free hit taken by Matthew Bertschinger - relive the moment here.
View a post match interview with Arnie, see the highlights, IFF match stats, match report, photos or watch the full game, if you missed it!
Japan defeated Iran 7-1 in the second game of the day. See the highlights or match stats for more information.
NZ's next game is tomorrow (Monday 19th) at 19:00 NZST against Japan, you can watch the live stream on IFF YouTube Channel 1 here. Meanwhile Australia take on Iran at 16:00 tomorrow, this is another opportunity for NZ to see how Iran play, tune in here.
Check out the NZ Men’s U19 team page for more information and results.
You can also follow Floorball NZ on facebook, for updates on the go!
Photo Credit: IFF Flickr