|November 8th, 2009|
|17||Final 3-4||1:30pm||POL - FRA||5 - 4 (1 - 3)||Final|
3rd-4th – Poland v. France: 5-4 (half-time: 1-3)
With possibly already an eye on the future, France played this classification match without their two leaders, Matthieu DURCHON and Frédéric SOYEZ. They immediately pushed forward and were soon on the scoreboard, Martin GENESTET concluding a swift counter-attack that penetrated the Polish defense with a quick exchange of passes.
France defended well a penalty-corner soon after and could have increased their lead on a ball misplayed by Arkadiusz MATUSZAK (replacing Mariusz CHYŁA in the Polish goal) but Thomas GOURDIN totally thumb led his shot in front of the empty goal. Poland came back in the match in the 16th minute, with a superb reverse-stick shot by Maciej JANISZEWSKI that left no chance to Max WILSON in the French goal.
With the score tied, the game opened up and kept the crowd well entertained. France had most of the chances but could not penetrate the experienced Polish defense, until the 29th minute, when they scored two goals thirty seconds apart by Max LANOS, then Tom GENESTET.
Poland started the second period at full speed and immediately surprised France, with two goals by Dariusz RACHWALSKI and Artur MIKUŁA taking advantage of the disorganized French defense. Not to be outplayed, Les Bleus responded at the other end by Olivier SANCHEZ to regain a one-goal lead. After this flurry of goals, play settled slightly, flowing back and forth with chances at both ends in an exciting display of attacking hockey.
After a yellow card to France, Poland tied the score on a penalty-corner that had to be confirmed by the video-umpire, and then took the lead a few minutes later on another penalty-corner, this time by their talented Captain Dariusz RACHWALSKI, his second of the game. This triggered a reaction from France, and from the crowd, for a very intense end of game. But the French players were starting to be tired and could not shake the experienced Polish defense. Poland finally won this hard fought game, finishing the competition in third place, higher than their initial ranking.