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Swiss cruise to victory against Germany

In the opening game on day two in Salzburg, which was also hit by rain, Switzerland recorded a surprisingly comfortable victory against Germany. Cyrill "Fausto" Schreiber tore joint favourites Germany apart in Switzerland's 3:0 win, making a clear statement of intent in the battle for the role of favourites. 

The stand on day two of the 2011 Fistball WCH in Salzburg/Rif was a sea of colour. Brightly coloured umbrellas, raincoats of every type, wellingtons and many other items for warding off the chilly raindrops dominated the scene wherever you looked and were the must-haves of the day. But for true fistball fans this was no reason to stay in: instead they defied the rain and cheered on the teams with great gusto.

Italy - Chile: 0:3 (8:11, 7:11, 6:11)
The rain presented a challenge not only to the fans, but to the players, too. In the day's first game, which saw Italy take on Chile, both teams lined up in rarely seen "W" or "X" formation - i.e. centre player variation - and, despite the adverse weather and difficult conditions underfoot, produced a match by no means lacking in quality. Although the first set could have gone either way, the Chileans were the better team in the second and third sets and, in the end, won the match more convincingly than many had expected. 

Japan - Czech Republic 0:3 (9:11, 11:13, 6:11)
In the second match of the intermediate round, the fans' favourites from Japan put up a brave fight against the Czech Republic and almost pulled off a sensation by winning a set. The Czechs, however, were equal to the task, came back from 7:9 down in the first set and won not only that but also the second set following a similarly close game. In the third set the Japanese ran out of steam and the Czechs took that one, too. 

Germany - Chile 3:0 (11:7, 11:5, 15:13)
Germany versus Chile - that was the pairing for the third match on day two, with the Germans going into the game as clear favourites. And they lived up to this billing from the word go. The Chileans, having won the qualifying match against Italy, clearly struggled against the record World Champions Germany, and even an improvement in the third set was not enough to prevent their straight-sets defeat. 

Czech Republic - Italy 0:3 (2:11, 5:11, 9:11)
Following their defeat against Chile the Italians started very convincingly against the Czech Republic, so much so that the Czechs were 5:0 down before they won their first point. The match continued in the same vein, with Italy taking the first two sets comfortably. Not until the third set did they allow their opponents any kind of a foothold in the game thanks to several unforced errors.

Germany - Switzerland 0:3 (4:11, 8:11, 6:11)
The final game in Salzburg/Rif was, as expected, between Germany and Switzerland. Switzerland attacked with more determination and beat Germany surprisingly comfortably. Cyrill "Fausto" Schreiber, in ruthless mood, scored point after point for the Swiss at the tape, ultimately giving the Germans no chance on a field that was difficult to play on owing to the rain.

To sum up: Salzburg/Rif saw some world-class fistball. The weather gods were unfortunately less than kind, but this in no way detracted from the atmosphere among the players, fans and 130 volunteer helpers.
The Fistball WCH entourage now moves on to Kremsmünster where the intermediate round continues.