2008 finalists Germany and Sweden will battle for the Bronze Medal in Seville, Spain
The 2006 champion France will now take on Austria for the European crown having triumphed 24-14 over 2008 silver medalist Sweden on Thursday. The Bronze Medal game will be a repeat of the 2008 championship game as dethroned champion Germany faces Sweden at 12.30pm. Denmark and host Spain will meet to contest fifth place at 9.30am.
The European Junior Championship features the top American football players aged 19 and under from six countries – Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden – battling for the right to call themselves European Champions August 28 to September 3. The final placing will determine which nations represent EFAF (European Federation of American Football) at the 2012 IFAF Junior World Championship.
The group clash between France and Sweden was arguably the most spectacular game of the 2011 European Junior Championship so far.
France was the first to put points on the board as the offense quickly moved downfield in first quarter as quarterback Frank Bozec connected with Sofiane Mahmoudi for 45 yards and from the two-yard line Bozec took the ball in himself for a touchdown. With a successful extra point by Remi Bertellini, France took a 7-0 lead.
In the second quarter, the wet conditions seemed to affect the teams play as both committed turnovers but neither was able to capitalize and convert the opportunities into points as the first half ended with France holding a 7-0 lead.
Fireworks came after the break with forced fumbles and interceptions, the first coming as the Swedish defense forced a fumble early in the third quarter and running back Carl Nielsen took over the offense. Nieslen finished with a game-high 73 yards and he capped the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run. Oscar Nevermann added two more points with a catch in the endzone to give Sweden a slim 8-7 lead. In the fourth quarter, Nielsen added to Sweden’s lead following his blockers for a 6-yard touchdown run. Joakim Knudsen was unable to convert the extra point.
France replied immediately with a great kickoff return by Yoan Boireau setting up Nicolas Khandar for a two-yard touchdown run. Florian Lefevre tied the game at 14 with an extra point.
If the game had ended in a tie, France would have advanced to the championship, so Sweden knew they needed at least a field goal to keep their gold medal dreams alive. Kevin Sundstöm was unable to find an open receiver as the French defense led by Guiterembi Vickos, Victor Ferrier and Geoffrey Malek proved too strong for the Swedish attack as they turned the ball over on downs at midfield. With less than two minutes to play, a 44-yard touchdown run by Nicholas Khandar decided the game as Sweden was unable to get to endzone on the final drive of the game.
France vs. Sweden 21:14
1. September 11 | 18:00
La Cartuja | Sevilla