A complicated start for the Italian men’s national team, collecting two knockouts in extremism against two of the three favorites for the title on the first day of the Ottawa World Championships. We now have to take advantage of the easier matches to pave the way for the playoffs, waiting for a rematch with Nicklaus Edin’s Sweden last year.
Sunday 2nd April, 12.35pm
On the first day of the men’s curling world championships, on the Canadian ice in Ottawa, Joel Returnas’ Italy had to face final victory candidates Scotland and Canada.
In last night’s first match against Bruce Maud’s side, the Azzurri suffered a last-gasp 7-4 defeat. Returnas, Arman, Mosanare and Giovanella started the match on the right foot with a steal from the third end; An immediate comeback from the opposition threatened to split the game at the end of the first half and when the Scots came close to 3 points, a brilliant hit and roll saved the score thanks to a last stone from the Returnas.
Mouat’s goalless goal at the start of the second half served as a springboard for his side’s two points in the following two ends of a very tight game in which the Blue Four held their own. Match till tenth end. Two stones that had put Italy up 6-5 in the closing stages were canceled out by Mouat’s final rejection, sealing the proceedings firmly.
A few hours later, the Italian team played against World Cup runner-up Brad Guschu’s Canada in Las Vegas. Defeat 10-6 in favor of the hosts with excellent accuracy. Returnas took his team to the waterline with two points apiece in three ends, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a second knockout in a row.
The next encounters on the Ottawa road are encounters with Turkey, Italy at 1.00 am today, then Switzerland, who beat Canada yesterday, Monday at 3.00 pm, a slightly easier path in the following matches: the goal is still there. Finish in the top six of the round robin to gain access to the playoffs (the top two will fly directly to the semifinals).
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