IFAF: Flag Football - World Championship 2012.

Austria and Mexico won gold at the 2012 IFAF Flag Football World Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Sunday as the United States were defeated in both the men's and women's finals.

Austria held on as time expired in a dramatic men's Gold Medal game to beat USA 47-40 having taken the lead with only 21 seconds remaining. Mexico's women celebrated an even closer 33-32 overtime victory over USA, converting an extra point to claim gold after the game had been tied at 26-26 after regulation. Mexico's women also won championships win in 2004 and 2008.

While the U.S. had to settle for both silver medals, Denmark took bronze with a 44-33 win over Mexico in the men's competition and France defeated Austria 39-27 in the women's tournament.

"We could not have asked for more dramatic and closely contested games than we saw in the medal rounds," said IFAF President Tommy Wiking. "The standard of play was fantastic throughout the tournament and there were many exciting games. Some people thought the United States would prevail in both finals, but Austria and Mexico were determined to take home gold."

Austria 47 USA 40

USA led Austria 13-0 and 19-7 and had the upper hand at halftime in the men's final, but the Austrians hit back, taking advantage of turnovers to score 19 unanswered points to lead 26-19. USA tied the score and with Austria a squad member down after an ejection due to illegal contact, looked to be about to defend the title won in 2010 in Canada.

The teams exchanged touchdowns and Austria led 33-32 after a failed USA extra point play then with two minutes remaining, after each team had scored again, USA tied the game at 40-40. Austria scored the final and decisive seven points and held out as the clock expired to claim a famous victory.

Mexico 33 USA 32 (OT)

Mexico opened the scoring, but USA hit straight back and the teams continued to exchange scores with Mexico taking the lead each time until the scores were tied at 20-20 and then at 26-26 as both sides failed to convert what would have been a game-winning extra point.

Mexico drove downfield in search of the win with less than a minute remaining, but USA forced overtime with an interception in the end zone as Mexico threatened to steal victory. The drama continued as USA also failed in a last second attempt to break the deadlock.

In overtime, both teams had an opportunity to possess the ball at midfield to score and USA put the pressure on Mexico with a touchdown to lead 32-26, but failed on the extra point conversion. Mexico was spectacular in reply as the first play from scrimmage went for a touchdown and the all-important one-point conversion pass sealed a 33-32 victory.

Israel men and women complete non-medal games

Having observed the Sabbath during Saturday’s non-medal placement games, Israel completed its games in both the men’s and women’s competitions. The women beat Sweden 34-12 and Germany 39-6 to finish sixth overall, while the men beat Panama 42-14 and lost to Italy 33-27 to finish fifth overall. 

Results from the final day at the 2012 IFAF Flag Football World Championship

Men’s Gold Medal Game
  • Austria 47 USA 40

Women’s Gold Medal Game
  • Mexico 33 USA 32

Israel 42 Panama 14 (Men)
Italy 33 Israel 27 (Men)
Israel 34 Sweden 12 (Women)
Israel 39 Germany 6 (Women) 

Final Standings Men
1. Austria
2. USA
3. Denmark
4. Mexico
5. Israel
6. Canada
7. Panama
8. Italy
9. France
10. Germany
11. Japan
12. Norway
13. Sweden
14. Switzerland
15. Kuwait
16. Korea

Final Standings Women
1. Mexico
2. USA
3. France
4. Austria
5. Japan
6. Israel
7. Germany
8. Sweden
9. Denmark
10. Italy
11. Panama
12. Brazil

Source: IFAF