By Liam Morgan

Finland reached the World Wheelchair Curling play-off stage for the first time after beating Scotland ©WCF/Alina PavlyuchikHost nation Finland qualified for the play-off stage of the World Wheelchair Curling Championships for the first time after an 8-4 victory over Scotland in the afternoon session of the fifth day of competition in Lohja.

The Finnish side's win, coupled with Slovakia's 8-5 triumph over bottom nation Norway, ensured their progression to the delight of the raucous home crowd inside the Kisakallio Sports Institute.

They will be joined in the next round by China, as well as Slovakia and the imperious Russians, who earned a staggering ninth straight win to seal their passage with an unbeaten record.

Reigning world and Paralympic champions Canada however failed to make it through as they finished with a return of four wins and five losses.

On what proved to be a dramatic day, Scotland and Germany will face each other in a relegation play-off, with the loser consigned to the World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event.

The two sides along with Sweden all finished with three wins and six losses but the Swedes were relegated after defeats to both Scotland and Germany.

In the morning session, the Chinese side clinched second place behind Russia by virtue of a relatively comfortable 5-1 victory against the Norwegians, who won just two matches in the round-robin stage.

Scotland face a play-off with Germany and the loser will be relegated to the World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event ©WCF/Alina PavlyuchikScotland face a play-off with Germany and the loser will be relegated to the World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event ©WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

"Because of how we've been playing this week we were confident that we were going to qualify and we are very happy that we have," China skip Haitao Wang said.

"This morning, Norway made some mistakes that we were able to take advantage of - that was the key to getting our win."

Elsewhere, Scotland kept their hopes of avoiding the bottom three alive as they earned a narrow 4-2 win over the United States, whose performance at the Championships was plagued with inconsistency.

"Coming out this morning we knew that we had to win, so we're obviously delighted but it was still a close game," Scotland skip Aileen Neilson said.

Finland began the day with an 8-4 reverse at the hands of Sweden before they regrouped to pick up a vital win in the afternoon, while Slovakia also left it late to confirm their berth in the play-off stage as they beat Canada 7-6 in dramatic fashion, stealing a single point in the eighth end.

The competition resumes tomorrow  with the play-offs as Russia face China and Finland entertain Slovakia, while Germany and Scotland do battle in the relegation play-off contest.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
February 2015: 
Seventh heaven for dominant Russia at World Wheelchair Curling Championships
February 2015: Russia remain only undefeated team at World Wheelchair Curling Championship
February 2015China and Russia continue unbeaten run at World Wheelchair Curling Championship
February 2015China shock Canada as World Wheelchair Curling Championships opens
January 2015United States squad announced for World Wheelchair Curling Championships