England exit Blind World Championship after 5-1 defeat to Brazil.
England 1-5 Brazil
IBSA Blind World Football Championship
thePoint4, The Royal College for the Blind, Hereford By James Marshall in Hereford
England bowed out of the IBSA Blind World Football Championship after a Brazilian masterclass saw the Three Lions exit the competition at the semi-final stage.
England made a solid start to the game, with Jon Gribbin forcing the Brazilian goalkeeper Vasconcelos into two good saves. However, it was Brazil who broke the deadlock with a goal from their gifted striker Jeferson.
England goalkeeper Lewis Skyers, who pulled off a fantastic save a minute before the goal, couldn't prevent a fine strike from Brazil's number seven. It got worse for England three minutes later as Joao Silva doubled the reigning Paralympic Champions' lead.
The Three Lions came back in dramatic fashion when Gribbin smashed in a shot to make the game 2-1.
End to end action followed with both teams putting on a show of counter-attacking excellence for the Hereford crowd.
Brazil always looked a constant threat in the first half and added to their lead when Ricardo Alves pounced on the ball and slotted past Skyers.
As the second half got underway Tony Larkin's side came out with a battling display, but England's spirited efforts were cut short by a quite wonderful goal by Jeferson. After taking on the whole of the England team he drilled a shot in the top left-hand corner giving Skyers no chance.
Ricardo Alves made it five at the end with another emphatic finish to cap a quite wonderful display from Brazil.
England will now have to be content with challenging for a third-place finish against China tomorrow.
Larkin was still in an upbeat mood after this afternoon’s defeat, though.
"Great performance from the lads today," he said. "We came across a fantastic Brazilian side. We have to pick ourselves up for the match against China tomorrow and hopefully win a bronze medal."
England will play at 3pm on tomorrow. Log onto www.Blind2010.com
for ticket details.