Defeat to Brazil sees GB settle for second at World Cup
Great Britain had to settle for silver on an enthralling final day of BT Paralympic World Cup competition at the Manchester Regional Arena.
The cerebral palsy team bravely fought hard before once again losing out to a fantastic Brazilian side, going down 4-2 to the Samba Boys for the second time this week.
Great Britain were slow coming out of the traps, with Brazil sprinting to a 3-0 half-time lead thanks to two goals from Wanderson Oliveira and a solitary strike from Fernandes Vieira.
The game was wrapped up immediately after the break when Yurig Ribeiro scored his side’s fourth, despite consolations from Alistair-Patrick Heselton and another from one of the stars of the competition, Ibrahima Diallo.
George Fletcher, who at just 17 years old is the youngest player in the GB team, was disappointed with conceding early goals to a side of such strength, but says the BT Paralympic World Cup has been the perfect preparation for their London 2012 assault.
“That was tough today,” said Everton-fan Fletcher. “We needed to step up after they started scoring and we did step up in the second half and we tried to get back into the game. We shouldn’t have let Brazil get those early goals and we were punished for them, but we have to take what we can from the match.
“We will use this process now as we look ahead to the Paralympics. Hopefully we will get Brazil back at the Games, we just need to learn to defend against teams like them. Our first game at the Paralympics is Brazil and we will be gunning for them. Bring it on!
“The tournament this week has been really good for us at the BT Paralympics World Cup, We’ve enjoyed it and have learnt a lot and it is key to our preparation for the Games.
“I’m starting to play to the potential I want to play. I am the youngest in the team and I’m just starting in my professional disability football career. I want to take full advantage of this opportunity. I believe I am the best CP5 player in the world and I need to keep working hard to prove that I am.”
GB took the silver, which is an improvement on their third place finish in the BT Paralympic World Cup two years ago. In the day’s earlier match, USA beat Republic of Ireland 2-1 to take bronze in the third/fourth play-off match.