Hat-tricks for Barker and Diallo set up Brazil clash
Great Britain men’s seven-a-side football team has made Saturday’s BT Paralympic World Cup Final after successfully coming through their must-win game on Friday.
They meet Brazil, in a repeat of their opening game of the competition after Michael Barker and Ibrahima Diallo both scored hat-tricks to beat Republic of Ireland 7-3 and set up a mouth-watering finale.
Captain Matt Dimbylow’s second half strike completed the rout for GB and the hosts will look forward to the encounter with the Samba Boys, which provides them with an opportunity to reverse the 4-2 loss they suffered to their Brazilian counterparts in their opening match of the competition.
Lining up in a sun-soaked Manchester Regional Arena, Diallo opened the scoring on 22 minutes, which turned out to be the only goal of the half.
The floodgates opened after the break though, with goals from Luke Evans and Gary Messett scant consolation for the Republic of Ireland team.
Both Barker and Diallo were modest about their achievements and instead paid tribute to the hard work of their teammates.
Barker said: "That was a great game, I'm so happy we won and a hat-trick for me, so I was really chuffed. Tomorrow we want gold and I won't be happy with anything less, so we will have to play our best game. I love the competition here and it's a great build up ahead of London."
Diallo added: “We all work really hard as a team and we’ve got a great buzz around the guys, so we’re feeling very confident at the moment.
“Hopefully we can play how we want to tomorrow and to come away from here with the win which would be absolutely amazing.”