Finish with a bang
By Matt Phillips
Paralympics GB must beat Argentina on Friday to achieve their target of a top six finish at London 2012.
The 7-a-side team destroyed USA 4-0 at the Riverbank Arena on Wednesday with James Richmond, George Fletcher, Ibz Diallo and Jonny Paterson all finding the net in a great advert for Cerebral Palsy football.
It was the perfect tonic for GB who had suffered one-sided defeats in their previous outings against Brazil and Ukraine.
Proud Evertonian George Fletcher was delighted to score in GB colours, saying: "Words can't explain how I felt when the ball hit the back of the net. The sound of the crowd made it seem like the whole nation was behind me and it was a fantastic and inspiring moment."
The teenager converted from close range after a superb breakaway run from Alistair Patrick-Heselton.
"Alistair is fantastically quick so I knew he'd out-run the American defence although I was still a bit scared that I might miss when the ball came my way!"
"I made a big run from our defence to their goal but it's something I'm used to doing. I've played all over the park so I've got no problem in getting up and down the pitch," explained the 17-year-old.
Head Coach Lyndon Lynch was pleased to see his side finally banish the ghost of consecutive group stage defeats: "It was a great display against USA as we've had a tough time in losing to Brazil and Ukraine and going out of the medal matches so quickly.
"But we showed great character against USA and now we're looking to go all the way and complete our main objective of a top six finish."
Despite the win, Lynch will be looking for more improvements against the South Americans on Friday: "I think we probably need to start a little quicker against Argentina.
"I saw them against Holland on Wednesday and, although they lost, they seem to be a well organised unit so you need to be respectful of that on such a big pitch."
Lynch is also delighted that Cerebral Palsy football is generating big crowds at the Riverbank Arena: "I'm so glad that people have been turning up in big numbers to watch us play and the players really fed off that atmosphere against USA.
"They're so happy to play in front of such fantastic support and I hope we get another big crowd against Argentina."