Para Football
Para Football

Para Lions settle for second spot in World Cup group after narrow defeat to Brazil

Friday 12 Jul 2019
The Para Lions line-up ahead of their game with Brazil on Friday

England had to settle for second spot in Group A at the IFCPF World Cup on Friday after a narrow 1-0 defeat against Brazil.

The Para Lions had already confirmed their place in the quarter finals after winning their first two games against Germany and Japan earlier this week.

And they met Brazil, who had also won their two matches, on Friday morning to decide who would top the group as the competition heads into its next stage.

Andy Smith’s side knew that this game would be their trickiest of the group and that was exactly how it proved as they came up against a lively opening from the South Americans.

They made the breakthrough in the 13th minute with what proved to be the winner, when a short corner routine resulted in a low shot at goal which was diverted home from close range by their captain Maghalaes.

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Brazil continued to press, but found keeper Giles Moore in good form and an England team more than capable of causing danger on the break.

In the later stages, the roles were reversed as England began to exert more pressure and it was end-to-end stuff with the Para Lions pushing for an equaliser and Brazil looking to counter.

And England were agonisingly close to finding a late equaliser when Michael Barker’s downward header from a corner was hacked clear off the line by a defender.

It wasn’t to be, but England will now turn their attentions to Sunday’s quarter final when they will take on the winners of Group B (8pm BST), which could be USA, Ireland or Iran, with their final round of games taking place on Friday evening.

England: 1 Giles Moore, 3 Harry Baker, 7 Michael Barker (c), 8 Dale Smith, 9 George Fletcher, 10 David Porcher, 12 Matthew Robinson

Subs: 11 Jordan Twiss for Porcher 28, 13 Reagan McMillan for Fletcher 45

You can watch Sunday’s game live on the IFCPF YouTube channel.

By Nicholas Veevers