Argentina is the first women’s blind football world champion in history
Date: August 21, 2023
Category: Blind football
The women’s blind football national team of Argentina is the first world champion in history, defeating Japan in the final 2-1. This was the first title won in the 2023 IBSA World Games that are taking place at the University of Birmingham campus.
The decision was taken during regular time, but the Bat Girls’ team didn’t have an easy task. Japan scored first in the first half and went into halftime leading the match. But in the second half, the Argentinian jersey number 10 (in the path of the mythical number for the country), Yohana Aguilar, scored both goals, which sealed the precious victory for the South American country.
The first goal was pure football: in a crossing individual movement from the left side of the pitch, she took three opponents off and scored with her left foot. The second goal was a penalty shot, after the fifth fault of Japan, with some bad luck for the Japanese goalkeeper because the ball hit the right post first, and then on the right leg of the goalkeeper already on her back.
#Accessibility – Decisive moment of the penalty shot by Yohana Aguilar already described in the text. In the photo, taken by Richard Hall/IBSA we have Yohana on the left side of the image waiting, and the goalkeeper is all stretched to the right side just before the ball hits the post and goes inside the goal.
“It is something that I cannot explain”, said Yohana Aguilar about the feeling of being the first world champion in the history of women’s blind football. “I still don’t realise what is really happening or what we just did. It is such a tremendous joy that I think that my heart will explode! This was the third time that I played against Japan, and they always defeated us by a large margin, but we showed that we have a tremendous team that could face them. It is marvellous! I don’t have words to describe it”.
The Argentinian national head coach, Gonzalo Abbas, almost didn’t have words either because he was voiceless for the screams and the emotions after the final whistle. “I don’t have a heart big enough to handle the amount of happiness that I am feeling right now! We’ve been working a lot to get to this moment, and we knew that it would come to us. It was a very difficult match, but we left everything you had on the pitch, and we managed to turn the result around for us. I said to them at half time that they should remain peaceful because they were true lionesses; they would die in the pitch if they had to and would be leaving the competition with their heads way high! And so they did.”
#Accessibility – The entire Japanese team, with the goalkeeper watching on the left side of the image, is trying to take the ball from Gracia Sosa. The captain of Argentina was considered MVP of the match, and what a tremendous performance by the number 8 of the Bat Girls’ team! Photo: Richard Hall/IBSA
In the bronze medal discussion, India and Sweden couldn’t find the winner in regular time, so the decision had to be made by penalty shots. The Nordic ladies got the best (1-0) and were on the podium in the final ceremony.
The final also had another very interesting point: the referee’s team, with seven officials, was 100% women. History was made in women’s blind football in all areas!
#Accessibility – The seven members of the referees’ team that made history in the women’s blind football world championship final. From left to right: Natalia Molina, Romina Racedo, Atikah Rusly, Hilary Ramirez, Julia Kalbau, Oya Kayar, and Mayara Crispim.
Cover photo: Haruo Wanibe/IBF Foundation