Argentina retains IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix title
Date: March 26, 2019
World No.2 adds a second Grand Prix title to its trophy cabinet.
It was Argentina who screamed with delight when the final whistle blew at the 2019 IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix in Tokyo, Japan, as they were confirmed champions by defeating England 2-0 in the final.
In a re-run of the gold medal match last year, the two blind football giants went toe to toe in a fierce contest with opportunities to score at both ends, but it was Argentina’s Maximiliano Espinillo who broke the deadlock after ten minutes. He drove to the goal from halfway, passing two defenders to fire the ball in off the left post from outside the penalty box.
Caption: American Champions Argentina claim their second consecutive World Grand Prix title (© Japan Blind Football Association).
England fought throughout the rest of the game to secure an equaliser, but it was Espinillo who hit the goal again five minutes before the end of the game with a shot into the right corner from eight metres out.
Argentina has won both editions of the Grand Prix (2018 and 2019), and will be after the third title at next year’s tournament.
Spain overcame hosts Japan thanks to a single goal from Sergio Alamar in the last three minutes to win bronze. Turkey beat Thailand 3-2 to finish fifth and Colombia finished seventh thanks to a 3-1 victory over Russia.
Caption: Thailand’s Panyawut Kupan shoots at Turkey’s goal.
As well as the Grand Prix title, Argentina’s Maxmiliano Espinillo won the Most Valuable Player Award and was joint top goal scorer with England’s captain Dan English and John González of Colombia on six goals. Japanese Goalkeeper Daisuke Sato won the Best Goalkeeper Award and the Tanaka Great Effort award was given to Spain’s Adolfo Acosta.
We would like to thank the Japan Blind Football Association (JBFA) for hosting an exciting 2019 IBSA Blind Football Grand Prix and to all the referees who officiated in the competition. We are excited for the 2020 IBSA Blind Football Grand Prix!
Caption: 2019 IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix banner.