England and Argentina reach IBSA Blind Football WGP final
Date: March 23, 2019
England defeats hosts and Argentina beats Spain to secure spots in Tokyo final.
Argentina and England will meet later today in the final of the 2019 IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix in Tokyo, Japan, following semi-final wins yesterday over Spain and Japan respectively.
England was first to reach the final thanks to a 2-0 victory over hosts Japan. Dan English scored the two second-half goals – including a sublime solo move for the second goal – to secure a spot in today's final and put an end to Japan's hopes of winning on home soil.
Following the win, England head coach Jon Pugh said: “To a man, each player contributed to a very professional performance and I was very impressed how they stuck to the job at hand, in a very difficult environment."
“We have a very dedicated team of staff and players who meticulously prepared for this game, and I’m very proud and excited by the togetherness and belief in there abilities to win games like this."
“Tomorrow we will be up against one of the worlds best teams, but we will continue to prepare and try to be ready for the challenge.”
In the second semi Argentina, ranked No 2 in the world, proved to be too strong for world No 4 team Spain and ran out winners by the same scoreline – 2-0. The Bats are trying out some young talent at the Tokyo tournament and it was newcomers Nahuel Heredia and Brian Pereyra who were on target for the Argentineans with a goal in each half.
Caption: the Argentina squad.
The two teams will meet in the final today at 18:00 local time, and blind football fans can follow the live stream of the match here.
The trophy and medal presentation ceremony will take place on the pitch immediately after the final. Click here to watch live.
Japan and Spain will be looking for a podium finish in the match for third and fourth place at 15:30. Click here to watch live.
In yesterday's play-off games for 5th to 8th place, Thailand defeated Colombia 1-0 and Turkey overcame Russia 3-10 to set up today's matches:
7th-8th place play-off (10:00) – Colombia vs Russia
5th-6th place play-off (12:30) – Thailand vs Turkey
The IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix is hosted by the Japan Blind Football Association.
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Caption: IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix 2019 banner.