Goalball quarter-finals take shape at Tokyo 2020
Date: August 29, 2021
The quarter-finals are taking beginning to take shape as goalball teams in both the men’s and women’s discovered their fate on Sunday (29 August) on an enthralling penultimate day of group play Tokyo 2020.
Brazil inflicted Japan’s first defeat of the competition with a stunning performance to see off the hosts 8-3.
A second half hat-trick from Josemarcio Souza helped Tosim’s men ease past a side that had only conceded seven times in their previous three matches.
Captain Romario Marques, although, paid credit to the defence, against a strong attacking outfit with his teammates having now let in just seven goals in their last two matches:
“We were confident going into the match but what really impressed me was our defence which was a big reason for our win.”
The win moves Brazil level on nine points with Japan although the latter will finish top of group A due to a superior goal difference.
USA thrashed Algeria 13-5 with Calahan Young scoring eight times as they recorded the most goals by a team in a single match at this year’s competition.
After their 11-1 loss to Japan, they offered the perfect response, finally seeing off a spirited Algeria with eight second half goals.
Belgium suffered a second consecutive loss as they lost 4-2 against Ukraine with Rodion Zhyhalin and Vasyl Oliinkyk scoring braces.
However, wins in their opening two matches against China and Turkey have been enough to take them through to the quarter-finals.
Ukraine have also progressed, further enhancing their status as one of the sport’s rising teams.
Australia continued a late renaissance as they secured a second straight win by beating the Russian Paralympic Committee 4-1.
Following a Meica Horsburgh treble and Brodie Smith’s maiden Paralympics goal, the Belles will qualify for the quarter-finals if Canada fail to beat China tomorrow (30 August).
As with their triumph over Canada, a first half clean sheet helped lay the platform for a vital three points, and after scoring just once in their first two games, have netted eight times since.
Japan claimed a clinical 10-0 win over Egypt before half-time to qualify for the knockout stages for a second successive Games.
The result consigned Egypt to a second mercy defeat as Norika Hagiwara netted six times. However coach Hani Eltayeb is grateful for his players to be given the opportunity to compete on the biggest stage for the first time.
“We are very proud to perform at such an event and our first major international tournament and it was a good experience for them as young players so hopefully this can prepare them for future competitions.”
Israel could not build on their impressive win over the RPC as they fell to a 4-1 defeat against China.
Roni Ohayon was taken off during the first half and played no further part, although she admits it was due to a tactical decision rather than an injury.
“We had a problem with our defense but we took this seriously and we actually played well in the rest of the first half and the second half.”
For most players, it would be difficult watching from the bench, especially when your team is losing but in a frank admission, the 22-year-old is not as concerned as others would be.
“It’s not difficult being on the bench, I just have to be ready to enter at any second and I’m convinced of my teammates ability to play an excellent game.”
It was a disappointing way for Israel to finish the group stage but with six points, having also beaten Australia in their opener, they will take their place in the last eight.
By Sam Harris | For IBSA