IBSA Blind Football European Championships underway in Hereford
Date: August 24, 2015
The 10th IBSA Blind Football European Championships kicked off in style on Saturday afternoon and we have now seen two days of compelling action from the best blind footballers in the continent.
Following match day 2, England and Spain lead groups A and B respectively after two wins apiece. The hosts crushed first-timers Poland 7-0 in the opening match of the tournament and defeated Italy 4-0 yesterday evening in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. England’s Robin Williams is the tournament’s top scorer so far on 5 goals.
Caption: England's Turnham shoots against Poland.
Reigning European champions Spain, looking to win their eighth European title, faced newcomers Belgium in their opening match. The game was tighter than expected as Belgium showed they are a force to be reckoned with on the European stage, but Spain’s experience showed through in the end and a second-half strike from Acosta was enough to bag the three points.
Spain then faced Greece, a side boasting a number of new players. The reigning champions proved to be too strong for the Greeks and ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from El Hadaoui and Acosta.
Caption: Spanish players celebrate a goal.
Turkey sits second in group A on four points thanks to a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Germany on Saturday evening and a convincing 6-0 win over Poland yesterday. Germany is third on one point, having played only one match so far, and Italy and Poland are fourth and fifth respectively.
In Group B Russia opened their account with a 1-0 victory over France thanks to a second-half goal from Egorov. France made amends yesterday by defeating Belgium 1-0 (Labarre, min. 23), and both Russia and France now sit on three points, with Russia having played only one game to date.
Caption: Labarre scores from the eight-metre penalty spot against Belgium.
The top two teams at the IBSA Blind Football European Championships qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Today’s matches (all times local):
13:00 Russia vs. Belgium
15:00 Italy vs. Turkey
17:30 Greece vs. France
19:30 Germany vs. Poland
Follow all the action live via streaming or audio coverage, on the championships web site or on the IBSA Blind Football Facebook group.
Caption: Poster for the championships with the slogan 'trust your senses'.