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Ireland fall to hosts England but qualify for Rio Games


Ireland international Joe Markey

Ireland international Joe Markey


Ireland international Joe Markey

The Irish Paralympic football team were defeated 2-0 by hosts England in the 5th/6th place play-off at the 2015 Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships at St George's Park. The result sees Gerard Glynn's Irish side take sixth place overall and a qualification place at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

The first half got under way at a frantic pace. England showed great pace and were pushing a lot of their ball down the left channel. Ireland's most-capped player on this team, defender Joe Markey, who was winning his 71st cap, was kept busy marshalling the disciplined Irish defence alongside captain Luke Evans.

Arguably Ireland's best chance of the half came on ten minutes, when Gary Messett made a great individual run all the way through the middle only to see his eventual shot well held by the England 'keeper.

A moment of individual brilliance saw England take the lead when Matt Crossen ran across the Irish box and chipped the ball in with the outside of his right foot on 27 minutes.

The second half saw chances for both sides. Again Gary Messett, who won his 70th Irish cap, burst through the middle and saw a great strike spilled by the English 'keeper who gathered the ball up again just before it could cross the line. His counterpart Simon L'Estrange pulled off his save of the game on 42 minutes when Jake Brown was unmarked in a one-on-one in the Irish box.

Later, England were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Irish box after Joe Markey was given a harsh yellow card with nine minutes to go. The England captain gave L'Estrange no chance and saw it go high into the top corner.

Indo Sport