Cerebral Palsy team through to final
The Australian Cerebral Palsy (Paralympic) team is through to the final of the FESPIC Games football tournament, after defeating Japan 4-0 in their semi final on Wednesday. They will play Iran in the final later today (Thursday).
The Australian Cerebral Palsy (Paralympic) team is through to the final of the FESPIC Games football tournament, after defeating Japan 4-0 in their semi final on Wednesday.
They will play Iran in the final later today (Thursday), with a win over the highly ranked Asian rival, giving them a terrific chance of qualifying for the 2008 Paralympic Games. Iran beat China 6-0 in the other semi final.
Captain David Barber was again the star of the show for Australia, scoring two goals and creating the final goal for 17-year-old Chris Restell. Luis Miguel Marcelino scored the other goal.
Australia controlled the match from the start, but it took until the 14th minute for them to open the scoring, with Barber scoring with a low and hard free kick that gave the Japanese keeper no chance.
Barber added his second five minutes before the break, when he pounced on a partially cleared cross by Ben Roach, to steer home.
Two minutes after the break, the game was in Australia-s keeping, when Marcelino was on the spot to pounce on a dropped ball by the Japanese keeper, again from a Roach cross.
The emphatic win was sealed with eight minutes to go, when Barber went on a mazy run to the penalty box, before crossing into the path of Restell, who made no mistake for his first international goal.
A delighted Paul Brown was not just pleased with the result, but with the manner in how the boys played.
"In Australia we raised the bar, now we have raised it even further," he said.
"Our philosophy is not about winning or loosing, it-s about playing good football and that is exactly what we have done in this match and the team is now into the gold medal match against Iran.
"A couple of players have just started to assert themselves on the field. Young player Chris Restall is growing in confidence with every game he plays, while Sam Larkings leadership and communication has improved and he leads from the back.
“Overall it was a fine disciplined performance by the team."
Australia has already confirmed its place at the CPISRA 2007 World Football Championship, which is tentatively set down for Brazil late next year.
Australia 4 (David Barber 14-/25-, Luis Miguel Marcelino 32, Chris Restell 52-) Japan 0
Australia line-up: Sam Larkings (gk); David Barber (Captain), Ben Roche (Chris Restall 44-), Chris Pyne (James Laybutt 16-), Brett Fairhall, Luis Miguel Marcelino (Brett Cross 38-), Beau Menzies Subs not used: Jason Driscoll, Marik Gleizer
Referee - Zainal Hj Muuri