The Irish Cerebral Palsy squad got their IFCPF World Championships campaign started today in Argentina against a physical Canadian side. With their first fixture postponed due to weather on Sunday the Irish were eager to get their first win on the board. However against a very physical Canadian side the Irish could only manage a 3-3 draw.
The game began at a frantic pace with the Irish dominating possession and reaping the rewards of this with the opener just after the 1st minute of the game with Dillon Sheridan nicking the ball off the Canadian defender and slotting home from 10 yards.
The Irish continued to dominate and looked very comfortable for the first 10 minutes with a number of chances. Canada struck in the 11th minute with a free kick that was neatly finished by Samuel Charron. The Irish continued to press the Canadian’s for the rest of the half but struggled to find the target and in the 28th minute Canada took the lead through Charron again leaving Ireland trailing 2-1 at half time.
Paul Breen introduced Oisin Merritt and Peter Cotter at halftime with both making an immediate impact as Ireland continued to dominate possession but without reward.
With just over 10 minutes to go great work from Peter Cotter on the right wing beating his man and sending a shot goal bound only to be denied by the arm of a Canadian defender. The penalty was calmly dispatched by Dillon Sheridan to draw Ireland level. In the 58th minute Aaron Tier brought the ball from defence and was allowed the space to unleash a super strike that found the back of the Canadian net.
A frantic last 5 minutes saw both teams have a chance or two but cruelly the Canadians were awarded a penalty in the 1st minute of injury time which they duly scored to bring the game back to 3-3. Ireland will feel disappointed with the result as they dominated possession and the shooting stats but it was not to be their day.
Irish Head Coach Paul Breen commented after the game, “Although we are disappointed to concede a goal in added time and draw the game, we showed real good character to come from 2-1 down with 12 minutes left and to go 3-2 in front in the last couple of minutes.
“We dominated large parts of the second half which was very good and I believe we can take a lot of confidence from how we played when in possession. We need to eliminate the few errors that led to the Canadian goals. We have to take the positives from the game and prepare now for Brazil on Thursday in what will be our biggest challenge in the group.”
Ireland: Jimmy Naughton, Aaron Tier, Carl McKee, Gary Messitt © , Mark Barry, Conor Tuite, Dillon Sheridan.
Substitutions: Conor Tuite (Oisin Merritt, 30′), Peter Cotter (Mark Barry, 30′).