David Porcher scores five as England CP beat Venezuela 9-0
England Cerebral Palsy team took a big step closer to qualification for the IFCPF World Cup quarter-finals with an impressive 9-0 win over Venezuela.
Four goals inside the opening nine minutes from David Porcher meant the Para Lions always looked set to win the contest in Salou, Barcelona.
And there were to be further goals from Porcher, Sam Dewhirst, Harry Baker and Liam Irons either side of half-time to continue their impressive start to the 2022 IFCPF World Cup.
With England defeating Canada 8-1 in their opening match and then the Netherlands losing to the Canadians 1-0 this morning, having beaten Venezuela by the same scoreline in their opening match, the Para Lions are now three points clear at the top of Group A after two matches.
Smith made four changes to his starting line-up against Venezuela, as Reegan McMillan was between the sticks, James Blackwell’s impressive showing from the bench against Canada saw him come in for Mason Dunbar, and both Aaron Lucas and Dewhirst were given their first starts in a major international tournament, in place of Baker and Dale Smith respectively.
England took the lead after just four minutes when captain Matt Crossen found Porcher in the box and he turned well before firing a low shot into the bottom corner.
The former Hibernian youngster then doubled the lead three minutes later with a long-range strike and he completed his hat-trick moments soon after when his cross-shot was helped on its way by Venezuela defender Jose Ledezma.
Porcher then made it 4-0 within nine minutes with his standout strike of the afternoon, as he met Blackwell’s cross to the far post with a left-footed volley which arrowed into the opposite top corner.
Porcher was also involved in the fifth goal midway through the half, as he crossed for Dewhirst to score his first goal in an international tournament.
And the forward had his second shortly before the interval, as Dewhirst found the top corner after some good work from Irons in the midfield.
England made it 7-0 seven minutes into the second half when a neat through ball from Lucas found Porcher and he scored his fifth of the game with a low drive.
There was a special moment for Cameron Osburn in the second half as he came on for his England debut and soon after he played a part in the build up for Baker’s goal, as the midfielder acrobatically volleyed in Porcher’s cross from close range to make it 8-0.
And the classy finishes were not done there, as in the final minute, Porcher picked out the run of Irons and he produced an impressive flick to complete the victory.
Next up for England CP is the Netherlands at 2.30pm BST (3.30pm local time) on Saturday, with the top two from each group qualifying for the quarter-finals and the remaining teams competing in ranking matches.
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England: 13 Reegan McMillan; 11 James Blackwell, 6 Matt Crossen ©; 2 Liam Irons, 3 David Porcher, 10 Aaron Lucas; 8 Sam Dewhirst
Substitutes: 9 Mason Dunbar for Dewhirst 30', 14 Ryan Kay for McMillan 30', 4 Harry Baker for Lucas 39', 12 Cameron Osburn for Blackwell 47'
Substitutes not used: 1 Giles Moore, 5 Matthew Robinson, 7 Dale Smith
Head coach: Andy Smith
Goals: David Porcher 4’, 7’, 8’, 9’, 37’, Sam Dewhirst 18’, 28’, Harry Baker 51’, Liam Irons 60’