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Published 17 August 2023 4 min read
England Para Teams

Report: England Blind Women 0-0 Sweden

Written by:

Frank Smith

The Para Lions have made history by competing in the first IBSA Women's World Championship, which is part of the 2023 IBSA World Games in Birmingham

England Blind Women missed out on reaching the semi-finals of their first-ever IBSA World Championship on goal difference as they were unable to find the one goal they needed against Sweden.

The Para Lions headed into this game knowing they had to win to make the last four, as a draw would be enough for Sweden to qualify for the semi-final alongside Group A winners Japan.

In the end, despite plenty of endeavour and impressive attacking play from Sam Gough, Sweden were able to hang on for a goalless draw, meaning three teams finished Group A on two points and were only separated by goal difference.

England will now take part in a 7th-place play-off match at 8.30am on Saturday morning, with their opponents being decided by Group B is concluded tomorrow.

17 Aug 2023 86:00

Full Match | England Blind Women v Sweden

Watch the final game of Group A in full

Gough was again the game’s biggest threat and she almost opened the scoring twice in quick succession.

The England captain dribbled past a number of defenders before firing wide and then moments later, had a low shot well-saved by Berg Moa.

Gough’s impressive dribbling was a constant theme in the first half but a few dangerous attacks were cut short after she was blocked off by opposition defenders.

Sweden did have a chance of their own shortly before the interval but Katie Christopher was able to deny Alice Berntsson.

Both teams then had great chances in the final minute of the half but on each occasion, Gough and Berntsson were unable to connect with their shot and the goalkeepers were able to gather.

Sam Gough was the game's standout performer, creating a number of good chances
Sam Gough was the game's standout performer, creating a number of good chances

Gough’s dribbling continued to be the game’s most prominent feature and she had three shots at goal in the first seven minutes of the second half.

England entered the final five minutes knowing they needed to score if they were going to stay in the competition and Gough would have done just that had it not been for a fine save by Moa.

England continued to push for that crucial goal until the very end and Gough fired a powerful shot narrowly wide with just 45 seconds remaining.

In the end, the Para Lions’ 5-0 defeat to Japan in their first match in a major competition on Monday proved costly but the players can take comfort in knowing they have made history by being the first England Blind Women team to compete at an IBSA World Championship.

England: 13 Katie Christopher, 2 Selina Prieto, 5 Alice Hopkins, 7 Lucja Wyrwantowicz, 9 Sam Gough ©

Substitutes: 1 Megan Brierley, 3 Natasha Mead, 4 Ayman Hafiz, 11 Emma Stead

Sweden: 1 Berg Moa, 4 Lisa Ly, 5 Alice Berntsson, 6 Sofia Bostrom, 9 Viktoria Karlsson.

Substitutes: Helena Thelin, Anna Nilsson

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