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Published 06 June 2023 4 min read
England Para Teams

England Cerebral Palsy top their EURO group with 2-0 victory over the Netherlands

Written by:

Frank Smith

The Para Lions now have to wait to see who they will face in Thursday's semi-final

Goals from Liam Irons and Matt Crossen ensured England Cerebral Palsy topped their IFCPF European Championship group as the Para Lions defeated the Netherlands 2-0.

England CP’s 3-1 and 11-0 wins over Spain and Italy respectively meant the Para Lions went into this game knowing a draw would be enough to top Group A and give them a greater chance of potentially avoiding the world number one team Ukraine, who face the Republic of Ireland in Group B this afternoon to see who will top the other group.

This was the fourth time in a year the countries’ senior sides had faced each other, after England lost on penalties at last year’s IFCPF World Cup in the fifth-sixth-place match, having previously drawn 1-1 in the group stage, and were also defeated in a Tri-Nations match 4-3 earlier this year, when Crossen saw red.

England controlled possession early on and captain Crossen stung the palms of the goalkeeper with the first real chance of the match after he stepped out of defence and struck from distance. 

David Porcher already had 11 goals in two matches heading into this match and went very close with a low drive from a free-kick, which forced the goalkeeper to save with his feet.

But the Para Lions weren’t to be denied moments later when Irons won the ball in his own half, dribbled forward and smashed the ball into the far bottom corner from outside the box.

Matt Crossen was integral to the Para Lions once again
Matt Crossen was integral to the Para Lions once again

England continued to dominate, with Porcher forcing the Netherlands goalkeeper into a save and having an effort cleared off the line before half-time.

The Netherlands improved after the break, putting increasing pressure on the Para Lions.

But it was Matt Robinson who went closest to scoring as he attempted to lob the goalkeeper from a long way out, only to see it rebound off the post.

And in the final minutes, Crossen made sure of the victory as Porcher squared the ball and the captain side-footed powerfully into the roof of the net.

England will now have to wait until this afternoon’s match between Ukraine and the Republic of Ireland to see who they will face in Thursday’s semi-final.

06 Jun 2023 1:27:00

Full match | Netherlands v England CP

Watch England Cerebral Palsy take on the Netherlands in their last group game of the IFCPF EURO

England: 1 Giles Moore, 2 Liam Irons, 3 David Porcher, 5 Mason Dunbar, 6 Matt Crossen (c), 7 James Blackwell, 12 Matthew Robinson 

Substitutes: 9 Jayden Kenyon for Irons 52, 8 Harry Baker for Porcher 60+1, 11 Will Ramsay for Blackwell 60+1

Substitutes not used: 13 Reagan McMillan, 4 Sam Dewhirst, 10 Aaron Lucas, 14 Ethan Day

Goals: Liam Irons 14, Matt Crossen 59

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