England Powerchair book their place in World Cup semi-final
Match reports from England Powerchair versus Japan and Northern Ireland
England have reached the semi-final of the 2023 FIPFA Powerchair Football World Cup after they finished the group stage with wins over Japan and Northern Ireland.
The Para Lions beat Japan 3-0 in their first match on Thursday before rounding off the group stage with a 2-0 victory over neighbours Northern Ireland.
Colin Gordon’s side finished third in the round-robin group stage, meaning they will now face the USA on Friday morning in a bid to reach the final later in the day, where they would take on the winner of France versus Argentina.
They doubled their advantage following a slick passing move between Bolding, Marcus Harrison and McLellan saw the latter tap in from close range.
England then rounded off one of their most impressive halves of the tournament so far with a third goal, as Harrison’s cross was directed in by the back of Japan’s Keisuke Ikeda’s chair.
England Powerchair v Japan
Watch the Para Lions in action on the final day of the group stages
Japan were much improved in the second half and would have scored had it not been for some quality goalline defending from Bolding.
Dave Lewis had a great chance to increase England’s lead following Harrison’s cross but was unable to make decent contact and Harrison himself would feel he should have scored late on but the Para Lions had to settle for a 3-0 win.
Northern Ireland may have finished their first Powerchair World Cup bottom of the group but they produced an excellent performance against England.
Northern Ireland set up well tactically and England were left frustrated in the first half as they struggled to break down their opponent.
But England finally broke down their defence three minutes into the second half when Common showed real composure before expertly picking out Chris Gordon with a cross and the goalkeeper found the bottom corner.
The Para Lions’ passing game was improved in the second half but they had to wait until the 35th minute for their second goal as substitute Lewis produced a stunning strike into the far, bottom corner.
England Powerchair v Northern Ireland
Para Lions take on their neighbours in their final group game of the 2023 Powerchair Football World Cup
England’s focus now turns onto their semi-final with the USA, which will kick-off at 2pm local time/4am BST and you can watch the match live here.
England starting line-up v Japan: 4 Ed Common, 7 Chris Gordon, 8 Jon Bolding, 10 Dan McLellan
Substitutes: 9 Marcus Harrison for Common 14, 5 Dave Lewis for McLellan 20, McLellan for Lewis 31, 11 Tyler Reeve for Bolding 36
Goals: Ed Common 7, Dan McLellan 16, Ikeda OG 18
England starting line-up v Northern Ireland: 4 Ed Common, 7 Chris Gordon, 9 Marcus Harrison, 11 Tyler Reeve
Substitutes: 10 Dan McLellan for Harrison 20, 5 Dave Lewis for Reeve 32
Substitutes not used: 8 Jon Bolding
Goals: Chris Gordon 23, Dave Lewis 35
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