England Deaf Men suffer World Championship heartbreak
Match report from England Deaf Men's round of 16 match against the USA
England’s hopes of winning the World Deaf Football Championships are over after the USA held on for a hard-fought 1-0 win.
A goal from Martin Johnson just before half-time was enough to settle the contest in Kuala Lumpur despite plenty of pressure from the Para Lions in the second half.
England started brightly and Harry Boorman almost gave them the lead in the eighth minute when he headed Phil Swift’s in-swinging free-kick onto the crossbar.
But USA grew into the match and could have gone ahead themselves shortly before the half-hour mark when England goalkeeper Alex Smith had to save a close-range effort from Chris Bourdon with his legs.
USA then had two good chances in quick succession as Smith had to rush out to save at the feet of Jordan Salvi and then Johnson volleyed wide from close range when left unmarked at the far post.
The pressure finally told just before half-time as a slick passing move ended with Alexander Schmid sliding the ball through for Johnson and he slotted underneath the body of Smith to put the USA in front.
England Deaf Men v USA | Full Match
Watch the round of 16 clash at the World Deaf Football Championships
Kehmati Anderson immediately fired over from long range as England chased a quick response but the Para Lions headed into the break behind.
England regained more control in the second half and both Anderson and Will Palmer shot over the bar in a matter of minutes as the Para Lions’ pressure grew.
The USA had done well to nullify the threat of England’s dangerous forwards but after a swift counter-attack, Abdou Jobe forced the goalkeeper into a good save before Jamie Clarke’s rebound was cleared off the line.
Jobe then did well to create space following a one-two with Rylan Casey but his goal-bound shot was blocked by the defender.
The USA showed they still carried a threat moments later when a counter-attack ended with Salvi having a low shot from inside the area saved by Smith.
England continued to pile on the pressure, with Joe Dixon among those to head wide late on and Jobe having a penalty appeal in injury-time, but the USA held on to progress to the quarter-finals.
The Para Lions will now turn their focus to their ranking match over the weekend, with the fixture to be confirmed in due course.
England: 1 Alex Smith, 2 Harry Boorman, 3 Dylan Cross, 4 Phil Swift, 5 Matt Oaten, 7 Abdou Jobe, 8 Ellis McLean, 9 Jamie Clarke ©, 10 Oliver Manoochehri, 12 Joe Dixon, 20 Kehmati Anderson
Substitutes: 16 Drew Rowley for Boorman 34, 19 Will Palmer for Manoochehri 54, 6 Rylan Casey for Swift 54, 18 Cole Neil for Cross 78, 14 Cavell Donaldson for McLean 78
Substitutes not used: 13 Sam Edwards, 15 Gino King, 17 Henry Bowe
Head coach: Sam Manoochehri
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