England suffer penalty heartache against Spain
on 30-08-2015 10:42
England’s IBSA Blind Football European Championships ended with further penalty shootout disappointment after losing their third-place play-off match to Spain.
After a goalless 50 minutes, Jono Heenan missed the decisive penalty, meaning the Three Lions had to settle for fourth place.
With both sides comfortably winning their respective groups, many had expected these two teams to do battle in the final.
As it was, both sides had to settle for a third-place play-off – with England having lost to Russia after penalties in the semi-final.
It was England who started the strongest. Top scorer Robin Williams ran through the defence, but just overran the ball.
Spain’s Youssef El-Haddaoui had the first real chance of the game, but found England keeper Dan James in great form.
Williams then came within a whisker of giving England the lead, but his fierce shot was met with an outstanding save by Spanish keeper Sergio Rodriguez Oliva.
Just over three minutes before half-time, Heenan won a free-kick, from which he struck a great effort narrowly wide.
England came racing out of the blocks in the second half. Within just 30 seconds of the second half, Dan English forced another good save from the Spanish keeper.
El-Haddaoui then took advantage of a lapse in concentration in the England defence, but missed with just the keeper to beat.
A block from captain Keryn Seal prevented Jose Luis Giera from giving Spain the lead before English saw his deflected free-kick saved with two minutes to go.
With neither side able to break the deadlock, the game was once again to be decided on penalties.
Both teams were unable to convert their first two penalties and after Alvaro Garrido converted his spot-kick, it was up to Heenan to help finish England’s tournament on a high. But he skewed his penalty wide to hand third place to Spain.