15 June 2018
England beat Morocco to seal seventh at Blind Football World Cup
England head coach Jon Pugh says sights are now set on next year’s European Championships after his side finished seventh at the Blind Football World Cup.
England lost on penalties twice earlier in the week, against Spain and Argentina, but put those troubles to the side to beat Morocco 2-1 on spot-kicks after drawing 1-1.
Brandon Coleman put England ahead in the second half and Morocco levelled late on, but Dylan Malpas made two excellent saves from the spot while Coleman and David Clarke both scored to finish the tournament on a high.
Pugh said: “There are fine margins in this game between playing for a medal and playing for places.
“The learnings from this will push us towards the right side of those margins and a better team for it.
“It was very hard work today but the players ground out a result and we have finally broken our penalty drought.
“We now begin to plan for the Euros next year and a dream of playing in the Tokyo Paralympics.
“I’m proud of the team and proud of the staff that I work with in it.”
The result means the only team in the competition to beat England in normal time are Brazil, with Argentina prevailing on penalties in Wednesday’s quarter-final and Spain winning via the same method on Thursday.
Saturday’s match began in composed fashion with Coleman having England’s best effort on six minutes and Malpas producing two excellent first-half saves.
Malpas repeated those heroics with a save with his legs early in the second half and minutes later Coleman got his goal with a free-kick shot inside the right post.
Morocco levelled through Snisla Zouhair and Daniel English couldn’t convert England’s first penalty, but Coleman and Clarke were on target to seal seventh spot.
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