It has been a difficult week for the Pararoos going down to, 2012 Paralympians, USA 2-0 and then Northern Ireland 1-0 in the dying stages of the match.
It has been a difficult week for the Pararoos going down to, 2012 Paralympians, USA 2-0 and then Northern Ireland 1-0 in the dying stages of the match. Missed chances have gone begging and the players and staff have lamented about what could have been.
Against Spain, Head Coach, Paul Brown opted for a shake-up in the line-up bringing on 16 year old Ryan Kinner from South Australia and Jarrod Larkins-Law from Queensland. With regular Pararoo midfielders Ben Atkins and Scott Kennedy injured the Pararoos seemed depleted in midfield.
In the opening minutes Australia seemed to sit back and let the Spanish come at them. Both teams seemed calm and relaxed on the ball with neither team taking the ascendency.
Half way through the second half Spain became the attackers and seemed to lift the intensity. Spanish Captain, Raul Pacheo, made some penetrating runs from the back-line, but a tight, organised Australian defence neutralised their attack.
West Australian, Chris Barty, was up to the task, and stopped a number of shots from outside. Jack Williams was solid in the backline and pressed the ball carrier.
At the twenty minute mark Australia made some very good attacking runs down the right side through Thomas Goodman and Australia were unlucky not to score, but the Spanish defended with desperation.
Towards the end of the first half Pararoo Thomas Goodman was fouled and Australia was awarded the free kick about 30m out from the goal. David Barber stepped up with the Aussies pushing forward in what was to be the last play of the first half. A long ball into the mixer by Barber and a pressured Spanish Keeper floundered as the ball deflected into the net. Australia go into the break 1-0 up.
In the second half, Spain came at the Aussies, but Australia seemed to have more belief. On the counter attack, Australia through Goodman penetrated and squared the ball to Kinner on the left side to slot away for Australia-s second goal of the match.
With moments to go the Spanish pressed forward but the Australians were up to the task and found Barber, on the counter attack, who played a good combination to Goodman and then to Marsh, who had earlier replaced Larkins-Law, to seal the victory.
After the game, Head Coach. Paul Brown said “The boys have worked hard all week and it was good to show how we can play with a few games under our belt.”