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Irish Cerebral Palsy Team Score Cracker In Defeat To Russia At World Championships

PJ Browne
By PJ Browne

Russia are a team Ireland should seek to emulate according to Irish team manager Barry Ferguson.

Speaking after his side's 8-1 loss to the Russians in their opening game of the Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships, Ferguson said that despite defeat, positives could be taken.

We always knew this was going to be a huge test as it proved to be. They’re the number one seed in the group, and in the tournament.

Obviously no one likes to concede as many as we did today but there were positives we’ll take away. They are a fantastic team and they are at the level we strive to reach.

We are really looking forward to the challenge Australia will bring on Thursday.

The tournament favourites took the lead after just two and a half minutes but Ireland did find an equaliser shortly afterwards.

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A sensational strike it was too from Gary Messett.

Picking up possession in his own half, Messett ran at the Russians and after a through ball was blocked, he fired a shot into the top corner.

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However, the Russians had a purple patch midway through the first half and scored twice to take a 3-1 lead. That remained the score until 14 minutes into the second half when the Russians got another to make it 4-1.

The final quarter of the game was a disappointing one for Ireland with a further four goals being conceded.

Ireland now face Australia on Thursday knowing that this tournament is their only opportunity to qualify for next year's Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Progression to the quarter-finals should be enough for Ireland to secure qualification.

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You can watch the full game below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LaCDGf0Oh8

Picture credit: Magi Haroun / SPORTSFILE

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