Old rivals share honours
Both Australia and England squandered quality scoring chances, before playing out a torrid nil-all draw in their Paralympic Football clash tonight at Darwin’s Mararra Stadium.
Both Australia and England squandered quality scoring chances, before playing out a torrid nil-all draw in their Paralympic Football clash tonight at Darwin-s Mararra Stadium.
The arch-rivals both hit the cross-bar in the final three minutes, in a Oceania Paralympic Championship match that more than lived up to the pre-game hype.
Played in front of a healthy crowd, England looked the dominant side throughout the second half but just could not find the decisive winner. English duo Richard Fox and Graham LeClerc each hit the woodwork late in the contest.
And then inside the final minute, Australian skipper David Barber looked like he had snatched victory for his country, only for his curling free kick to agonisingly hit the cross bar as well.
At that moment, it seemed destined that the two rivals would not be split this time around.
Australian coach Paul Brown praised the spirit of his men, and said he was already looking forward to the next meeting between the two sides - quite possibly in Saturday-s gold medal match.
“Considering it was our first International match for a while, I thought the boys did extremely well,” Brown said.
“I-d like to see them play with a bit more direction. Their runs have to be cleaner and more decisive.”
“But it gives us something to work on for next time. I can-t wait to play England again.”
Australia plays their second round match against Korea on Wednesday night at 6:30pm
Australia 0 England 0
Australian line-up: Sam Larkings (gk); Chris Pyne, David Barber (C), Brett Fairhall, Ben Atkins (Thomas Goodman 45'), Beau Menzies, Jamie Paulsen