Ireland finish Homeless World Cup as Plate winners
The boys in green beat Egypt on penalties21:19 Saturday 16 July 2016, 21:19 16 Jul 2016
Ireland held their nerve in the Plate Final to end their participation in the Homeless World Cup on a high.
Thomas Morgan's side overcame Egypt after one round of penalties following a 4-4 draw, which ensured they ended the tournament without losing a single game.
Adrian Power was the hero as he confidently stroked a left-footed effort into the back of the net before Egypt struck the post as Ireland goalkeeper John Farrell stood tall. That is all that was needed to decide the tight contest.
While Ireland didn't manage to go all the way through to the main final, they still beat Lithuania, Bulgaria, United States, Greece and Sweden in the first stage of the competition.
In the second stage, they came up against Hungary, Chile, United Street Team, Northern Ireland, and India, before competing in the Trophy Stage against Costa Rica where a victory on penalties set up their Plate Final with Egypt.
Morgan, who is an FAI Development Officer, helped to guide a very strong team with the assistance of Sean Kavanagh and the eight players who featured throughout the tournament proved just how good they were against some of the best street teams in the world.
"I'm delighted for the lads. You never know what way things will go in a final. I think we dug in deep and did enough to get over the line but they deserved to win it," said Morgan.
"The referee played an extra 10 seconds in the game and Egypt scored to make it 4-4. At that stage it felt like a defeat but we regrouped, got our heads right, and went into the penalties. Adrian Power stepped up first and scored, and they missed their one - and that was that.
"Over the course of 13 games in this tournament we haven't been beaten in match play, in the format of 14 minutes - it was only a couple of times on penalties. So we did fantastic to keep that record intact and the lads deserved to get into a Final.
"It's great that the lads get to go home with something for their efforts. It is sure to give them a huge lift and I hope that they can take the positives from this into their lives and go in the right direction."
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