A Northern Ireland men’s team experienced contrasting fortunes in their opening two fixtures at this year’s Homeless World Cup in the USA.
In their first group game in the tournament the team enjoyed an emphatic 9-0 win against Switzerland.
However, in their second match they were overwhelmed by Portugal, who had previously defeated the Swiss 9-1 and Norway by eight goals to one. The final score against the Portuguese was 6-2.
Seven-team Group B also features Costa Rica, who hammered Norway 16-0 in their opening game, along with Finland and Greece.
Later today Northern Ireland will be taking on Greece and Costa Rica in the tournament, which is currently being staged at California State University’s Hornet Football Stadium in Sacramento. It is run by the Homeless World Cup Foundation.
Street Soccer NI, a charity working with homeless people and disadvantaged groups across Northern Ireland, has put the eight-strong Northern Ireland squad together. Team NI are being supported this year by Simon Community NI, Choice Housing, Nationwide and the Irish FA Foundation among others.
The Northern Ireland team are due to play 12 four-a-side matches across the group stages and placing matches in California this week.
The eight-strong squad includes Amin Jalali, Jonny Holland, Alfred Quansah, Caoimhinn Gallagher, Osama Almahmoud, Michael Devlin, Thomas Brown and Talal Alsakkaf. The team are coached by Terry Moore and Justin McMinn.