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Wednesday 18 Oct 2023
Northern Ireland narrowly defeated by Republic

 Northern Ireland are still searching for their first win at the Powerchair World Cup finals.

Before today’s games they had drawn against Uruguay and Argentina and lost to Denmark, France and USA in the group stage of the tournament.

In their two group games in Australia earlier today they were beaten by both Japan and Republic of Ireland.

First up at Sydney Olympic Park’s Quay Centre was the encounter with the Japanese.

Japan opened the scoring early in the match thanks to a clever free-kick routine. Tamaki Nakayama finished the move off by putting it past two Northern Ireland defenders into the net.

It was a pretty even first half, with both sides creating chances, and it was a similar pattern in the second half.

However, Japan extended their lead in the 35th minute through another set piece, and it was Nakayama who once again applied the finishing touch.

Just before the final whistle Japan captain and goalkeeper Kyohei Utsumi was on target, leaving the final score at 3-0.

In their second game of the day, against the Republic, Northern Ireland started brightly and Patrick Cumiskey opened the scoring with a neat finish.

The Republic equalised after Naglis Montvilas took the ball right up to the Northern Ireland net and managed to force the ball over the line past Northern Ireland keeper Sean McKinney.

Both sides had chances before Matthew Crowley got on the end of an excellent pass and finished well to make it 2-1 to the Republic – and that was the final score.

Northern Ireland will be back in action at the FIPFA (Federation Internationale de Powerchair Football Association) Powerchair Football World Cup tomorrow (Thursday 19 October).

Their final group games will see them come up against Australia (10am local time) and England (2.30pm), who are both battling hard to be crowned world champions at the tournament.

The semi-finals and final plus placing matches will all be staged at the Quay Centre on Friday.

The players representing Northern Ireland in Australia this week are: Scott Hilland (captain), Patrick Cumiskey, Bartek Kuszkowski, Jason Browning, Carl McVeigh and Sean McKinney.