IFA Under 17 World Cup round up: final day

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IFA Under 17 World Cup round up: final day

It’s been quite a tournament. Goals have flown in left, right and centre, the quality of play has been sublime and, just as soon as the tournament ended, we had all started to get used to the loudest buzzer in world futsal.

Last night, however, wasn’t about the thrills and spills – it was about determining final standings. First there was a third place play off to contest, between Scotland and Pakistan, and that would be followed by the evening’s main event, the final between the USA and Australia.

Scotland and Pakistan were the two teams to open the evening’s proceedings. With third place up for grabs Scotland made a perfect start as they went 1-0 up inside two minutes. They then added two further goals, after five minutes, to make it 3-0.

Any suggestions that this could be a walkover were soon extinguished as Pakistan continued to show the determination that had been customary throughout the competition. They rallied, scored two good goals in the process, and they went into the half time break just the one goal behind.

In the second half Scotland’s play improved and they stretched their lead within the first few minutes, making it 6-2. Pakistan, however, rallied once more to make it 6-4 by the 28th minute of game.

Scotland appeared to have the tie wrapped up as they scored goals seven, eight and nine but a quick-fire Pakistan double continued to give them a few nervy moment. However Scotland found the net a further three times as the match finished 12-6 in favour of the hosts.

It was then time for the final itself as the USA and Australia geared up for the match that would decide who would be crowned champions. Everyone at the Dundee International Sports Complex was treated to a tasty encounter.

After several close efforts, and some great futsal, from both sides it was Australia that gained the initial advantage through Liam Dawson, who was to have a mightily impressive showing in the final.

Despite the USA’s best efforts to grab an equalising goal Australia scored their second in the 14th minute through Papaspiropolos. It remained 2-0 going into half time.

Both teams continued to battle hard in the second period but the USA managed to successfully pull a goal back in the 29th minute. Luca Scotzniovsky was the man to slot home past the impressive Seb Stankovic in the Australian goal.

The USA came close to leveling the match on several occasions, after being denied by the woodwork three separate times. That was to prove crucial as Dawson made it 3-1 to Australia with just three minutes remaining.

Any hope of a US comeback was soon to be extinguished as Diangelo Smith-Gleaves inadvertently redirected a long pass, from Stankovic, into his own net to make it 4-1.

Second penalties then followed thick and fast, with Papaspiropolos netting two of them to further extend Australia’s winning margin.

Soon the final buzzer sounded and the Aussie’s could celebrate their 6-1 win that brought with it the title of champions. While the score may look like it was an easy game at first glance, it was anything but. Certainly, considering the way both sets of players left the court, it was clear how much each had worked for it and how much they wanted to win.

Every team at this World Cup has done themselves justice. Not just in the way that they have played the game but in the manner that they have conducted themselves off the court. You will never see a finer collection of gentlemen anywhere.

While Australia have won the tournament each team can be proud. It is because of them, and the hard work of the organisers, that this World Cup has been such a success. It is this collection of gentlemen that could well have started something momentous.

Click here for the full Scotland v Pakistan match report

Click here for the full USA v Australia match report

Australia crowned IFA under 17 World Cup champions following epic finale with the USA

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Australia crowned IFA under 17 World Cup champions following epic finale with the USA

The stage was set for the IFA under 17’s World Cup final between USA and Australia. The USA picked up a fine victory over Scotland, in the semi final, and showed that they are a very organised unit. Australia have been in dominant form, answering every question that has been asked of them in this tournament so far.

Australia had the first opportunity of the game through a Mitch Dobson free kick. Two players ran over the ball before Dobson slammed the ball towards the American rearguard but the effort went wide of the left post.

Soon afterward a long throw out from USA goalkeeper Alejandro Gonzalez found Carlos Armendariz up top. However, his effort just went over the bar. It was only the early stages of the game but it was developing into a cracker of a game for the spectators at the Dundee International Sports Complex.

In the seventh minute, Jonathan Franco went on a mazy run for the USA but ran into the keeper then, at the other end, Australia’s Patrick Langlois sent a shot just wide.

Soon it was Kevin Robertson to have an effort on goal, from the edge of the box, but Gonzalez was on hand to save. You could sense that a goal was coming, with the game becoming an end-to-end display.

Jonathan Franco played in Carlos Armendariz, in the tenth minute for the USA, however Seb Stankovic, in the Aussie goal, saved his powerful effort excellently.

Australia then had an effort of their own, courtesy of Liam Dawson, which was the clearest effort of the game so far. His goal bound strike was denied on the line by a phenomenal clearance from Diangelo Smith-Gleaves.

The Aussies were soon celebrating as they took the lead shortly after. Following a neat build up Liam Dawson was on hand to slide it past the American goalkeeper from close range. Dawson had had a decent game for the Aussies and was rewarded with a goal.

The USA were eager to get back into the game as they searched for a swift equaliser. Smith-Gleaves had an effort, which was denied well by Stankovic. The talented striker got past the Australian defence and took the shot but it was straight at the big goalkeeper.

Australia then made it 2-0 in the 14th minute after a long ball from Atayde found Papaspiropolos and the tall striker was on hand to slot the ball past Gonzalez. This time the American keeper had no chance.

As the first half was reaching its climax, both teams were playing some good futsal but couldn’t muster any more goals before the break.

Half Time: USA 0-2 Australia

The start of the second half was very quiet with Australia trying to protect their two-goal lead.

The first chance of the second period arrived five minutes in and it proved to be a golden chance for the USA. Carlos Armendariz played the ball into Luca Scotzniovsky, two players who possess natural creative talent, however the ball just fizzed past the post.

The US had another chance, after Jonathan Franco played in Diangelo Smith-Gleaves, who then worked his way into a good position. Unfortunately his powerful effort went wide of the mark. The latter then went on a mazy run and forced Stankovic to tip the ball round the post.

The USA’s pressure was soon rewarded as they pulled a goal back in the 29th minute. Jonathan Franco found Luca Scotzniovsky and the talented player found the bottom left corner. The comeback was most certainly on and it made for an interesting but frantic last ten minutes of the final and this tournament.

Armendariz executed an attempted lob, shortly after, toward the Australia goal, as the USA piled on the pressure, however the effort just went over the crossbar. The USA were turning the screw but Australia were managing to weather the storm.

Luca Scotzniovsky then played in Jonathan Franco, who subsequently managed to turn his marker, but the bar also denied his powerful effort from the edge of the box.

With four minutes left in the IFA World Cup final arguably the most frantic futsal was soon to be witnessed. Franco, of the US, broke past a defender and his shot also hit the post before being cleared.

Australia soon punished the USA for those missed chances with three minutes to play. A long ball found Liam Dawson, who sealed the win by putting it away expertly beyond the USA goalkeeper.

Immediately after Australia had scored, they were on the ascendency again and were soon awarded a second penalty, taken by Mitch Dobson. Gonzalez was able to save it, using his face no less, to preserve a modicum of hope for the United States.

The hope was soon to be extinguished as Smith-Gleaves inadvertently redirected a long pass, from Stankovic, into his own net to make it 4-1.

Second penalties were then awarded thick and fast in Australia’s favour. Manoli Papaspiropolos, the talented forward, took two in total, and put the game to bed in the process.

Two more second penalties followed before the final whistle with one for each side. The USA’s was saved by Seb Stankovic, before Seth Telfer, who had so recently suffered from an ACL injury, took a spot-kick with 33 seconds to go. However, Gonzalez denied it excellently with his left foot.

Huge congratulations go to Australia on winning the inaugural IFA under 17 World Cup at Under 17’s level. There is no doubt that they have shown, throughout the course of the week, that they thoroughly deserve this success. They played some outstanding, attractive futsal that spurred the crowds to come out and watch them.

The USA did themselves justice throughout the tournament and, while the score line appears harsh, they were inches away from grabbing an equaliser in the second half on more than one occasion.

The day and the trophy, however, belongs to the Australians who can celebrate a superb achievement and an outstanding tournament showing.

Full Time: USA 1-6 Australia 

USA: Alejandro Gonzalez, Diangelo Smith-Gleaves, Pablo Almontes, Luca Scotzniovsky, Adrian Medina, Carlos Armendariz, Jonathan Franco, Ricardo Duarte

Star Player: Armendariz

Australia: Harley Brown, Jared Linger, Jose Atayde, Mitch Dobson, Kevin Robertson, Matt Schmidt, Lachlan Buxton, Patrick Langlois, Manoli Papaspiropolos, Kane Pollard, Musa Kamara, Liam Dawson, Seth Telfer, Seb Stankovic

Star Player: Dawson

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Scotland secure third place with win against Pakistan

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Scotland secure third place with win against Pakistan

Scotland secured third place at the IFA U17’s World Cup following a thrilling 12-6 victory over Pakistan. The hosts eventually picked up the victory despite an inspired performance from Pakistan goalkeeper Moneeb Khan.

Scotland got the game off to the perfect start, with a goal inside two minutes. Liam Kelly picked out Sam Pirrie, and the Scotland captain lifted the ball into the net.

Pirrie was involved at the other end three minutes later. The skipper’s last ditch tackle denying Muhammad Raza Kahn what would have been a certain equaliser. Scotland doubled their lead a minute later, Dell Newlands with the finish.

Seconds later, it was three. Blair McCord picked out Ross McLaren, and Scotland’s number nine found the net with ease. Pakistan refused to succumb further to the Scotland pressure and on 10 minutes pulled a goal back. Ciaran Pugh had denied Kumail Fattahy and Ganhera Moiz, but the latter managed to beat the Scotland keeper.

Scotland nearly re-established their two goal advantage but Cameron Robertson’s effort came off the post.

With just four minutes of the first half remaining, Moneeb Khan pulled off a stunning double save. From this, Pakistan broke and Someer Nadaf fired the ball into the net. The visitors would have been level a minute later, but Scotland goalkeeper Lewis Forbes did well to deny Moiz.

With the half time buzzer approaching, both sides would create an opportunity to add to their totals. McLaren sent his effort crashing against the Pakistan crossbar. Up at the other end, Forbes denied Nadaf, but Fattahy couldn’t convert the rebound.

Half Time: Scotland 3-2 Pakistan

The second half got off to the perfect start for Scotland. Robertson finding the net with a composed left foot finish.

Four minutes later, Scotland were 5-2 ahead. Liam Kelly’s shot squirmed through the legs of Moneeb Kahn and into the back of the net. An unfortunate moment for the goalkeeper, who had pulled off some fantastic saves up to that point.

Scotland added a sixth not long after. McLaren applying the finishing touch to a swift counter attack. With 27 minutes played, Scotland lost Callum Downie. The defender bundled over Nadaf and as the last man, was shown a red card. From the resulting free kick, the ball broke to Nadaf who drilled the ball into the net from distance.

Pakistan were refusing to lie down and on 28 minutes reduced the deficit to two. Nadaf completed his hat trick, lifting a long ball over Pugh in the Scotland goal and into the net.

The next goal went the way of Scotland and came courtesy of another counter-attack. Robertson with the low finish for Scotland’s seventh of the match. Robertson grabbed the eighth seconds later, poking the ball under Moneeb Khan.

Scotland appeared to have wrapped the tie up with four minutes remaining when McLaren scored the ninth, but two quick fire goals from Moiz set up a nervy finish for the hosts.

Unfortunately for the Pakistani’s Scotland found the net three more times in the remaining three minutes. McLaren found the net once more before Alex Chingwalu and Andrew Santos found the net, confirming Scotland’s third place finish.

Full Time: Scotland 12-6 Pakistan

Scotland: Lewis Forbes, Daniel Gilbride, Callum Downie, Cammy Robertson, Sam Pirrie, Sam Noble, Liam Kelly, Alex Chingwalu, Ross McLaren, Dell Newlands, Cameron Robertson, Blair McCord, Andrew Santos, Ciaran Pugh

Star Player: McLaren

Pakistan: Chaudhry Muhammad Hussan, Ibrar Khan, Moiz Akhtar Ganhera, Syed Muhammad Hussain Raza, Moneeb Ur Rehan Khan, Muhammad Haseeb Iqbal, Muhammad Ahmed Raza Khan, Kumail Fattahy Pour, Hashim Khan, Akmal Ahmed, Nazz Muhammad, Jomeer Nassif

Star Player: Rehan Khan

IFA Under 17 World Cup round up: day four

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IFA Under 17 World Cup round up: day four

It will be USA v Australia in the grand finale after the USA edged past Scotland, whilst Australia saw off Pakistan, in two enthralling games at the Dundee International Sports Complex.

Carlos Armendariz gave the USA the perfect start, after three minutes, when the talented forward showed skill to beat the last man before placing the ball through the legs of Scotland goalkeeper Lewis Forbes.

Scotland responded immediately just a minute later after Liam Kelly broke clear and dispatched the ball into the bottom left corner.

The next goal arrived in the ninth minute and it was the US who were back in front after Pablo Altamontes bundled home after an initial effort from Luca Scotzniovski.

Daniel Gilbride then equalised for Scotland in the second half after calmly rolling the ball home.

Scotland then scored the goal of the game after Callum Downie lost his man before unleashing a great shot past Alejandro Gonzalez, putting the hosts in front. This gave the Tartan Army something to cheer about and the atmosphere lightened up towards the tail end of the game.

The USA then broke Scottish hearts thanks to a Ricardo Duarte equaliser and a Scotzniovski imspired winner two minutes from time.

It was a great game for the spectators to view and showed what futsal is about with some quick movements and some emotional moments.

Australia had an easier passage to the final beating Pakistan 14-2 with hat-tricks from Manoli Papaspiropolos, Liam Dawson, Lachlan Buxton and Matt Schmidt.

Kane Pollard and Kevin Robertson also managed to get themselves on the scoresheet. Pakistan responded with some consolation goals courtesy of Rehan Khan who picked up man of the match for his relentless efforts.

Tonight sees Scotland v Pakistan in the 3rd/4th placed play off, at 6pm, before the USA and Australia face off in the final at 7:45pm to determine who will be crowned IFA under 17 World Cup winners.

Click here for the full Scotland v USA match report

Click here for the full Pakistan v Australia match report

Australia make it four wins in four as they beat Pakistan to progress to final

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Australia make it four wins in four as they beat Pakistan to progress to final

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Australia will take on the USA in the final of the IFA U17’s Futsal World Cup after a resounding 14-2 victory against a spirited Pakistan side. Three goals in the opening three minutes got Australia off to the perfect start and the men in yellow never looked back, finding the net 11 more times. A brace from Hashim Kahn was the highlight for Pakistan, who will battle it out for third place against Scotland, who were edged out by the American’s earlier in the evening.

Australia found themselves ahead within the opening 60 seconds, courtesy of Manoli Papaspiropolos’ side foot effort. Matt Schmidt and Lachlan Buxton both found the net in the second and third minutes respectively.

Pakistan’s first effort came after seven minutes. Hashim Kahn’s effort from distance brought a save out of Australia’s Harley Brown. The Aussies were content to hold possession and added a fourth courtesy of Liam Dawson.

The biggest cheer of the evening came following Pakistan’s first goal of the match. Hashim Kahn fired the ball past Brown with 12 minutes played. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the start of a heroic comeback, as seconds later, Australia added a fifth through Dawson’s low finish.

With 17 minutes gone, Mitch Dobson was denied twice in quick succession by Pakistan keeper Nassir Muhammad. There was nothing that the Pakistan stopper could do a minute later as Papaspiropolos blasted the ball into the net. In the two minutes remaining before the half time buzzer, Kane Pollard and Dawson both found the net, the latter completing his hat trick, and in doing so sent Australia in 8-1 up at the break.

Half Time: Australia 8-1 Pakistan

The second half started without the intensity of the first, with Australia happy to knock the ball around without creating any clear cut chances. With 31 minutes played the Aussies added their ninth of the evening, Kevin Robertson the scorer.

It should have been 10 seconds later but Muhammad Ahmed Raza Kahn managed to block Schmidt’s effort off the line. This would prove to be in vain as a minute later Australia moved into double digits. Pollard picked out Dawson who rolled the ball into an empty net in the 32nd minute.

This would prove to be a fruitful 60 seconds for Australia as Buxton and Papaspiropolos both found the net. Buxton blasting the ball in from distance, while Papaspiropolos robbed the ball from the defender, rounded the goalkeeper and rolled into the net.

Buxton extended the lead to 13 with six minutes remaining before Pakistan doubled their tally for the night. Following the awarding of a free kick, Kahn stepped up and blasted the ball into the net from close range. There was still enough time remaining for Schmidt to find the net once more before the full time buzzer sounded.

Australia’s attention now turns to the final against the USA. The Aussies are unbeaten in the competition and will fancy their chances against a USA side that they beat 7-2 in the group stages. Pakistan will see this result as an improvement on the 31-0 defeat they suffered the last time the teams met, and will face a Scotland side looking to finish on a high in front of their supporters.

Full Time: Australia 14-2 Pakistan

Australia: Harley Brown, Jared Linger, Jose Atayde, Mitch Dobson, Kevin Robertson, Matt Schmidt, Lachlan Buxton, Patrick Langlois, Manoli Papaspiropolos, Kane Pollard, Musa Kamara, Liam Dawson, Seth Telfer, Seb Stankovic

Star Player: Buxton

Pakistan: Moneeb Ur Rehan Khan, Hashim Khan, Muhammad Ahmed Raza Khan, Muhammad Haseeb Iqbal, Nassir Muhammad, Yusuk Aloulou, Faisal Ahmed, Subhon Nadeem, Akmal Ahmed

Star Player: Rehan Khan

USA break Scottish hearts as they progress to the IFA U17 World Cup final

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USA break Scottish hearts as they progress to the IFA U17 World Cup final

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If their earlier meeting was anything to go by then the IFA U17 World Cup semi final promised to be somewhat of a spectacle. Nothing could separate the two in the opening match and for a time it looked as though that might be the case this evening until a Luca Scotzniovsky strike, three minutes from time, proved to be the winner.

The encounter took no time whatsoever in sparking to life, with Jonathan Franco hitting the post in the second minute, and the opening goal arriving in the minute following. Carlos Armendariz showed skill to beat the last man before placing the ball through the legs of Scotland goalkeeper Lewis Forbes.

Scotland responded like a wounded animal, equalising almost immediately. Liam Kelly broke clear following neat play and dispatched the ball into the bottom left corner.

The match continued at a high tempo for much of the first half with both sides keeping the opposition goalkeeper busy. Callum Downie showed vision to switch the play to Kelly, who bent his effort inches over the bar. Armendariz then navigated space on the left to force a smart save from Forbes.

USA pushed their noses in front in the ninth minute. An excellent interchange from Pablo Altamontes and Scotzniovsky saw the latter shoot from a tight angle. The finish had beaten the goalkeeper but Altmontes bundled home to make sure there could be no last ditch clearance.

As the half wore on Scotland pressed higher up the court, looking to force the USA into making an error. It almost paid off when Sam Noble found Kelly with a cute pass through the middle. Kelly held off his man well but could only angle his effort marginally wide.

With six minutes to go until the half, the tie began to resemble a boxing match – two seasoned fighters landing punches but no knockout blow. The dangerous Scotzniovsky latched onto a return ball and forced Forbes into a magnificent fingertip save. Cammy Robertson then shot from range but Alejandro Gonzalez leapt to his left to turn it round the post.

The final opportunity of the half would fall to the Scots. Downie passed the ball to Kelly, who returned the ball instantly. Downie bore down on goal but could only direct his effort over the bar, meaning that USA retained their lead going into the break.

Half Time: Scotland 1-2 USA

The opening ten minutes of the second half witnessed few clear-cut chances. Sam Pirrie found some room at the back post, in the 26th minute, before being crowded out by the USA defence. The captain opted to lay the ball back to Kelly who drilled an effort just wide of the target.

Trickery from Daniel Gilbride dragged players out of position and freed up Kelly again. Gilbride released the Scotland forward and it was so nearly another equaliser but his effort cracked the post.

Scotland had what they so desired in the 32nd minute, however, with Kelly at the heart of the attack again. Good movement from the player on the left created an opening, allowing him to cut the ball back for Gilbride to calmly roll home.

Scotland sensed an opportunity to pile the pressure on and with that the match kick started. Downie scored a goal worthy of winning any game as he pirouetted to lose his man before unleashing a howitzer beyond Gonzalez and putting his side in front.

The USA responded immediately when Franco played a delicate ball in for Ricardo Duarte who showed exemplary composure to angle his finish into the bottom left corner.

Chances at both ends became more and more frequent with Alex Chingwalu’s strike from distance seemingly destined for the bottom right corner but for an agile Gonzalez save to turn it round the post. It was then Forbes’ turn to produce the goalkeeping heroics as he produced a fine double save, denying Armendariz from distance and then Scotzniovsky on the rebound from close range.

The USA would break Scottish hearts in the 38th minute. A set piece routine saw Scotzniovsky bend an effort towards goal, which took a kind deflection before nestling into the net.

Scotland were not prepared to concede defeat, however, as they opted to use their designated outfield player in the form of Pirrie. This allowed them to stretch the USA, piling on the pressure, and they thought they had the goal they so craved in the last few seconds. Downie danced past two players and struck the ball towards goal but the USA defence defended for their lives and managed to somehow keep the ball out of the net.

The USA then held on to possession for the final seconds, guaranteeing them a place in the World Cup Final.

Full Time: Scotland 3-4 USA

Scotland: Lewis Forbes, Daniel Gilbride, Callum Downie, Cammy Robertson, Sam Pirrie, Sam Noble, Liam Kelly, Alex Chingwalu, Ross McLaren, Dell Newlands, Cameron Robertson, Blair McCord, Andrew Santos, Ciaran Pugh

Star Player: Kelly

USA: Alejandro Gonzalez, Diangelo Smith-Gleaves, Pablo Altamontes, Luca Scotzniovsky, Adrian Medina, Carlos Armendariz, Jonathan Franco, Ricardo Duarte

Star Player: Duarte

IFA Under 17 World Cup round up: day three

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IFA Under 17 World Cup round up: day three

 The IFA Under 17 World Cup was into its third day, which meant that it was the final round of the group stage matches. Over the evening’s two fixtures Scotland, Australia, the USA and Pakistan would be battling it out to see what the final placings would be in order to determine the semi final match ups.

The first game of the night was between Pakistan and the USA with both sides looking to impress. Pakistan’s resolve had been clear for all to see, during the competition, and they had put a clear emphasis on organisation against their opponents.

Despite a massively improved performance the USA’s class, and patience, on the ball told as they went into the half time break 7-2 up. Carlos Armendariz’s individual display was particularly eye catching as he would go on to win man of the match.

The United States continued to ooze quality in the second half as they looked to increase their lead. By the time the game ended they had scored an impressive 12 goals to Pakistan’s three.

In the second encounter of the evening Australia took on hosts Scotland in a battle for number one spot in the group. It proved to be a hugely compelling tussle.

The two sides demonstrated their quality, in the first half, but it was Australia that managed to take the lead through Kevin Robertson. Scotland came close to equalizing but it remained 1-0 to the Aussies at the half time break.

Australia doubled their lead, soon after the restart, as captain Patrick Langlois scored following a well-worked move with Robertson.

However, Scotland soon hauled themselves back into the tie as Andrew Santos brought it back to 2-1.

The momentum was now with the Scots as they went in search of a second goal. Much to the despair of the home crowd that goal almost arrived on several occasions. Had it not been for some top Australian defending, and one simply incredible goal line clearance, the home team would have taken something from this game.

After they had thrown everything at the Australians, including the kitchen sink, Scotland were eventually beaten by the timer and had to settle for second in the group. For the Australians it was a perfect three wins from three, with some exquisite passages of play along the way.

So tonight brings us the semi finals as the USA play Scotland in the first game at 18:00. Australia will then play Pakistan at 19:45.

Click here for the full Pakistan v USA match report

Click here for the full Scotland v Australia match report

Australia narrowly edge out Scotland in pulsating encounter

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Australia narrowly edge out Scotland in pulsating encounter

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The high tempo nature of the warm-up drills hinted at the spectacle that was to come between Scotland and Australia. There was plenty at stake, as the winner would secure pole position in the group and, in the end, it was to be Australia who edged it 2-1 in an end-to-end encounter.

The first clear-cut opportunity of the match fell to Australia in the second minute. Liam Dawson controlled a lofted ball, with the deftest of touches, before beating his man but Scotland’s goalkeeper, Lewis Forbes, was equal to the effort.

A tense affair in the early stages, both teams probed but found that they were cancelling one another out.

The next clear attempt at goal didn’t arrive until the sixth minute of the match. This time it was created by Jared Linger, who flicked the ball over his head and volleyed into the side netting.

The deadlock was broken a minute later when Australia’s Kevin Robertson found space off the ball in the middle of the court. Mitch Dobson spotted him excellently and angled a pass in his direction. Robertson showed excellent composure to poke the ball home and put his side into the lead.

Australia began to dominate proceedings but it was Scotland who almost leveled in the 11th minute. Seb Stankovic left his area to mop up a Scotland attack but his clearance ricocheted off Sam Pirrie and bounced just past the post.

Scotland took heart and began to create more towards the conclusion of the half. In the 17th minute Cammy Robertson broke clear, before squaring the ball to Alex Chingwalu, but Australia hurried back to defend well.

Dell Newlands then raced clear for Scotland, in the 18th minute, but was denied by Stankovic’s excellent sliding challenge. Chingwalu drove towards goal, upon Scotland regaining possession, but his toe poke took a deflection before going just wide.

The final minute of the half saw chances for both teams. The impressive Dawson cracked an effort off the post before his teammate Kane Pollard made it to the byline and cut the ball back in the direction of Musa Kamara. The forward produced a clever back heel but Forbes was equal to the effort in the sticks. Scotland responded as Robertson thread a ball through for Chingwalu but Stankovic stood tall before recovering the second ball.

Half-Time: Scotland 0-1 Australia

Australia wasted no time in extending their lead in the second half. Patrick Langlois played the ball wide to Robertson who delivered a teasing ball into the middle for Langlois to finish.

Scotland pulled themselves back into the tie, in the 28th minute, when Andrew Santos latched onto a ball at the back post to lift it over the goalkeeper and into the net via the inside of the post.

Scotland gained momentum from the goal and pushed forward, allowing gaps to open up at both ends of the court. Liam Kelly was a driving force for the Scots and in the 30th minute the attacker beat two players before slicing an effort wide of the left hand post.

Strong play by the impressive Callum Downie, in the 34th minute, almost saw an equaliser. Downie muscled past his marker to square for Newlands but his effort was cleared off the line to the agony of the Scottish supporters.

Scotland’s work rate was superb in the second half and they were almost rewarded for their efforts towards the end of the match. Santos had an effort blocked in the 37th minute after racing forward.

The Scottish coaching staff then went for the jugular in the last few minutes, opting to continually rotate their goalkeeper with their designated outfield player. It so nearly paid off as Sam Pirrie, acting as the designated player, hit the side netting for Scotland following a goalmouth stramash.

Townie then had an effort from the right of the court blocked by Stankovic. The final chance of the game would fall to Australia. Dobson found Jose Atayde in the penalty area in a frantic finish but Forbes blocked well with his legs.

The buzzer sounded much to Australia’s delight as Scotland left the court unrewarded for their fine efforts. The host nation can take confidence in their performance going into the semi final with the USA.

Full Time: Scotland 1-2 Australia

Scotland: Lewis Forbes, Daniel Gilbride, Callum Downie, Cammy Robertson, Sam Pirrie, Sam Noble, Liam Kelly, Alex Chingwalu, Ross McLaren, Dell Newlands, Cameron Robertson, Blair McCord, Andrew Santos, Ciaran Pugh

Star Player: Pirrie

Australia: Harley Brown, Jared Linger, Jose Atayde, Mitch Dobson, Kevin Robertson, Matt Schmidt, Lachlan Buxton, Patrick Langlois, Manoli Papaspiropolos, Kane Pollard, Musa Kamara, Liam Dawson, Seth Telfer, Seb Stankovic

Star Player: Dobson

Twelve goals for the USA as they secure their first tournament win against Pakistan

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Twelve goals for the USA as they secure their first tournament win against Pakistan

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Day three of the IFA under 17’s World Cup got underway with Pakistan and the USA meeting each other at the Dundee International Sports Complex. Many would have been expecting the USA to win after Pakistan suffered defeats to Australia and Scotland in comprehensive fashion.

Pakistan put some new players into the fold for this encounter and looked a lot more organised with Hashim Khan, who had originally been playing in goal for the Asian outfit, starting outfield with Moneeb Ur Rehman Khan starting in goal.

The USA made the breakthrough, after three minutes, with Carlos Armendariz playing in Luca Scotzniovski who wonderfully chipped the ball over the Pakistan goalkeeper. Unfortunately for Pakistan, America showed their class early on in this encounter.

The same players were then involved just a minute later with Armendariz this time getting himself on the score sheet, after a great ball from Scotniovski, tapping the ball into an empty net.

America then trebled their lead in the fifth minute after a shot from Jonathan Franco had bounced off the post. Ricardo Duarte was in the right place at the right time to slot the ball into an empty net.

Pakistan could have given up by that point but, credit to them for not and for giving a performance that their country would be proud of.

Pablo Altamontes made it 4-0, on 8 minutes, before Pakistan reduced the deficit thanks to Muhammed Haseeb Iqbal slotting the ball into the bottom left hand corner. A lot of people would have been expecting a one sided encounter from America but the way Pakistan set up tactically denied the United States that.

In a game where you are expected to a get a win, it’s important not to underestimate a team based on results they have had recently and America were well aware of this after they maintained their four goal advantage with Luca Scotniovski slamming the ball into Moneeb Ur Rehman Khan’s face and into the goal.

Carlos Armendariz got himself on the score sheet once again as he slotted the ball past Hashim Khan who went in goal for a short period after Moneeb Khan came off for a while injured.

Armendariz got his hat-trick just before half time, before Pakistan grabbed a goal just before half time, thanks to Iqbal getting his second goal of the game with a tap in. Pakistan have never failed when it comes to enthusiasm, desire and commitment and this was on show during the first period.

Half Time: Pakistan 2-7 USA

Pakistan didn’t want a landslide for the third time in a row and closed down America as much as they could in the opening exchanges of the second half. The USA, however, were awarded a penalty, with the half two minutes old, and up stepped goalkeeper Alejandro Gonzalez. Unfortunately for him he smashed his spot-kick off the crossbar and play resumed once again.

The US turned on the style once again and, six minutes into the second half they were back on the score sheet to go 8-2 up. Carlos Armendariz stole the ball off the Pakistan defender and slotted it past Moneeb Khan who had since returned.

Armendariz was in amongst the act again a minute later showing his goal scoring instincts once more, rounding the Pakistan goalkeeper and tapping the ball into the empty net. In the same minute, the Pakistan defence switched off again and Luca Scotniovski got in on the act to complete his hat-trick and his contribution to the game was complete after that.

Muhammad Haseeb Iqbal got a goal back for Pakistan and, nabbing a hat-trick to cherish, after the talented forward chipped the ball over America goalkeeper Alejandro Gonzalez. This was always going to be America’s day though and they added two further goals courtesy of Jonathan Franco and Armendariz, who notched his sixth of the game.

It was a deserved win for America, who showed their potential in attack with 12 goals. Carlos Armendariz was the man to take the plaudits with six goals securing him man of the match. Credit should go to Pakistan, who were organised defensively and also really dangerous in attack, and the players and coaches should be proud of the performance.

Full Time: Pakistan 3-12 USA

Pakistan: Moneeb Ur Rehan Khan, Hashim Khan, Muhammad Ahmed Raza Khan, Muhammad Haseeb Iqbal, Nassir Muhammad, Yusuk Aloulou, Faisal Ahmed, Subhon Nadeem, Akmal Ahmed

Star Player: Haseeb Iqbal

USA: Alejandro Gonzalez, Diangelo Smith-Gleaves, Pablo Altamontes, Luca Scotzniovski, Adrian Medina, Carlos Armendariz, Jonathan Franco, Ricardo Duarte

Star Player: Armendariz

IFA Under 17 World Cup round up: day two

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IFA Under 17 World Cup round up: day two

Day two of the IFA Under 17s World Cup saw the USA come up against Australia and Scotland looking to get a victory in front of their own fans when they played Pakistan.

First up was the USA v Australia and, after the national anthems were sung, it was time for the action to kick off once again.

This had the all the ingredients for a great game with both sides strong in defence as well as attack.

Australia started this encounter brightly as they were able to maintain possession whilst moving the ball about quickly. Their opponents had to work hard to try and retrieve control of the ball.

Both sides had opportunities early in the game but the encounter’s first goal didn’t arrive until the 12th minute, courtesy of Australian captain Patrick Langlois. Liam Dawson then managed to double the Aussie advantage just a minute later.

Mitch Dobson made it 3-0, on 16 minutes, before the USA reduced the leeway on the stroke of half time thanks to a penalty from Luca Scotniovski.

Dobson then got his second of the game early on in the second half to make it 4-1. The USA got themselves back into the game once more, thanks to Jonathan Franco, but Australia bounced back to beat them 7-2. Australia had now scored 38 quality goals in just two matches.

In the second fixture of the night hosts Scotland picked up their first victory of the tournament in fantastic fashion, beating Pakistan 32-2.

Cammy Robertson was the highest scorer on the day for the Scots, with six goals. Liam Kelly, Sam Pirrie and Blair McCord all picked up four goals each.

There have been a small amount of Pakistan fans in attendance over the last few days and the team gave the supporters something to cheer about when they got consolation goals courtesy of Muhammad Ahmed Raza Khan and Rehab Khan.

Their attitude and determination never let off, however, and that has won them the admiration of many of the other spectators at the tournament. The team possesses enthusiasm that money cannot buy.

Day two brought about 43 goals and we have now seen a total of 84 goals in the tournament so far.

Day three sees the USA looking to achieve three points when they take on Pakistan at 18:00 and, at 19:45, Australia compete against Scotland, which promises to be a great game for the spectators to view.

Click here for the full USA v Australia match report

Click here for the full Pakistan v Scotland match report