After a difficult start to the campaign, which saw Ireland lose their opening 2 games Ireland powered back to win the next three -must win games- to seal qualification to the second stage of the Homeless World Cup in Amsterdam, Holland.
As seems usual for the Irish we did it the hard way. Having being caught cold by a powerful Ukraine Side 6-1 in the opening match Ireland then faced European top seeds Portugal on Sunday. Although dominating possession and peppering the Portuguese goal some inspired goalkeeping by the Portuguese and lack of clinical finishing cost Ireland dearly and despite dominating the game for long period they lost out 10-6.
Ireland now faced the real possibility of exited the HWC proper at an early stage, they now faced a situation where they needed to win their final 3 games to qualify for the next stage.
Coach Tommy Morgan rallied his men and the flowing movements and attacking football that is a feature of this Irish team began to get the results the team deserved.
Three wins on the trot saw Ireland produce quality football with clinical finishing that ended with comprehensive victories over Grenada 5-3 Denmark 8-2 and Switzerland 13-1.
So now its on to the second stage grouping of 6 with the top two teams in each qualifying for the knockout quarter final stages Tommy Morgan was delighted with his team, “They were caught cold against Ukraine and never really performed, were unlucky against Portugal but I knew they had in them to qualify and when the pressure was on they did everything I asked of them”
It is hard to single anyone out of this Irish team at the moment as they play for each other as a team should and it’s that sense of togetherness that makes them a threat and one of the most exciting teams to watch I this tournament.
There’s a long way to go in what is proving to be a very competitive tournament but if Ireland continue to play as they are now, this will be an exciting tournament for Ireland’s supporters.
The Republic of Ireland had a famous movie star supporter this week for their first game of the Homeless World Cup. Colin Farrell joined the Irish team on the field for their national anthem and was pitch side cheering them throughout the game.
After the game Farrell said: “This event brings a great sense of inclusion. It is an extraordinary thing to be around. It was a tough game, but you move on. We still have four more games to go.”
Street League founder Sean Kavanagh was delighted that Colin took the time out to meet and support the team “It was great to have Colin’s support, as an actor and former footballer he appreciates the value, confidence and sense of self that can be had from being part of a team and expressing yourself in a sporting Endeavour.”