First up was Costa Rica at 12.20 in the full heat of the boiling sun. With both sides needing a win it was a battle. Costa Rica scored first but it was fairly even with both sides trading goals. At half time it was 3-3 The second half was no less competitive but the heat seemed to be getting to the Irish and their passes were going astray Costa Rica took full advantage and with the score at 5-4 in their favour Ireland had a player sent off. It now seemed a hopeless task for the Irish but sheer passion took over and not only did they hold the numerical superior Costa Ricans Ireland scored twice and ran out eventual winners by 8-6.
A remarkable victory that had people in the stands on their feet applauding them at the end.
It was now down to the final match of our group Poland. With temperatures still in the high thirties Ireland got off to a disappointing start conceding two deflected goals in quick succession. Half time Poland 4 Ireland 1. The second half saw Ireland fight back and one wondered if another miraculous recovery was on the way when they reduced the deficit to 5-4 but they ran out of steam and and Poland killed the game off with two quick goals.
Final score Ireland 4 Poland 7
While Ireland are now out of the Homeless World Cup, As one of the top finishers in the group stage they now enter the next highest ranking tournament the Dignitary Cup. They have three more matches to play should they win all three they will take home the Dignitary Cup if not, each win will determine their final placing and seeding for next year.
While the lads are very disappointed and down one has to say that they gave it their all in the most adverse of conditions. Each and every one of them played their hearts out and it is a considerable achievement to get as far as they have. The Irish people should be really proud of them.