Earlier today, the German national blind football team departed Tokyo, Japan for Frankfurt following an eighth place finish during their first appearance at the IBSA Blind Football World Championships. In the placement game on Monday, Germany lost to Colombia 1 – 0.
Germany played in seventh-eighth place match after losing 4 – 0 to eventual winner Brazil in the quarterfinals, with the competition’s Golden Ball winner Ricardo Alves scoring two. This forced them to play a placement match against Japan, which they lost 1 – 0. In group play, Germany drew 1- 1 against eventual bronze medalists Spain. In that game, Germany could not hold on to their early lead thanks to a goal from Ali Can Pektas and, Spanish dominance and ball possession. They also eeked out a 0 – 0 draw against Argentina in group play.
When not playing football, the team went shopping, took in cultural activities and rode the metro. The team had support from their embassy, who wished them well in their game against Brazil. The team competing in Japan included field players Hasan Altunbas, Hasan Altunbas, Serdal Celebi, Alex Fangmann, Kofi Osei, Ali Can Pektas, Mulgheta Russom, Sebastian Schäfer, and Lukas Smirek. Also on the team are goalkeepers Enrico Göbel, Milan Jurkovic, and Sebastian Schleich. The guides are Werner Nordlohne and Jule Söhner. Thilo Nowak is an assistant coach and trainer. The national team coach is Ulrich Pfister, and Dr. Rolf Husmann is the team manager. The team met for an intensive training camp in late October and early November in preparation for the tournament, as well as playing a few friendlies against Japan, Romania and England.