With the European 7-a-side football championships well underway in Maia, Portugal’s Estadio José Lima, the Netherland’s Iljas Visker scored big in his team’s opener against Denmark, scoring an impressive seven goals in the 14 – 0 blanking. Following the first five games of the competition, he leads the individual field in total goals scored.
Anton Saedt of the Netherlands, Dillon Sheridan of Ireland and Michael Barker of England are tied for second in total goals scored with three each. Jack Rutter of England, Peter Kooij of Netherlands, Podge (Paraic) Leacy of Ireland, and Chesmin Alexey of Russia are tied at third with two goals each.
England easily beat Portugal in Group C play by a score of 5 – 0, in a game that opened the competition.
The Netherlands defeated Denmark 14 – 0 in the competition’s second match, and first game in Group A play. The result heralds a possible improvement on the Dutch’s performance at the 2010 Championships where they finished fourth. In the second game in Group A play. Ireland defeated Finland 10 – 0. Nolan Ryan scored the first goal for Ireland in their opener. Glencormac United’s Gary Messett led his Irish team on the field, and was one of several players to score for his team. Joseph Markey, Ryan Nolan, Peter Cotter and Aaron Tier also each put in a goal, while Paraic Leacy scored 2, and Dillon Sheridan got the hat trick.
In Group B play, Russia beat Germany 4 – 0. Russia entered the tournament as the top ranked team in the world. Lasha Murvanadze demonstrated why the team was so highly ranked by scoring two minutes into the start of the game. The Russians then took a 3 – 0 lead into the half. Alexey Chesmin’s pair of goals came for Russia in the 23 and 47th minutes. In the other game, Northern Ireland defeated Scotland 3 – 1.
The 1978 CPISRA International Games were the debut international competition for 7-a-side football. It first appeared on the Paralympic program in 1984. The first world championships occurred two years later in 1986. Unlike men’s able bodied football, the field is smaller, there are seven players on the field at a time, and there is no offside rules. Each half last 30 minutes. Because the game attracts players with different levels of cerebral palsy, a classification system is in place. There are CP5, CP6, CP7, and CP8 classifications, going from the most severe form of cerebral palsy to the least. Each team is required to have one player on the field from each level at the same time, and they are not allowed to have more than one CP8 player on the field at any given time.