Day of shocks in goalball quarter-finals

Both the men’s and women’s defending Paralympic champions crash out at the last eight stage of the goalball. 05 Sep 2012
Great Britain - London 2012

Great Britain's women's goalball team in action at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

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“I feel satisfaction about winning, but this is just the first step. We knew China were quite strong and that they are a team that could have made it to the final.”

Lithuania stormed past the defending Paralympic champions China in the men’s goalball competition on Wednesday.

The Lithuanians rekindled some of the form they had shown earlier in the competition, winning 12-4 and powering into the semi-finals.

Victorious coach Karolis Levickis said: “I feel satisfaction about winning, but this is just the first step. We knew China were quite strong and that they are a team that could have made it to the final.”

Turkey put an end to Mohammed Mokrane’s impressive tournament, beating Algeria 3-1 in the men’s goalball quarter-finals.

Mokrane scored his 16th goal of the tournament to give Algeria the lead, but Turkey hit back with a hat-trick from Tuncay Karayaka, putting the match beyond the Algerians.

Romario Diego Marques scored two penalties as Brazil beat Belgium 3-0 in the last eight of the men’s competition. Brazil’s top scorer in the tournament could have had a hat-trick but for some wayward finishing.

In the final match from the men’s draw, crowd favourites Iran were beaten 5-1 by Finland. Petri Posio scored a hat-trick for the Finns, who will now face Brazil in the semi-finals.

Great Britain’s women lost 2-1 to Sweden in the quarter-finals of the women’s competition in a dramatic and tense encounter at the Copperbox.

The game sprang to life in the second half when Anna Sharkey first saved a penalty for a high ball offence, before putting the host nation ahead 20 seconds later.

However, the lead was short lived, as Malin Gustavsson equalised for the Swedes two minutes later. With neither side able to grab the winner in regulation time the game went into extra-time.

After one attack from Great Britain, Gustavsson fired the ball back to score the all important sudden-death winner.

Sharkey said after the loss: “This has been the most amazing experience of my life. I have loved every minute - apart from the last one in this match.”

Finland rode their luck as they beat Canada 2-1 in extra-time to progress to the last four of the women’s goalball.

The Finns have started to find their form at just the right time in the tournament, after a poor start saw them qualify from group C in fourth place.

Japan progressed to the semi-finals with another resilient defensive display in the women’s competition, beating Brazil 2-0.

The Japanese led from the third minute but had to wait until a minute from time to be sure of the result when Akiko Adachi doubled their advantage.

China cruised past the USA 5-0 to progress to the semi-finals in the women’s competition.

The result was a reverse of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games final, which saw the USA pick up gold

American coach Ken Armbuster said: “They're the best team here - we knew that coming in.

“We just wished we didn't have to see them until the final game. But you have to give credit to them - great defence.

“We didn't score, but we didn't beat ourselves - we played as good goalball as we could play up to this point.”