The 2018 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Blind Football World Championships in Madrid, Spain, saw Brazil win a fifth world title with a 2-0 win over arch-rivals Argentina.
The four-time Paralympic champions also secured their ticket for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The 2018 World Championships ran from 7-17 June and was the biggest ever. Of the 16 teams, Mexico, Central American champions Costa Rica, Mali, European champions Russia*, Thailand and Iran all made their debuts.
Here are five of the best moments from the competition.
Thailand surprise Turkey
Debutants Thailand sprang the tournament’s biggest surprise by eliminating 2015 European champions Turkey in Group A. Kupan Panyawut scored a hat-trick to seal a much-celebrated 3-0 victory.
Brazil trash Costa Rica
In their second game of the tournament, the defending champions hammered debutants and Central American champions Costa Rica 14-1. Ricardinho netted five, Jefinho and Gledson three each, Cassion two and Tiago Parana one. Daniel Contreras scored Costa Rica’s consolation goal.
Vicente del Bosque participates
Spain’s 2010 FIFA World Cup winning coach Vicente del Bosque described attending the Opening Ceremony and kicking off the tournament as an honour. “What is going to happen here in Madrid is an example for the world,” said del Bosque who also presented the title to Brazil at the Closing Ceremony.
Argentina beat England on penalties
A tense 1-1 tie between the two rivals ended dramatically with penalties. A strike after two minutes by Maximiliano Espinillo gave Argentina an early lead. But England took the game to the lottery of penalties with a late Brandon Coleman goal. Argentina’s Nicolas Veliz netted the sole penalty in the shoot-out to secure the win.
Andrei Tikhonov scores goal of the tournament
The Russian striker received the ‘Best Goal’ award for his stunning back-heel against Spain in the quarter-final which helped eliminate the host nation. The 2017 European champions went on to finish fourth, while Spain ended fifth.
Full results are available on Madrid 2018's website.
*Editor's note: The International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August 2016 for its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory). As a result of the suspension, Russian athletes cannot enter IPC sanctioned events or competitions, including the Paralympic Games.
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