ESPOO, FINLAND — Round robin play continued Wednesday with mixed results for Team USA on day three of the Goalball World Championship tournament. The Men’s National Team won their only match of the day against Germany 8-5. The Women’s National Team played two games, losing to Turkey 2-8 and 3-4 against Japan, the defending Paralympic Gold Medalists.
The US Men were in 3rd place in Group A entering the game against Germany, who was in 7th place in the pool, and took them by storm in the first half, scoring five points while Germany was only able to answer with one.
However Germany was not ready to concede defeat and came out of the second half scoring two quick unanswered goals.
“We knew they were going to come guns ablazing and they were coming ready to play their heart out,” Daryl Walker said about Germany’s performance against the USA.
Walker entered the game at the end of the first half and added three goals for Team USA.
The U.S. Men face Algeria tomorrow at 2:00 am ET who are ranked no. 5 in Group A.
“We know they are going to come out fired up…it’s going to be a hard hitting game but we’re going to be ready,” Walker said about facing Algeria Thursday morning.
The Women’s National Team was also in 3rd place in Group X heading into their first match against no. 1 ranked Turkey.
Turkey was called for a long ball in the first few seconds of play, however Asya Miller was unable to convert it. Turkey managed to put just two points on the board in the first half while the U.S. notched one.
Each team scored quick goals in the beginning of the second half before Turkey took clear control of the game, scoring five unanswered goals against Team USA.
Team USA had a short break before taking the court again against Japan who beat them 3-4.
It was a well matched game as both teams swapped the lead throughout the game, neither ever ahead by more than a goal.
“Japan is a tough team that is not going to give up goals” Dennis said, heading into the match, “and we’re going to try to break their defense.”
But ultimately the U.S. could not find an answer to Japan’s fourth and final goal with 2 minutes and 30 seconds to play, which secured the win for the defending Paralympic champions.
The Women’s National Team is back tomorrow for their final Pool X game against last place Germany at 9:00 am ET.
Both teams must finish in the top four of their brackets to advance to the quarterfinal round on Friday.
The Men are currently ranked in 3rd place and the Women are seated in 4th place.