Portugal 0-5 England CPs

England’s Cerebral Palsy team put in a five-star performance to beat hosts Portugal in their opening game of the CPISRA European Championships on Wednesday. 

The impressive victory in Maia sets Keith Webb’s side on course for a quarter final berth, with the added confidence of a 5-0 victory behind them.

Portugal 0-5 England

CPISRA European Championships
Wednesday 23 July 2014

Maia, Portugal

The Three Lions dominated the match from the first whistle and hit the post twice inside the opening five minutes through Michael Barker and Jack Rutter. 

And Barker soon made a mark on the game, latching onto a misplaced pass to sublimely chip the goalkeeper from 30 yards to give England the lead. 

Rutter scored England’s second with a terrific strike into the top corner from the edge of the area, before hitting the bar with a header soon after. 

Barker was now beginning to find his shooting boots and made it three for England on 22 minutes with a good turn and strike. 

Moments later, he had the chance to complete his hat-trick after England were awarded a penalty for a foul on Rutter, but his effort rebounded off the crossbar. 

Just before half time, England were awarded another penalty, this time for handball, and Rutter stepped up to score his second of the game and put his side 4-0 up at the break.

The England CPs line-up to face Portugal.

The England CP line-up to face Portugal in the Euros

England made a double substitution at the break with Jake Brown and Alex Mullin coming on for George Fletcher and James Blackwell, before Barker completed his hat-trick with another good finish. 

“Playing the opening game against the hosts can be tricky affairs for the opposition so I am happy to have come away with a win tonight,” said boss Keith Webb. 

“We managed to give a number of the squad some time on the pitch too which is always good to help with saving energy for later in the tournament. 

“I felt we could have been more clinical tonight but we now have an important couple of days ahead as we prepare for Saturday’s game against Ukraine.”

The final group game sees England take on Ukraine on Saturday, when the squad will be aiming to secure top spot in the group.

England: G. Moore, H. Baker, K. Townshend, G. Fletcher (J. Brown), J. Rutter (c) (M. Sinclair), J. Blackwell (A. Mullin), M. Barker.

Goals: M. Barker (7, 22, 34), J. Rutter (10, 29).