World Medical Football Championships Mar Del Plata, Sep 19-26, 2022

Match report 1

Group stages: Australia Vs Canada

Day 1 of the World Medical Football Championships saw the Docceroos face off us against our Canadian counterparts in Group A.

A few nerves early on saw us hesitating to move the ball forward, before winger David Ghan curled one into the top right corner in the first half to boast our teams confidence.

The second half saw midfielder Angus Farr slot one in from a free kick outside the 18 yard box, beating everyone including the Canadian keeper to make 2-0.

The Docceroos held off a few late challenges from the Canadian attack, staying strong with our defensive game and commanding possession towards the end to ensure a clean sheet for our first match of the Tournament. Lots of room for improvement but great to come away with a win.

Tomorrow we face a Brazilian side who also came away with a win today. A hard battle to come – stay tuned.

Match Report 2

Group stages: Australia Vs Brazil

The Docceroos went up against tournament heavyweights Brazil on the second day of the tournament. Mar Del Plata had decided to rain down overnight to present us with damp and overcast conditions on the day.

The Docceroos started off strong, remaining disciplined to thwart much of the Brazilian attack for the first 30 minutes of the half, and challenging their defensive line a number of times.

Unfortunately, the Brazilians managed to sneak two goals past us late in the second half to make it 2-0 at the break. Keeping our heads high, we battled on. Whilst we managed to get close to their 18 yard multiple times, unfortunately we couldn’t find the back of the net. A Brazilian counter-attack late in the second half left us with a 3-0 score line. Irrespective of the score, a respectable performance from the boys with lots of positives to take forward to our next match tomorrow against tournament hosts, Argentina.

Match Report 3

Group stages: Australia Vs Argentina

Tough day at the office, Day 3 against the host team: Argentina. From the whistle they were up for a physical challenge and despite appearances, they could turn on some speed when it was required. On a pitch that was a little bobbly with some tiring legs, Australia turned the ball over a little too frequently to make a serious threat in attack. Despite a well oiled offensive from the Argentines with some overloads coming down the flanks, some well rehearsed combination play and some penetrating long balls, Australia defended quite well aside from one well taken opportunity in the first half, making the rest of the game a bit of a grind.

A respectable result. With a final 8 finish, 2 wins will be required from hereon in to make the grand final. First cab off the rank will be The Czech Rebuplic: a tall, physical and well disciplined squad with a proven track record, we will need to play well to advance.

Match Report 4

Quarterfinal: Australia Vs Czech Republic

Day 5. Quarter Finals. Australia Vs Czech Republic (7 time finalists and 3 times winners). We were in for a fight, but we were happy to thrive on the underdog tag. As soon as we kicked off we pressed hard and we played hard. The Czechs looked threatening, but our defensive line scrambled to ensure the scoreline remained level. Our midfielders kept hustling and our forwards looked hungry to land one in the back of the net.

Half time. 0-0. We kept up the pressure. The opportunities were coming but we just couldn’t get the winner. With just a few minutes to go, the Docceroos dream looked all but over. A tussle in our box saw the ball awkwardly bounce over our goal line. Czech 1, Australia 0. But we kept our heads up high. It wasn’t over.

In the dying minute of the match we managed to win a corner. The Docceroos all pushed up. As the kick travelled into the box Guru Iyngkaran got a head to it before Justin Chow finished off the job in a frantic finish on Czech goal line. We were back in, and the Czechs were rattled.

Penalties! One after the other, the boys stepped up to the mark and showed the Czech keeper what we were made of.

Final penalty. Czech Vs Docceroos keeper Alan O’Grady. The kick went down the middle. Alan went right – but lucky he’s a tall fella. He stuck his left foot out to send the ball over the bar, and the Docceroos to the Semi-Finals!

An incredible effort from the boys to stop the tournament favourite’s in their tracks and set up a showdown with Catalonia! Stay tuned!

Match Report 5

Semi-final: Australia Vs Catalonia
3rd place playoff: Australia Vs Brazil

The Docceroos entered Day 6 with a decimated squad but full of hope and heart. We knew it would be a dog fight to the end against the Catalonians.

Whilst we played our hearts out, it just wasn’t our day. Hamstrings went tearing, decisions didn’t quite go our way, and with two red cards we found ourselves defending 9 against 11 for the majority of the second half. It was a well placed header in the first half that proved to be the winner for the Catalonians in what was a hard fought encounter.

Whilst we were proud of our efforts, we continue to ponder what could have been. With little rest, the following day we met the Brazilians for a third place playoff. The Docceroos were the walking wounded with more players ruled out due to injury or card infringements. Nevertheless, in true fighting spirit we fielded a team of 11 with no substitutions.

For the majority of the match our defensive blocks held off the Brazilian attack, but at the halfway mark Heimerich Bisterbosch suffered a broken nose, and the fatigue of 6 games within 7 days had truly set in. We were unable to keep the score level, eventually conceding one goal from a Brazilian cross from the left corner, and another from a seemingly controversial penalty decision.

We keep our heads high. Immensely proud of our efforts to finish in the top 4 in Mar Del Plata, under the guidance of coach Dean Ugrinic, physio Luke Poon, and the support of our small but passionate supporters. Until next time!

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