Witnessing the 2017 FIPFA World Cup was everything we hoped for in a power soccer tournament and the final day of matches was everything we hoped for to close it out. Leading up to Sunday, the ten teams battled through a two day group stage and playoff rounds leaving only the final placement games and the Championship match.
Each team was left to battle for a higher spot in the final standings of the Powerchair Football World Cup: Denmark and Canada for 9th place, Argentina and Uruguay for 7th, Japan and Ireland for 5th, and England and Australia for 3rd. USA and France were the last two teams in the running for the 2017 World Cup and faced off at the end of the day.
Denmark kicked off the day with a 2-0 defeat of Canada off two goals in the first three minutes of the game. With an early lead, the Denmark defense of goalie, Thorbjorn August Krarup, and Center, Kasper Volcker Peterson, were able to shut down Canada all match. Argentina and Uruguay followed shortly after. Thanks to two of the rowdiest groups of fans (who are South American rivals and compete against each other regularly) as well as some tightly played matches, the Argentina/Uruguay match gave the final day of competition the kick start it needed. Juan Luis Platero scored two goals for Uruguay, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Argentinians as they kept clawing their way back in. A 3-2 Argentina victory was enough to secure 7th place.
After a penalty-shot victory in the consolation match on the previous day, Japan was hungry for another win. Thomas Donogher scored the first goal for Ireland but Japan turned the attack on with four goals in the last 21 minutes. It was another evenly fought match that kept the precedent of amazing games going for the final day of matches.
Australia defeated Japan in stunning fashion in the quarters but couldn’t keep the magic alive against France in the semis and would face England for the Bronze. Both coming out of Pool B, England and Australia had already met in the group stage with England winning 5-0 the first time. Unfortunately for the Aussies this one was no different. It was closer at 3-0 due to Australia’s newfound experience at this level but an early goal by Charlie Kitcher was enough to keep England up and secure the bronze.
One thing that was interesting about the first few days of the World Cup is that many fans only stuck around for their country’s matches and then went out to explore or rest up. This made sense of course as this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for many of these athletes and their families and they wanted to make the most of Disney World, Universal Studios, the Kennedy Space Center (which we almost had time for and are now determined to go back and visit…), or even one of Central Florida’s many beaches within an hour or two of Osceola Heritage Park.
But all of this changed on Sunday. Each placement game upped the stakes from 9th to 7th to 5th to 3rd and the excitement continued to grow and grow until the finals at 3pm. The France/USA matchup was perfectly even on paper. Both teams went undefeated in the group stage (and only allowing one goal each) and kept winning in the quarters and semis. Team USA was going for their third consecutive World Cup title after wins at the first World Cup in 2007 and second in 2011.
From the kickoff, Team USA had a few early chances but France was able to score first off a Tristan Le Beller counter attack. Throughout the rest of the first half things were pretty even. USA tied it up then took the lead off a Michael Archer penalty and a Jordan Dickey goal. France tied it back up with another Le Beller score heading into half time.
France took the momentum from the late first half goal and ran with it. Bryan Weiss gave France a third goal and then Mohamed Ghelami placed a final penalty shot right in the corner with just two minutes remaining. In front of USA’s best attacks France’s defense held strong all match to secure the 2017 World Cup victory!!
1st – France
2nd – USA
3rd – England
4th – Australia
5th – Japan
6th – Ireland
7th – Argentina
8th – Uruguay
9th – Denmark
10th – Canada
For more info, head to the official FIPFA World Cup website, check out the photo album below, and click the following links to get recaps from throughout the tournament! Thanks for following along with us for such an amazing event!
Day 1 – USA vs. Denmark (7/5/17)
Day 2 – The Groups Take Shape (7/6/17)
Day 3 – France and USA Complete Sweeps (7/7/17)
Day 4 – Poweroos Shock Japan in Quarters (7/8/17)