Saturday 14th August
England 0 - 1 Spain
Half time: 0 - 0
A fantastic opening ceremony brought a bright start to the competition despite the miserable English weather.
A samba band warmed up the crowd whilst they waited for the big kick off to start and as all the teams, led by current World Champions, Argentina, walked onto the pitch there was a live performance of the official championship song.
The opening game itself was a tense affair with Spain having the better of the opening chances and may have come even closer to scoring if it wasn’t for some strong England defending, particularly from Keryn Seal.
With substitutions on a roll on roll off basis, both teams kept up the high intensity of the game with fresh legs being brought on in regular intervals.
The two biggest chances of the first half came with just a minute left to play. Spain’s Antonio Martin fired wide from a penalty kick and from the resulting attack England struck the foot of the post with just seconds to go.
The appearance of the sun for the second half seemed to inspire the players and both sides produced more and better chances to take the lead.
Vicente Aguilar in particular showed some real creativity in bringing about fouls to win two penalties midway through the second half, one of which resulted in a booking for Seal.
England keeper, Dan James, produced two magnificent penalty saves to keep the score line at 0-0, and despite some good movement from the England frontline they were unable to break the deadlock.
It was going to take some real magic for either side to break the stalemate and it came with just eight seconds to go, when Alfredo Cuadrado took the ball from the corner, weaved past two of the English defenders and then fired low past James in the England net, to the massive disappointed of the players and the crowd.
The opening game was a good showing for international blind football the only disappointment was that the host nation was unable, despite a solid display, to get a point from the game.
Dan James (GK), Simon Hill, Will Norman, Keryn Seal, Robin Williams, Dan English, David Clarke, Jonathan Heenan, Jonathan Gribbin,Lewis Skyres (GK)
Alvaro Gonzalez (GK), Jose Luis Giera, Carmelo Garrido Adolfo Acosta, Antonio Martin, Alfredo Cuadrado, Pedro Villa, Vicente Aguliar, Marcelo Rosado Raul Diaz (GK
Match Officials: Mariano Travaglino, Niels Haupt, Alexandros Karaiosif, Germinal Lubrano