Ireland seal top 16 spot at World Cup in Chile

Homeless World Cup.jpg

Ireland seal top 16 spot at World Cup in Chile

Ireland’s homeless street soccer team reached the top sixteen before being eliminated from the Homeless World Cup in Santiago, Chile, last month.
4th Nov 2014

Ireland’s homeless street soccer team reached the top sixteen before being eliminated from the Homeless World Cup in Santiago, Chile, last month.

It was a remarkable achievement by the Irish considering they were playing in  plus 35 degree heat most days and playing two games a day, you can only begin to imagine the effort involved.

With notable wins over Sweden, Greece, Romania, Wales and Costa Rica, Ireland gave 100 per cent the trying conditions but in the end it was not to be. With the weather more suited to the South Americans it was no surprise that they dominated the competition, with Chile eventually winning both the men’s and women’s Finals.

Clayton Kelly shone for the Irish with his natural ability but in a tournament that demanded so much, each and every member of the squad played their part. The tournament although very competitive was played in the spirit of sportsmanship. With Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England all supporting each other in their respective matches.

It was a tribute to the Irish  team’ s ability that they finished top among the home nations and remain within the Worlds Top 16 teams .

Street football or Futbol Caile as it is known in Chile is a big time sport in South America and regularly features on TV. The finals of the Homeless World Cup was featured on prime time TV and watched by millions.  

Ireland's results at the Homeless World Cup: October 19: Ireland 11-1 Greece; October 20: Ireland 2-7 Mexico; October 21: Ireland 6-2 Wales, Ireland 11-3 Sweden; October 22: Ireland 7-6 Romania; October 23: Ireland 6-6 Ghana (won on pens); Ireland 3-9 Netherlands; October 24: Ireland 8-6 Costa Rica; Ireland 4-6 Poland; October 25: Ireland 5-9 Bulgaria, Ireland 4-6 Lithuania; October 26: Ireland 5-5 Costa Rica (Lost on pens)

Ireland's Homeless World Cup Squad: Clayton Kelly; Craig Haslam; Darragh McNamara; James Traynor; Dylan Sheridan; Lee Geoghegan; Thomas O'Dwyer; Thomas McDonagh