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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 July, 2005, 18:44 GMT 19:44 UK
Tackling Skills - Homeless World Cup
England captain Fernand Bass and vice-captain Craig Phillips. Photo by Jason Lock
The Homeless World Cup kicked off in Edinburgh on 18 July - and you'll be able to catch all the latest action from the tournament right here.

Four graduates from the BBC Tackling Skills project will be reporting on all the games throughout the week-long tournament, which will see 32 countries and over 250 people taking part.

Here's a selection of the reports featuring clashes between England and Norway, England and the Ukraine, Scotland and Slovakia and Scotland and America.


England 1-0 Norway by James Clarke

There were high expectations for this year's young England team after they were trained for months by Manchester United.

Monday's games did not add any extra worries for the camp, although it was not all plain sailing.

England started nervously and found it hard to settle as the Norwegians played a strong game typical of the Vikings.

England did not look like they wanted to keep the ball and started to shoot from all angles and distances, hitting the post early on. However a mix-up between defender Gary Whiteside and keeper Ben Colvin resulted in a penalty for the Norwegians after Colvin handled the ball in the box.

Whiteside had been instructed to pass back and Colvin said afterwards: "If I knew we weren't allowed back passes I wouldn't have picked it up but the rules weren't made clear beforehand".

Fortunately for Colvin, Norway failed to convert.

The tension on the pitch was starting to show and an unfortunate overhead kick by England's Jojo gave one Norway defender a very bad headache!

England then upped the pace as they put the penalty and the incident behind them.

Manager, and Manchester United coach, Louis Garvey needed to make a change and brought on vice-captain Craig Phillips.

The immediate change in tempo paid off and substitute Phillips slotted the ball home, giving England three points and a much needed confidence boost in the tournament.


England 1-0 Ukraine by James Clarke

Right from the kick-off England's explosive strength shone through and the confidence of their earlier victory was obvious from the outset.

Their early pressure led to a sloppy own-goal after good play from captain Fernand Bass.

England then went from strength to strength and Craig Philips hit a scorcher which struck the post.

Half-time gave the teams two minutes to relax and after the break England began showing their skill, using the width of the pitch and stringing passes together.

The England team: back row: Paul Roznowski, Gary Lee Whiteside, Craig Phillips, Ben Colvin. Front row: Romeo Dechamp Gullain, Fernand Bass, Terry Barlow, Maybin Malawo. Photo by Jason Lock

Wonder kid Craig Philips then had a free kick given against him but he kept his cool and won the ball straight back, and got his second goal of the tournament.

England's defence then came into their own, making their presence felt against an older, but bigger, Ukrainian team.

Gary Whiteside wrapped up the game by firing home the winner with three minutes to go.

With a clean sheet for the day, keeper Ben Colvin reflected afterwards: "It was cracking".

With his government benefits having been stopped for attending the World Cup, it was Colvin doing all the stopping on a good day for England, who went home top of their preliminary group.

The draw for their qualifying group will be made on Wednesday morning.


Scotland 10-1 Slovakia / Scotland 15-0 America by Sean McCann

Scotland started the tournament with their heart set on the trophy.

After demolishing Slovakia 10-1 and going on to obliterate USA 15-0, it seems it might not be such a distant dream.

Before their opening match the Scottish coach said: "We don't really know what to expect but we beat Slovakia 8-0 last year and we are quite confident against the Americans as it's not really their sport."

The first half was just goal after goal but Slovakia avoided complete humiliation by grabbing one back just before the break.

Scotland went to eat their oranges with the score sitting at 5-1.

The second half reminded me of a re-run of Fawlty Towers - it was not funny any more.

Even the Scottish coach shouted at his team from the sidelines to slow down so as not to totally embarrass Slovakia. Nevertheless Slovakia held their heads high and kept the score down to 10-1.

I spoke to USA's coach about how he rated their chances against the home nation and he said: "We're looking forward to playing them. My players have been saying they are going to win, and I believe them."

When asked about his tactics, he said: "My tactics are kick and run. My team has some good athletes but I've tried to teach them the game - they've only learnt football for this tournament."

Scotland did not even give them the chance to run, let alone get a kick in. In 15 minutes of hell for the Americans it was 15-0 to the hosts.

'Welcome to Scotland' sang the home crowd.

Scotland now go into the group stages with a giant Highland spring in their step and realistic chances of improving on their fourth place last year.


Holland 2-0 Namibia by Adam Hassan

Namibia justified their presence at the Homeless World Cup with a respectable result against a strong Dutch side.

The British Government had tried to refuse entry to many African sides on the basis they could not prove they had the finances to support themselves for a week in Edinburgh.

Namibia and South Africa were the only two sides to make it over here and were warmly welcomed by 100 fans who turned out to support sides in the preliminary rounds.

After a delayed start, nerves were brewing in both sides - especially for the Namibians who had been the centre of so much press attention since finally arriving.

Holland started the stronger of the two sides, hitting a fair attempt on goal while Namibia tried their luck with a shot from the half-way line but to no avail.

Three minutes into the game Holland strung more than 10 passes together which were finished off with a simple shot just outside the penalty box to put them one up.

Seconds after opening the scoring, the Dutch then hit a powerful shot from 10 yards out which shattered the bottom right of the net.

Namibia struggled to break past the Dutch defence who were much stronger.

Already the crowd favourites for making it here at all, they played to the cheers, scoring a cracking goal from just over the half-way line.

However, their luck was not in and just before half-time one of the players was taken off, apparently suffering from a broken arm.

The Dutch spent most of the second half in possession and passing it around showing excellent control.

Namibia may have lost their opening game but in just attending the tournament they looked as though they they had won the trophy when they walked off the pitch.

It was always going to be a difficult journey for them without the support of the British Government, but it might be downhill all the way now they are actually here, and putting on brave performances like the one we saw here.


Holland 1-0 Poland by Adam Hassan

Holland, confident from their opening match victory against Namibia, set the tone for this game, sitting back and passing between one another while Poland ran around chasing the ball.

Happy with three points in the bag from the earlier game, Holland looked strong and the Polish became increasingly frustrated by not being able to get a hold of the ball.

While great to watch, it was soon half-time and a 0-0 score line, which is hardly a crowd pleaser, so they began to turn their admiration of the Dutch into hope for the Polish.

When Poland came back after break with a stunning shot, which forced the Dutch keeper down on the floor, the crowd showed who they really wanted to earn these three points.

The Poles did not use their new fans to their advantage and 20-year-old Dutchman Curtis Troudes hit a convincing shot from the half-way line to put his side one up.

Seconds later he hit the left-hand post and Holland appeared to have woken up from their passing trance.

Holland took the three points with a 1-0 victory and now have two wins under their belts, qualifying for top status in the seedings in the next day's play.


Wales 3-0 Sweden by Aaron Wall

Wales dominated for most of the first half, scoring two easy goals within five minutes of each other.

They started the second half as they had finished the first with all the ball and lots of time on their hands.

They soon made it 3-0 and the aging Swedes struggled to keep up.

Wales continued the home nation's winning start and with the Irish, English and Scottish teams all cheering them from the sidelines, held on for a comfortable victory till the ref blew for time.

Let's see how long that camaraderie lasts...the qualifying groups are drawn tomorrow morning!


Australia 3-2 South Africa by Aaron Wall The Australians had told me before their opening match that they were being ridiculed at home with no one giving them a chance.

With two girls in their team they were probably the most chilled out team before the opening matches laughing and joking with the press.

Perhaps their carefree attitude was relfected on the pitch as they battled throuhg against South Africa to come out 3-2 winners.

South Africa had in fact opened the scoring but the Aussies showed their fighting spirit with striker Yousef hitting a low drive from the edge of the box to level.

However, South Africa were not going to lie down and scored straight from the kick-off to make it 2-1.

The second half was a tight contest until Yousef scored his second of the game, making it 2-2.

Max Aurem was the deciding factor between the two sides, breaking through minutes from time to get the points for the Aussies.

I wonder if they are still a laughing stock back home? But they are one team to watch, that is for sure.


Team to watch: Scotland, host nation and scoring 25 goals in their opening two matches.

Player to watch: England vice-captain Craig Phillips, super sub.

Chant of the day: "You should still be at school" from the Norwegians to England.

Best sportsmanship seen: Norwegian team giving England's JoJo a hug after he had taken out their defender with a misplaced overhead kick.



Links to more Tackling Skills stories


 

SEE ALSO
Players gear up for Homeless World Cup
04 Jul 05 |  Tackling Skills


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