In the first of two “friendly” amputee internationals played on Sunday evening at the ‘Aktepe Stadi’ in Ankara a resolute England team, in front of Her Majesty’s Ambassador, Nick Baird, defeated an energetic Turkish side 4-0. The score line belied a tough, uncompromising game in which both teams exhibited impressive skills and combined to provide the crowd with end-to-end entertainment. Indeed, at half time England edged their opponents by a solitary, well-taken goal, fortunate to be ahead perhaps as Turkey had hit the woodwork twice in the period.
However, in the second half the experience and stamina of the England team marked the difference between the two sides and a trio of well-executed goals secured a hard-earned win. Strong and confident in all facets of the game the English squad nonetheless expect an even tougher challenge in the follow-up game on Monday night.
These matches form part of the preparations for the Amputee Football World Championships to be held in Antalya in November 2007 and in which up to 12 teams are expected to participate with Russia and Brazil the favourites.