Team Prepares For Showdown With Russia on Tuesday Following 4-0 Loss
ATHENS, Greece (Sept. 19, 2004) – The U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team opened competition at the 2004 Paralympic Games with a 4-0 loss to Brazil at the Helleniko Olympic Complex in Athens on Sunday. The U.S. next faces Russia at 10 a.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 21).
The U.S. held the Brazilian team scoreless in the first half, which was a defensive struggle, as Brazil dominated possession.
"The first 30-minutes we played really good defense," said Head Coach Jay Hoffman (Virginia Beach, Va.). "Our goal was to keep Brazil at bay, and we did just that."
The second half was a different story, with Brazil scoring its first goal just three minutes after the break. The skillful Brazilian offense continued to pepper the U.S. team’s defense, scoring again just four minutes later to make the score 2-0. Two additional goals in the 45th and 52nd minutes sealed the 4-0 win for Brazil.
The team hopes to build on its solid first half for Tuesday’s game against Russia, who defeated the Netherlands 7-1 on Sunday.
"We gave away some silly goals," said defender Jon McCullough (Washington, D.C.). "We know we played a good first half and just have to build on that. We had a game plan and we didn’t stick to it. We just need to refocus, get back on track and we’ll feel confident in our next match."
Paralympic soccer is played seven-a-side by athletes with cerebral palsy, who have survived a stroke or sustained traumatic brain injury. Games consist of two 30-minute halves and each roster is made up of 12 players.
1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
BRA 0 4 4