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U.S. Paralympic Team Completes Play at Athens Paralympics With Loss to Ireland

U.S. Heads Home From Athens After Losses to Brazil, Russia, Holland and Ireland

ATHENS, Greece (Sept. 27, 2004) – The U.S. Men’s Paralympic Soccer team completed play at the 2004 Athens Paralympics with a 4-0 loss to Ireland on Saturday (Sept. 25) at the Helliniko Olympic Complex in Athens, Greece. The loss doomed the U.S. Men’s Paralympic team to a tough last-place finish in the eight-team tournament.

The U.S. team was able to hold Ireland to 1-0 at the half, but the floodgates opened in the second half with Ireland scoring three goals to close out the game.

The lone bright spot for the U.S. came in the 6-1 loss to the Netherlands where Michael Peters scored the team’s only goal of the tournament. Prior to that match, the U.S. had fallen 3-0 to Russia and 4-0 to Brazil.

The U.S. qualified for the 2004 Athens Paralympics, the premiere tournament for paralympic athletes, by finishing sixth at the Paralympic World Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October 2003. The team was drawn into Group B along with Brazil, Russia and the Netherlands.

Fellow Group B member Brazil finished second in the tournament after falling 4-1 to the Ukraine. Russia fell to Ukraine in the semifinals, but defeated Argentina 5-0 to take home the Bronze Medal. The Netherlands finished 6th after falling 3-0 to Iran.

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.

Date         Result                                    Match                 Venue
Sept. 27   Brazil 1, Ukraine 4                  Gold Medal         Athens
Sept. 27   Argentina 0, Russia 5             Bronze Medal     Athens

Sept. 25   Ireland 4, United States 0       7-8 Place           Athens
Sept. 25   Netherlands 0, Iran 3              5-6 Place           Athens
Sept. 25   Argentina 1, Brazil 4               Semifinal            Athens
Sept. 25   Ukraine 4, Russia 1                Semifinal            Athens

Date          Result                                  Venue
Sept. 19    Brazil 4, USA 0                     Athens
Sept. 19    Russia 7, Netherlands 1       Athens
Sept. 21    Russia 3, USA 0                  Athens
Sept. 21    Netherlands 1, Brazil 6         Athens
Sept. 23    Russia 1, Brazil 2                 Athens
Sept. 23    USA 1, Netherlands 6           Athens