U.S. Men’s Para National Team Advances To World Cup Quarterfinal After Defeating Australia 5-1 To Clinch Group C
Shea Hammond, John Sullivan, Jonah Meyer-Crothers and Cameron DeLillo Score; USA to Face the Netherlands in Quarterfinals on May 9
SALOU, Spain (May 7, 2022) - Four different players scored for U.S. Men’s Para National Team in a 5-1 win over Australia to help the USA finish atop Group C at the 2022 IFCPF World Cup Saturday afternoon. After conceding early, starters Shea Hammond and John Sullivan scored to put the USA ahead before the break, and second half substitutes Cameron DeLillo (two) and Jonah Meyer-Crothers increased the lead to secure the three points. The U.S. and Iran finished Group C tied with four points each, however the U.S. claimed the goals-difference tie-breaker +4 to +2 to finish on top.
The U.S. now moves on the Quarterfinals where they’ll meet Group A second place side the Netherlands on Monday, May 9 at 3:30 p.m. at the Futbol Salou Sports Complex.
The Stars and Stripes made two changes from the starting seven that tied Iran last week, with veteran Adam Ballou replacing Meyer-Crothers and Hammond coming on for DeLiilo.
Australia perhaps took a cue from Iran and was on the front foot early on, but PNT goalkeeper was up to the task, denying Connor Bunce and Daniel Campbell with fantastic saves. Bunce, however, would connect on his next attempt, going on a solo run from right to left before cutting a shot back across the face of the goal past Boyle to open the scoring.
The PNT countered a minute later when Sullivan’s shot from distance was saved by Australian goalkeeper Cosimo Cirillo and Hammond was there to put away the rebound from three yards out. Sullivan then put the USA ahead when he tucked a first-time shot off into the near post from a low, driven corner kick by Ballou.
Needing to score three goals and win by two to jump Iran for the group lead, head coach Stuart Sharp inserted DeLillo shortly after the break. The forward did his job, first poking through a goal between defenders from four yards out, and then losing his mark on the right flank and taking it right at the keeper away before beating him from close range.
Meyer-Crothers also came on and clinched the win with a stoppage-time goal. Goalkeeper Marc Estrella and defender Chileshe Chitulangoma entered late in added time to join Sullivan and Meyer-Crothers in making their World Cup debuts during the group stage.
The U.S. will now meet the Netherlands in the Quarterfinals on Monday. The Flying Dutchmen finished second in Group A on 4 points after defeating Venezuela, falling to Canada, and tying England 1-1 Saturday night. They won the goal-difference tie-break over Canada.
The U.S. and the Orange tied their last meeting 2-2 in the group stage of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Ballou scored both goals for the U.S. in that match, while Boyle, Bremer and Josh Brunais also started. Prior to that game, the Netherlands has had the edge, including a 2-1 win at 2015 World Championships in England, 6-4 in the placement game of the 2013 Intercontinental Cup, and winning 6-2 in the group stage of the 2009 International Championships.