Eby, United States Closing In On Quarter-Finals
World Deaf Football Championships Update
By Matt Skinner
The United States have recorded a win against the Netherlands and a loss against France from its first two Group D fixtures at the World Deaf Football Championships.
The tournament is currently underway in Patras, Greece, and features Real Maryland defender Matthew Eby, who has featured in the starting line-up for the United States in both games.
“We have been training twice a day since arriving in Patras,” informs Eby via e-mail correspondence. “While we have not played together for a long time, I can already notice some improvement leading up to our opening match against the Netherlands.”
The United States was 2-0 victors over its European opposition, with Eby starting in his usual left-back position. The Monarchs’ player also managed to contribute to the team’s attack with his threatening runs down the left-hand side of the Oranje’s half.
"Our victory was huge,” remarked an excited Eby on the win. “The Dutch are a tall team and they defended well. We just kept piling pressure on their defense and eventually managed to secure the three points.”
The celebrations were soon over for the United States, going down 3-0 in its second group fixture to current European champions France.
“It was a tougher game than our encounter against the Dutch,” laments Eby on the loss. “The French are currently the best team in the world.”
These two performances leave the United States tied for second spot in Group D with the Netherlands, who won 4-0 against China in its second fixture.
In the final round of Group D fixtures, the United States will play China while the Netherlands play group-leaders France. Only the top two teams from each group advance to the quarter-finals.
A win for Eby and his teammates would almost certainly grant the United States qualification into the next round.
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