Eby And United States Leave Greece In Fourth
World Deaf Football Championships Update
By Matt Skinner
The United States, which includes Real Maryland defender Matthew Eby, has finished fourth at the World Deaf Football Championships after losing to France 2-0 in the third place game in Patras, Greece.
The Americans were unable to advance to the final after losing their semi-final clash with Turkey in a penalty shootout. The Turks won the shootout 4-2 after both teams held each other to a 0-0 draw in the first 120 minutes.
The team’s best chance of the game came in the second-half after Gabe Lopez’s strike was deemed offside. The play began when Mike Lawson took off down the center of the field with the ball at his feet. The midfielder managed to beat two defenders before sending the ball into the penalty area for Lopez to latch on to. The forward struck the ball into the back of the net but the assistant referee had his flag up.
The Americans continued to press forward during extra-time in hopes of avoiding a penalty shootout and were unlucky not to win after hitting the crossbar twice during the period.
With a place in the final on the line, it was Turkey who stepped up and won the penalty shootout after finding the net on all four occasions. The United States failed to convert two of its designated kicks, including Eby’s attempt.
“It was a heartbreaking game,” reflects a remorseful Eby. “We can’t change anything now because it is what it is. Coach told me I played one of my best games but I am still taking the loss hard.”
The Stars and Stripes had to regroup quickly for its rematch against France after the European champions went down to Germany on penalties. The game had been level at 2-2 at the end of extra-time.
Eby featured again for his country in the center of defense but he could do nothing as France took the lead in the 27th minute.
The Americans began venturing forward in the hopes of finding an equalizer, but were denied time and again by a determined French defense.
Les Bleus clinched third place with a two goal cushion after scoring another goal in the dying moments of the game.
Germany won the World Deaf Football Championship final after downing Turkey. Both teams were level at 3-3 at the end of extra-time but it was the Germans who clinched top spot, winning the shootout 5-3.
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