Hosts Turkey were crowned winners of the first Istanbul Blind Football Cup title at the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) Hasan Doğan National Team Training and Education Centre.
Turkey went undefeated throughout the round-robin tournament, ploughing their way through Italy 8-1, Russia 3-1 and Spain 1-0 in the group matches and subsequently defeating Spain 2-1 in the final.
With chances at both goals in the start of the Final, it was Turkey’s Emre Aslan who got the first goal just before half-time. He scored anew in the second-half as he blasted the ball past the Spanish goalkeeper. Spain’s Adolfo Acosta retaliated with a strike on goal to narrow the deficit, but Spain were unable to score another to prevent Turkey from winning the Istanbul Cup.
“I am very happy that we won the Istanbul Cup in our home country. It was a wonderful experience to help us prepare for the World Championship and it has given us greater determination to play at our best on the world stage,” said Turkish midfielder Omur Mercan.
Caption: the Turkish team poses with the trophy.
The Final was broadcasted live by the Turkish National TV Channel - TRT Spo, and TFF League and Executive Board watched the Final and Bronze Medal match between Russia and Italy, which bodes well for the future development of blind football in Turkey.
Italy took a surprising lead in the Bronze Medal match as Sebastiano Gravina struck the ball into Russia’s net from ten metres out. But two minutes later, Russia’s leading goal scorer Denis Egorov scored two goals in quick succession to put Russia in front 2-1. Italy’s budding striker Paul Iyobo scored an equaliser, and the game was close to being decided by penalties with time running out. However, Evgeny Ivanov scored in the last minute for Russia to win 3-2 and attain Bronze.
On top of Turkey winning the Istanbul Cup, their goalkeeper Resat Aykut Akyon was awarded goalkeeper of the tournament. Russia’s Denis Egorov scored seven goals to finish as top goal scorer of the tournament, whilst Spanish striker Antonio Martín Gaitán was awarded player of the tournament.
The fair play award was given to Italy, who also fielded three players under the age of eighteen that are all touted as upcoming stars of the National Team.
2018 Istanbul Blind Football Cup final standings
1st - Turkey
2nd - Spain
3rd - Russia
4th - Italy
Click here or on on the links above to view or download the full results and final standings from the 2018 Istanbul Blind Football Cup.
We would like to congratulate the Türkiye Görme Engelliler Spor Federasyonu (GESF) on their excellent hostage of the Istanbul Blind Football Cup and all the referees who officiated in the round-robin tournament.
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