Support through Sport UK was excited to see some of the action from the 2015 Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships ...
The 2015 Cerebral Palsy World Championships are being held at the National Football Centre - St George's Park in Burton on Trent - where 16 great footballing nations are battling for glory. In addition to being the largest disability football event to have ever been held in England, the event is also acting as a qualification tournament for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
So how does cerebral palsy football work? Cerebral palsy football is seven-a-side football for players with cerebral palsy or any other neurological disorders such as stroke and traumatic brain injury. The game is played on a smaller pitch than ordinary football and there's no offside rule - and roll-ins and throw-ins are permitted. Each player is given one of four classifications based on their level of disability and each team has to have a specified mix of disability levels.
Of the 16 2015 World Championships teams, three are from the home nations - England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. England drew Group A, which contained Japan, Ukraine and Iran (Ukraine currently being second in the world standings after Russia), although the Iranians didn't ultimately field a team.
After very strong starts in the tournament from England and Ukraine, both teams were already through to the next stage. However, in their final group match (against each other), the teams were playing for the pride of being group winners ...
England fielded virtually the same team as the team that faced Japan, the only exception being the presence of George Fletcher as opposed to Jake Brown.
In what was a very tight match, the only goal in the first half came from Ukraine's Volodymyr Antoniuk after a nice set-up from Oleh Len.
At the start of the second half (each half spanning half an hour), England lost the explosive left foot of Emyle Rudder, who had to be stretchered off after a collision. In the final stages of the second half, England launched an offensive surge, which really lit up an already electric crowd, but they didn't ultimately equalise and so the game ended 1-0 to Ukraine.
The result means that Ukraine will go on to face the Republic of Ireland (who were runners-up in Group B) in the Quarters, whilst England will face world leaders Russia (who topped Group B). So fingers crossed for England on Wednesday!