The 17th annual Homeless World Cup is underway in Cardiff. Teams have been playing since Saturday and now our very own Anthony will be taking in the festivities over the next few days. Stay tuned to our live-blog to follow all of the action at the Homeless World Cup.
15:19 – It’s very wet over here
The rain is coming down in bucketloads in Bute Park this afternoon. It isn’t getting anyone down, though. Support remains in the stands at all three pitches as play continues despite the downpour.
South Korea managed to roll past a more than enthusiastic Pakistan side, where fair play and community were more important themes than football.
Plus Germany have just beaten Switzerland 7-1. We’ve also seen Sweden beat Denmark this afternoon in what felt like a derby kind of game. The two neighbouring nations clearly wanting to get one up on the other.
Players as young as 16 are playing out here in Cardiff. It doesn’t matter what age you are, there is always a chance that a challenge like homelessness could be around the corner. The youngest player representing Wales at the tournament is Chloe Byrne. She’s only 17 and has had to be supported in temporary housing in North Wales. Now she’s part of a squad playing against teams from all across the world.
13:58 – FT: Wales 5-4 Zimbabwe
The hosts are here and so is the rain. After winning both of their games yesterday, the Men’s Wales team are looking to build on their momentum.
However it’s Zimbabwe that take the lead thanks to an unfortunate own-goal from keeper, Atkinson.
It’s not long before Wales are back on terms thanks to a decent finish by Abdullah.
One of the lowest scoring games this week going into half-time as it remains 1-1.
Zimbabwe score again not long after half-time. Another avoidable goal to concede.
Wales answer again but just as quick it’s 3-2 to Zimbabwe.
Then, with just over a minute left both teams get anoth
It takes some time but Wales manage to once again level things up.
Within seconds Wales and Zimbabwe both scored to make it 4-4.
Wales grabbed a late goal to secure another win for the hosts.
13:38 – FT: South Africa 6-0 France
Another game, another early lead. This time it’s South Africa that race out ahead. The South Africans have become the darling team of the tournament, constantly entertaining on and off the field. They ran out to a 3-0 here too.
A bit of drama as France think they’ve scored their first.
VAR intervenes and disallows their goal for penalty area encroachment. Wild.
In case you are wondering, in Street Football, you are unable to enter the penalty area. Just as the goalkeeper is unable to leave it.
We had a bunch of stoppages in the first half, our 7 minute half lasted about 10.
South Africa even had time to add a fourth before the break.
It’s important to remember why we are here and stats like the fact that homelessness in France has grown 16% in the last 8 years shows what work needs to be done.
South Africa get a fifth quite quickly in the second half as they face little resistance from the French.
It becomes six just after the 10 minute mark.
The seventh comes from the spot as the South African who took it baits out the keeper with a nice fake shot.
With less than 2 minutes left, France get their first goal, making the score 7-1. Nothing more doing as the ref blows for full-time.
13:16 – FT: Mexico 6-2 Ireland
The sun came out for the start of our coverage! With it came heat on and off the pitch.
Mexico took an early lead and quickly made it two with a well finished penalty.
Mexico made it three before Ireland mustered any response. The Irish could have had a couple if it wasn’t for some decent keeping. The game went into the break 3-0 to Mexico.
A beautiful piece of football made it 4-0 to Mexico with Ireland still unable to reply.
Ireland finally got one back through Scally, who made it 4-1. The bhoys in green would have hoped for this to be the start of a magnificent comeback.
They were given more hope as the referee blew up for a penalty.
Bryan smashed it past the keeper to give Ireland more hope with two minutes to go.
Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as Mexico scored a fifth and sixth in the dying seconds.
12:23 – Tuesday
Here are the games we will be covering today:
13:00 – Mexico vs Ireland
13:20 – South Africa vs France
13:40 – Wales vs Zimbabwe
14:00 – USA vs Italy
14:40 – South Korea vs Pakistan
15:00 – Belgium vs Germany
15:20 – England (w) vs N. Ireland (w)
15:40 – Norway (w) vs Mexico (w)
16:00 – Wales (w) vs SFU (w)
16:40 – Brazil vs Scotland
17:00 – Wales vs Poland
17:20 – Russia vs Austria
17:40 – Denmark vs Slovenia
18:00 – Northern Irelan vs Croatia
18:20 – Netherlands vs Cambodia
12:17 – Tuesday
We’re back at the tournament today and we have even more games in store. The weather is significantly poorer today as it is raining heavily in the Welsh capital. However, that is not going to deter play here.
We’ve got both host sides in action as the Welsh look to create something worth remembering on home soil.
We also have Pakistan in action, continuing their first-ever Homeless World Cup campaign. With each new team that joins the competition, we are reminded that there is always work to be done in the effort to end global homelessness.
18:11 – Close of play: Monday
We are at the end of our first day of coverage.
We’ve seen goals galore today and tomorrow promises to be more of the same.
We have to remember what this tournament is all about. It is an effort to reduce global homelessness and it brings people out of difficult living situations and brings then into the world of football.
Our game of the day goes to South Africa 6-5 Republic of Ireland.
The two sides fought it out valiantly in a match that had more pace and intensity than any other thus far.
It also had the drama aspect too. In the dying seconds, South Africa conceded a penalty, had their coach sent off and then the resultant penalty was saved by their keeper. A classic.
15:26 – Germany 5-6 Scotland
An absolutely cracking game has just happened as a plucky and determined Scotland has beaten German by a narrow margin.
The game had everything. Penalties, drama and goals. What more can you ask for? The intense Scottish team took their chances and managed to get one over on one of the biggest names in world football.
Once again, we caught up with the winning manager.
“We couldn’t ask for any more, the boys are buzzing. We’re here for the Homeless World Cup experience but it’s also a tournament so we are looking for some results as well.
“We’ve had a couple of tough games this weekend but right now we couldn’t really ask for any more.
He was also very reciprocating about the tournament and its effect on people.
“Tell someone your story and you might get the help that you need. You could get the opportunity to move on with your life.
“Just get the help you require. Take a wee risk and ask for help, it literally could change your life.”
13:43 – Austria Women 7-4 Wales Women
The day rolls on and the hosts have played their second game. This one didn’t turn out nearly as well as the first though.
Wales found themselves 2-1 ahead before another second-half capitulation.
Never mind the result, the players and the crowd remain in high spirits. Everyone here knows there’s more at play than just football.
13:08 – USA 7-2 Hong Kong
The US looked solid as they ran out winners against a competitive Hong Kong side. We managed to catch the US Coach for a minute afterwards…
“This is my third year as manager. We use it [the tournament] as a reward for our players. We take not necessarily the best soccer players but the players that are the best off the field. The players that are achieving their goals off the field. Whether it’s completing rehab or moving into housing.”
“I wish the tournament was a bit more about fair play. There’s no reason any team should be winning 15 to nothing. Any time we are much better than a side I never let it get more than 5 or 6. It’s a tournament, it gets competitive. We like to win the games but if we lose we’re not crying. This is about more than that.
12:22 – Wales 4p-4 Switzerland
Full-time in today’s curtain raiser sees the hosts beat Switzerland in dramatic fashion!
The Dragons faced a tough Switzerland side but raced out to a 2-0 lead. Seconds into the second half it was 3-2 to Switzerland. The Swiss then compounded it with another. They thought the game was out of sight.
Then some magic under the Cardiff sun saw the Welsh return with a couple of really late goals. Including one that dramatically went in after the buzzer.
Then came the penalties with Switzerland dictating that Wales go first. The Dragons scored putting the pressure back on Le Suisse. They couldn’t match it and it ended with a penalties victory for Wales.
11:38 – Monday
We’ve got our run of games for today! We’ll be covering:
12:00 – Switzerland vs Wales
12:20 – Italy vs the Netherlands
12:40 – USA vs Hong Kong
13:00 – England (w) vs Mexico (w)
13:20 – Austria (w) vs Wales (w)
13:40 – Sweden (w) vs USA (w)
14:00 – Northern Ireland vs France
14:20 – India vs Egypt
14:40 – Norway vs Finland
15:00 – England (w) vs Chile (w)
15:20 – Mexico (w) vs Wales (w)
15:40 – Netherlands (w) vs USA (w)
16:00 – Mexico vs Denmark
16:20 – Wales vs Cambodia
16:40 – South Africa vs Ireland
17:00 – Brazil vs Bulgaria
17:20 – Portugal vs Hungary
17:40 – Boznia and Herz. vs Costa Rica
18:00 – Germany vs Croatia
18:20 – Indonesia vs Lithuania
There are over 40 teams here in Cardiff and it’s set to be a beautiful day in the Welsh capital!
11:19 – Monday
Welcome to our first day of coverage at the Homeless World Cup! We’ll be here all week to spread the word of what this tournament means to the people involved.
We’ll be sharing stories and results from the tournament so make sure to keep checking out what’s going on.
For those that don’t know…
The Homeless World Cup is an annual tournament that has been held for the last 17 years in countries all over the world.
To be able to compete, players need to have been in a situation where they have experienced homelessness in the past two years. The tournament is about providing a platform for people to use football as an escape from these challenges. It provides opportunities to build and grow away from the issues people experiencing homelessness face.
Teams consist of four players on the pitch at any one time. One goalkeeper and three outfield players.
Teams will play constant 14-minute games all week long. Three points are awarded for a win in normal time. If the game is a tie after normal time then we go to a sudden-death style shootout. In that case, the winners are awarded two points and the losers one.
At the end of the week, the two teams with the highest points tally in both the Women’s and Men’s categories will face each-other to crown two Homeless World Cup champions.