The Homeless World Cup got underway at George Square in Glasgow in particularly Scottish conditions, although that did nothing to dampen the atmosphere of the 3,500 capacity crowd. The opening ceremony where the captains of the 50 countries brought their flag onto Pitch 1, and saw a message delivered from UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon.
I am pleased to send my greetings to everyone involved in the 14th Homeless World Cup in Glasgow. The Homeless World Cup is a pioneering social movement that uses football to inspire and promote positive change in people’s lives. Its growth since the first competition in 2003 is remarkable. The Homeless World Cup has impacted the lives of more than 1 million people around the world.I thank the vast network of national partners, participants and volunteers for your commitment. Through initiatives like this, sport brings people together, raises awareness and creates social cohesion. I wish all the participants and teams in Glasgow the very best of luck in the tournament and beyond. I don’t know which team to support, but I know you are all winners already. Together, and with the help of sport, we can change lives and bring new hope to homeless people.
The men started first, with Scotland beating Hong Kong 8-4 in an enthralling match where Scotland was always ahead, but Hong Kong always was threatening to make a comeback.
And then it was the turn of the Women’s Team, who played Norway. Scotland’s captain, Karen Boggie opened the scoring in the first minute with a penalty, before Sophie Gallacher scored two quick goals to make it 3-0.
Courtney Lynn found herself on the scoresheet before Boggie made it 5-0. Scotland then won a penalty, which was saved by the Norwegian keeper. Norway then won a penalty of their own, which they converted.
But Boggie scored her third and fourth goals in a matter of seconds to make it 7-1 to Scotland at half-time.
As the rain came down harder, Scotland scored four goals in the second half to secure a highly impressive 11-1 win.
Scotland’s Women also played a friendly against France. Scotland opened the scoring in the first minute, and France had a chance to equalise soon after but ended up seeing the effort saved.
And Scotland punished them soon after as captain Boggie found the bottom-left corner with her strike.
The home side hit the woodwork three times in quick succession, but soon Gallacher made it 3-0. Gallacher went on to score three more times in the first half, the pick of the goals coming from a beautiful passing move, to make it 6-0 to Scotland at half-time.
France had a couple of good chances to pull a goal back early in the second half, but Scotland made it 7-0 in the third minute of the second half.
The Scotland keeper was required to make a couple of good saves, but Scotland soon scored their 8th goal.
The home side scored their ninth and final goal when captain Boggie turned her marker and converted with a superb finish.
France could have scored late on, but they were denied by a wonder save.
In Group A, France was given a bye, whilst Chile beat India 6-1 and England defeated Greece by the same scoreline. Mexico produced a magnificent performance to beat Argentina 12-1.
Whilst in Group B (with Scotland), Netherlands beat Wales 7-2 and Kyrgyzstan beat USA 8-2.