A South American goalfest in the centre of Mexico City saw the hosts lift the Homeless World Cup men’s trophy after a thrilling end-to-end encounter against Chile and a 6–3 scoreline. In this 16th playing of the tournament, Mexico women had earlier delighted the home support with a 5–3 win over near-neighbours and first-time Homeless World Cup participants Colombia, the scores see-sawing between the passionate and committed teams, to take the main women’s trophy.
The final placings in both Homeless World Cups had been decided before the main events with Chile edging Brazil (3–2), newcomers Costa Rica scoring eight to Egypt’s five, and Norway hitting the back of the net on six occasions to Peru’s five, to decide third to eighth places respectively in the main women’s tournament.
Places three to eight in the men’s event saw Portugal take on Hungary with the 5–6 scoreline putting the Hungarians into third spot. Brazil’s 3–0 win over South Africa secured them fifth and sixth places respectively, and Bosnia & Herzegovina ended the tournament seventh, following a 7–1 win over Lithuania.
Over 450 players have been involved in 328 matches, with 56 teams hailing from 42 countries, in a tournament covering six days in one amazing city.
Today we witnessed the culmination of the action in the 16th Homeless World Cup, with crowds thronging the Zocalo in Mexico’s capital to cheer on the home side and their adopted teams.
The first silverware to be decided this morning—the men’s Harald Peter Schmied Trophy, honouring the co-founder of the tournament who recently passed away—saw France take on Guatemala in the final, the former overcoming the South American side 4–2. Next year’s hosts Wales edged Greece 6–5 to take third and fourth places respectively. Fifth and sixth spots went to Sweden and Germany, a four-all scoreline at full time being decided on penalties in favour of the Swedes. Seventh and eight places in the trophy were filled by South Korea and Slovenia respectively, with a 10–5 final score.
Next up, the men’s Marca Claro Trophy—courtesy of the tournament television sponsors—saw Colombia take on Switzerland in the final, with the former lifting the title in a 6–1 win. After a 2–2 draw, USA took third place in a penalty shootout with fourth-placed Hong Kong. Northern Ireland beat Italy 4–2 to nail fifth and sixth places, respectively, while Croatia overcame England 9–7 to decide seventh and eighth spots.
Continuing with the men’s finals, sponsors Fundacion Telmex Telcel were the trophy providers for next event where Ireland’s eight goals to Romania’s three saw the former lift the silverware. Scotland and Denmark were in third and fourth place respectively after 7–4 scoreline. India beat Norway 5–2 to seal fifth and six places respectively, and a high-scoring encounter (9–6) saw Kyrgyz Republic and Finland seal seventh and eighth spots.
The first women’s finals of the day—with its trophy sponsored by the Fundacion Carlos Slim— was a nail-biter with India just edging England 5–4 to take the major honours. Scotland saw off USA 5–2 to put those teams in third and forth place respectively. Wales narrowly beat Northern Ireland 5–4 for fifth and sixth placings, and newcomers Paraguay overcame Greece 6–1 to complete the seventh and eighth standing at this level of the tournament.
It was Fundacion Carlos Slim men’s finals next, with Russia and Indonesia competing for the trophy. In a 12-goal thriller, the Russians took the title with nine scores to Indonesia’s three. Third place went to Costa Rice who edged Bulgaria 6–4. Following a 7-all draw between Zimbabwe and Peru, the latter won on penalties to finish in fifth place, and Poland’s three goals to Austria’s nil saw these side take seventh and eighth spot respectively in this competition.
With the 16th Homeless World Cup wrapping up, all eyes turn now to the 17th edition, which will play out in Cardiff, Wales, in 2019.
Words: Isobel Irvine
Images: Anita Milas