Brazil girl’s team won the 2014 Street Child World Cup after a tense final against a spirited Philippines team. One first half goal from Thayane for Brazil was enough to settle a tight game in which both teams struggled to create chances.
The stage was set for Team Brazil, mind not just being in the final as the home nation, help but in beautiful sunshine, check on a pitch situated underneath Cristo Redentor, with a carnival atmosphere in the stands complete with live soundtrack provided by the Rio de JaneiroBritishSchool drummers and a very enthusiastic Team South Africa in the stands.
Both teams started the game positively, although Philippines had the better of the opening exchanges. There was an intense energy about the game, which exploded into jubilant scenes on the pitch and in the crowd midway through the first half when Thayane opened the scoring from the edge of the area.
As the second half went on the party in the stands was replaced by tension as neither team could fashion any chances on goal. The nerves only increased when the Philippines striker found some space on the edge of the box, but hit her shot straight at the Brazil ‘keeper. But Brazil managed to hold on to their lead to claim the title.
After the game Brazil player Claudianny thinks winning the Street Child World Cup will help put children at the forefront of the Brazilian public’s mind before the FIFA World Cup: “I think because Brazil have won this event people will look more at children, and give them more attention and respect.”
Team Brazil are organised by Favela Street. The project works to train talented youth from the community to become trainers and role models, and use their skills to work with youth at risk of involvement in drugs and violence. Their coach Philip Veldhuis thinks the experience will be a formative experience for his team: “We’ve been working to this as a big goal to accomplish, and to achieve what they set out to will be so good for their self-esteem and confidence.”
But Philip thinks all the Street Champions at the 2014 Street Child World Cup have a lot to take away from the tournament: “I think the Street Child World Cup has been a fantastic event. 250 ambassadors representing all the children in the world came together, and I think a lot of them didn’t know what to expect but they’ve made new friendships, they’ve learnt some new perspectives and I really believe that after the experience they’ll realise they’ve grown as people.
Team Philippines are organised by the Fairplay for All Foundation who work at Payatas, the biggest dumpsite in the Philippines. After the Street Child World Cup they will be building the FairplayAcademy, a football field, a school, and a large urban farm to sustainably break the cycle of poverty.
Philippines had beaten Brazil in the 2010 Street Child World Cup, but couldn’t repeat the upset in Rio. After the final Philippines coach Roy said his team’s disappointment at losing the game would pass, but they would appreciate the experience of the tournament forever: “It’s been great for the girls on and off the pitch. They’ve had experiences they will keep forever, and will use to help them make their next steps in life. They really put their all into the game, and were very upset to loose, but once they’ve recovered they’ll be able to look back on great memories.”
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