Thursday Group Stage Match Reports

London 2017

ENGLAND 1 (Owen)
SPAIN 4 (Luis Garcia 2, Alfonso Perez, Joan Capdevila)

England got off to a flyer when Michael Owen scored the first goal in Star Sixes history, but it was all downhill after that as Spain came from behind with the help of brace from another former Liverpool striker, Luis Garcia.

Steven Gerrard’s team made a dream start to the inaugural tournament at The O2 when Owen hammered home from close range with barely two minutes on the clock. But Garcia equalised soon afterwards, and made it 2-1 shortly after the halfway point. A tap-in from Alfonso and another late strike from Capdevila made it look comfortable for Spain and put them in control of Group A.

 

MEXICO 1 (Hernandez)
SCOTLAND 3 (Donnelly, Ferguson, Burchill)

Scotland kicked off their Star Sixes campaign with an impressive 3-1 victory over Group A rivals Mexico.

The Tartan Army took the lead early on through Simon Donnelly, before Barry Ferguson doubled their advantage with a stunning goal.

The midfielder sold the goalkeeper with a lovely dummy before dinking the ball over him with an audacious chip.

That made it 2-0 and Scotland were later three to the good as Mark Burchill put the game beyond doubt, finishing off a brilliant passing move.

Mexico did pull a goal back when Luis Hernandez tapped home from close range – but it proved to be too little, too late. The only negative for Scotland was the loss of Christian Dailly with a broken collarbone.


DENMARK 6 (Junker 3, Sorensen 2, Beckmann)
PORTUGAL 4 (Postiga 3, Maniche)

Denmark won a ten-goal thriller against Portugal as they began their quest to be Star Sixes champions with a bang.

Both of the Group C sides were eager to pick up an early win as they knew matches against heavyweights France and Germany lay ahead.

In the end it proved to be a game of hat-tricks as both Mads Junker of Denmark and Portugal’s Helder Postiga found the net three times.

However, Junker’s hat-trick was decisive as it helped Denmark secure a valuable 6-4 victory as they continue their fight to make the knockout stages of Star Sixes.

 

GERMANY 4 (Kuranyi 2, Ballack, Gaudino)
FRANCE 3 (Nowotny og, Candela, Giuly)

Maurizio Gaudino scored the winning goal as Germany defeated France 4-3 in their opening match of Star Sixes.

After watching fellow Group C side Denmark defeat Portugal 6-4, both teams knew they had to lay down a marker in their match.

France took the lead early on through a Jens Nowotny own-goal, but they were soon behind as Kevin Kuranyi and Michael Ballack found the net.

In an end-to-end game, France were then ahead courtesy of Vincent Candela and Ludovic Giuly’s strikes and it looked as though they would claim the win.

But then Kuranyi bagged his second of the night before Gaudino secured Germany the three points.

 

NIGERIA 3 (Yakubu 2 ,Amokachi)
CHINA
2 (Peng Wei Guo, Liang Jian Feng)

Nigeria overcame a late comeback from the Chinese to take all three points after a Yakubu double and delicious goal from Daniel Amokachi. The former Everton striker scored what turned out to be the winner with a delicate dink over goalkeeper Li Wei, before leaping over the advertising boards and celebrating with the noisy crowd.

Yakubu had given the Super Eagles a two-goal lead after five minutes, and Nigeria looked to be cruising to victory, with Jay-Jay Okocha showing his full range of tricks and flicks. But Peng Wei Jun and Liang Jian Feng scored one apiece in the closing stages to make it tense before Nigeria triumphed.

 

BRAZIL 2 (Juninho, Belletti)
ITALY 1 (Delvecchio)

The Brazilians showed their samba style as they saw off Italy in the final game of the opening day, which lived up fully to expectations.

A huge crowd packed out The O2 and many turned up to see if Rivaldo, Robert Carlos and Juninho still had the magic that made them world stars not so long ago. And the answer was a convincing ‘Yes’. Brazil showed all their skills in overcoming a tough Italy side. Juninho, so often a little magician for Middlesbrough, opened the scoring as he found a sliver of space and smashed the ball past Marco Amelia. But Marco Delvecchio equalised with an equally brilliant goal, before former Barcelona full-back Juliano Belletti, who broke Arsenal hearts in the 2006 Champions League final, struck again with a long-range effort to seal Brazil’s first win.