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Brazil and Mexico break records in Homeless World Cup finale

Mixed gender side see Brazilians become the first side to take three titles, while Mexican women grab a third-straight trophy as competition comes to a close in Oslo.

Brazil became the first team to win the Homeless World Cup for a third time after seeing off Mexico in a tightly-fought final.

The Brazilians – with a mixed gender team – clinched a 4-3 victory to end the Mexican stranglehold on the men’s title at Oslo’s Radhusplassen yesterday evening.

The defeat meant that the reigning champions – who took the trophy in 2015 and 2016 in Amsterdam and Glasgow respectively – missed out on a record third title themselves over the tournament’s 15-year history.

A double from Igor put Brazil in command early-on before they controlled possession to hold-off a Mexico fightback and add to the titles they won in Poznan in 2013 as well as on home turf in Rio de Janeiro in 2010.

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But it was not all doom and gloom for Mexico as their women’s side continued their dominance to take an unmatched fifth World Cup crown. Strikes from Zacapantzi and Valentine helped the Mexicans edge a closely-contested final against Chile 4-2 to make it three titles on the bounce.

Incidentally, Chile are the last team to stop Mexico taking the spoils – winning on home turf in 2014’s Santiago tournament.

On the home front, both Scotland and Wales also tasted success. The Scots secured a double, a year on from hosting the tournament in Glasgow, as their men’s side ran out of 5-1 winners against Grenada to take the New Balance Shield while their women’s side fought back from 4-1 down to see off the Netherlands 5-4 in the Fretex Quaich.

The New Balance Shield was is a mini-tournament for the teams placed between 25th and 32nd place and while the Fretex Quaich is contested between the teams in 41st and 48th place.

Hollywood actor and Street Football Wales ambassador Michael Sheen watched the women’s side cruise past the USA with a 6-2 romp in the Cobana Bowl final, ensuring they would finish 17th overall.

Elsewhere, Austria picked up the Men’s Salvation Army Plate with a 5–2 victory over Bulgaria to finish 9th, while Denmark won the Men’s City of Oslo Bowl with a 4–2 win over India to take 17th spot.

But the tournament is not just about glory on the pitch, with every one of the 500-plus players receiving ongoing support to help get them off the streets and improve their lives.

The Homeless World Cup has helped England coach Hugo Casallas conquer his anger problem while Wales defender Deanne Sansome had never kicked a ball just six months before going to Oslo to represent her country and beat her alcohol demons.

The pair are just two of the players whose lives have been transformed by the 2017 tournament as attentions now turn to the 2018 iteration.

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