By Scott Taylor
Liverpool U19s finished fourth in the 2015 Otten Cup after losing 4-3 on penalties to Paris Saint Germain in the 3rd/4th place play-off on Sunday evening. Despite a 5-1 defeat against the same opponents at the group stages, the Reds qualified for the semi-finals with wins over Guangzhou Evergrande and Red Bull Brasil. Neil Critchley’s side then faced La Liga side Barcelona in the semi-final but suffered a 2-1 defeat which led to a re-match with PSG. In a much tighter game, the Reds lost in a penalty shoot-out after a goalless draw in the 60 minute game.
Toni Gomes and Harry Wilson were on target in the opening game of the tournament on Friday as Liverpool beat Chinese outfit Guangzhou Evergrande 2-1. Gomes opened the scoring in the 25th minute of the game, but Guangzhou equalised four minutes later courtesy of Zefeng Lin. The games were 60 minutes long, and Welsh international Wilson won it for the Reds three minutes from time.
Wilson was again on target as the Reds maintained their 100% record with a 3-1 win over Red Bull Brasil. Yan Dhanda opened the scoring for Liverpool in the 22nd minute, before the Indian striker doubled his and the Reds’ lead in the 45th minute of the game. Divino Da Silva Delfino pulled a goal back in the 51st minute to set up a nervous final ten minutes. Wilson then eased any worries with a goal in the first minute of injury time to settle the contest.
Bobby Adekanye scored his first Liverpool goal in the final group game, but it wasn’t enough as they suffered a 5-1 defeat against Paris Saint Germain. Alexis Giacomini gave the French side an early lead in the sixth minute before Wilfired Kanga scored two goals in three minutes as PSG were 3-0 up inside 13 minutes. The Ligue 1 side had to wait until the second half to further extend their lead as Samuel Essende netted his side’s fourth of the game in the 35th minute. Fifteen minutes later, it was 5-0 when David Attah fired home. Adekanye spared Liverpool’s blushes with a goal five minutes from time as Liverpool qualified for the semi-final stage.
After finishing second in Group A, they faced the winners of Group B, Barcelona, who won all of their three games thus far. La Masia continued that impressive streak with a 2-1 win over Critchley’ boys. Juan Manuel Garcia Rey gave Barcelona the lead in the 28th minute before Spanish youth international Pedro Chirivella equalised seven minutes later. However, Oriol Busquets Mas won it for the La Liga side in the 45th minute as his side held out to qualify for the final.
Liverpool then faced a re-match against Paris Saint Germain as they were looking to avenge the 5-1 thrashing from the group stages. After a goalless tie, the French side picked up another win over the Reds as they finish the 2015 Otten Cup in fourth position out of eight participants.