U15’s disappoint at Marveld
Posted by nickogs20 on June 1, 2008
United U15’s travelled to Groenlo looking to improve on the club’s previous best finish of 6th in the Marveldtournooi, but ultimately returned home sorely disappointed after four defeats from five in the group stage condemned them to eventually finishing 10th of the 12 participants.
Friday night’s first round of group games saw the Reds face Real Madrid, and it was Los Merengues who got off to a fine start with a 1-0 victory. Saturday’s action started with another 1-0 reverse, this time to Dutch side De Graafschap (late replacements for Olympique Marseille). This already left United with a mountain to climb to get into the semi-finals, and that mountain became insurmountable as further defeats against Ajax (1-3) and FC Twente/Heracles (1-2) completed a thoroughly miserable day for the young Red Devils.
The main focus for the Sunday had to be on getting a bit of pride back and avoiding the ignominy of finishing with the wooden spoon. That was ‘successfully’ achieved with a 5-0 hammering of Ajax Cape Town in the final group game – the vanquished South African side therefore propped up Group Pepsi and United were into the 9th/10th place playoff, where they faced Belgian outfit Anderlecht. Another improved performance followed but a 1-1 draw meant penalties, and the Under-15’s were unable to match the first team’s shootout prowess this season -10th place it was. For the record, Hertha Berlin of Germany were the tournament winners, beating PSV Eindhoven in the final.
It’s hard to properly evaluate what went wrong for the U15’s out in Holland without knowing any more than the scores of their games, but while results are far from the be-all and end-all at this level, the coaches and the players themselves will certainly have hoped for and expected a better showing. Hopefully some further details of our lads’ matches, performances, line-ups and so on will emerge some time soon – there are some pictures on the official Marveld side (just follow the links on the frontpage) for those interested.