No one expects the U16's to win the Al Kass International Cup - our boys are going up against some of the best-funded youth football academies in the world, so the results are not of utmost importance. But the 6-1 scoreline in favor of Manchester City in Wednesday's game does not tell the true story. The U16's struck first and went into half tied. It was 2-1 until the 81st minute and then the wheels feel off the bus.
Playing their second game in two days, the Fire had a tough task ahead of them. Then it got worse when they had to lineup against the glamorous Manchester City Academy loaded with young stars attracted by the new wealth the club has enjoyed since its takeover by Sheik Mansour.
Our boys struck first when Kevin Timachy scored off a rebound from a shot from Djordje Mihalovic in the 4th minute. Manchester City was able to level the score in the 26th minute and the teams went into half tied.
The second half was reportedly dominated by Manchester City. The English kids took the lead in the 60th minute. The defining moment of the game was the 81st minute when our U16's hit the post on a shot that could have tied the game. City raced back down the field to score and put the game away at 3-1. Then sadly, the wheels fell off. Manchester City finished strong while our boys collapsed and the game ended 6-1.
The score doesn't do the game justice when seeing that the U16's could have leveled late on against a Manchester City team loaded with talent such as Brahim Abdelkader.
Academy Director Larry Sunderland said after the game, "One of the reasons we are here is to get into the pool with the big boys." He noted the difference in the teams when he said, "Even though we had the one goal lead early on, I think we were on our heels for most of the match."
The U16's will play one more time on Friday against a team yet to be determined. That game will be available for viewing on http://internationalcup.alkass.net.