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Academy triumph in Eurofoot

Posted on 7 August 2011  - 12:00

Our Academy won the prestigious Eurofoot Tournament in Belgium on Sunday.

Our Academy won the prestigious Eurofoot Tournament in Belgium on Sunday.

They beat Shakhtar Donetsk 5-4 on penalties after the final finished goalless in Oostduinkerke.

Callum Tapping struck a fine goal in the 16th minute of the 50-minute semi-final to overcome Club Bruges and earn the lads a place in the final.

Tapping, Alex Pritchard, Milos Veljkovic, Kudus Oyenuga and Shaq Coulthirst all kept their nerve from the spot as the lads triumphed in the final.

It's the second time in five years that we've won the tournament having also finished runners-up in 2008 and 2010.

"Every tournament is a rollercoaster ride, we've very rarely reached a final and it's been seamless and it was the same story this time around," said coach Alex Inglethorpe.

"What I will say this time is that we started slowly but improved bit by bit and in every match we improved in terms of the level of performance. That was key.

"Club Bruges provided a big test in the semi-final and we came through it 1-0 and then the final on penalties. The main thing is the players' experience. It's not necessarily about winning the trophy, it's more about that they've learned how to win, how to cope with pressure and some have thrived on it, others have found different gears at different times.

"We played really well in the final. The first half was a bit of a stalemate, nothing to write home about, but we bossed the game after that and looked like the only team that was going to score.

"We had opportunities to win it, had a lot of shots blocked but Shakhtar defended well.

"We practised penalties before we came out to the tournament and we ended up scoring five out of five in the shoot-out in the final.

"It's an excellent tournament in terms of the matches, the organisation and quality of the opposition, lots of different teams from different nations, so to win it is a great achievement for the lads."

Eurofoot Tournament, Day 2, Saturday August 6

Our Academy squad came through a must-win game on Saturday to reach the semi-finals of the Eurofoot Tournament in Belgium.

After two victories in their opening four group fixtures, the lads had to beat Belgian side SV Zulte-Waregem in their final group match to make the top bracket of Sunday's knockout stage.

And they did it style with a 4-0 success with goals from Shaquille Coulthirst (2), Kudus Oyenuga and a penalty from Alex Pritchard.

The youngsters were actually forced into winning their last two group matches after losing 1-0 to Standard Liege in their first match on Saturday and third overall game in the group.

They turned their fortunes around against AA Gent with a fine 3-0 victory thanks to goals from Alex Pritchard (2) and Callum Tapping.

Alex Inglethorpe's squad now take on Club Bruges in the semi-final on Sunday.

Spurs v Standard Liege: Archer, Day, Barthram, Veljkovic (A McQueen, 25), Stewart, Munns (Angol, 43), Tapping, Pritchard, Hawkins, Dombaxe 25 (Coulthirst, 25), Oyenuga.

Spurs v AA Gent: Miles, McQueen (Barthram, 25), Dombaxe, Milos, Hawkins (Day, 38), Tapping, Stewart, Pritchard, Coulthirst, Bush, Oyenuga (Angol, 47).

Spurs v SV Zulte-Waregem: Archer, Barthram (McQueen, 40), Stewart, Veljkovic, Day, Dombaxe, Tapping, Pritchard, Angol, Coulthirst, Kudos (Hawkins, 35).

Eurofoot Tournament, Day 1 - Friday, August 5

The lads won and lost a game on the opening day of the Eurofoot Tournament in Belgium.

They kicked-off with a 2-0 victory against FC Copenhagen in the morning but were beaten by the same scoreline by Feyenoord Ghana in the afternoon.

Jack Munns (pictured) capitalised on a goalkeeping error to open the scoring in the first match before Shaquille Coulthirst set-up Kudus Oyenuga to settle it three minutes from time of the 50-minute match.

Mason Bush came closest to pulling a goal back against Feyenoord Ghana who won it with goals after eight and 33 minutes.

"The first match was a typical opening game, a little cagey, but we came through it okay," reported coach Alex Inglethorpe. "I'd describe it as a solid performance against a solid side.

"I'd have to say we were outplayed against a very good Feyenoord Ghana team in the second match. At the moment, they have to be the tournament favourites. I was impressed."

The lads face three matches on Saturday. First up it's Standard Liege, the AA Gent and finally SV Zulte-Waregem.

Spurs v FC Copenhagen: Miles, Day, Yeboah, Stewart, Barthram, Veljkovic, Hawkins (Tapping, 36), Pritchard, Angol (Coulthirst, 35), Munns, Oyenuga.

Spurs v Feyenoord Ghana: Archer, A McQueen, Veljkovic, Stewart, Barthram, Dombaxe (Munns, 26), Hawkins, Tapping, Bush, Coulthirst (Pritchard), Oyenuga.