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Volksbank Cup: Academy end tournament as runners-up

The Spurs Academy finished as runners-up in the Volksbank Cup in Germany after a penalty shootout loss in the final to Mexican side, Club America.

Alex Inglethorpe's team had earlier put in an outstanding performance to beat Werder Bremen 3-0 in the semi-finals with goals from Bentaleb, Zapata-Caicedo and Ward ensuring we had a chance to win the tournament.

But despite dominating possession and creating the majority of chances in the final, the lads were unable to breakdown a stubborn Club America team.

With the match finishing 0-0, it was left to the lottery of spot-kicks to decide the fixture and it was the excellent Alex Pritchard who was unfortunate enough to miss the decisive kick, allowing the Mexican side to win the shootout 4-3.

"It was an awful way to end it but there are lots of positives to take from the tournament," Inglethorpe told after the final.

"I thought we were outstanding against Werder Bremen. It was a very complete performance. We controlled the game, with and without the ball, and I thought we were standout in how we approached the game.

"The result in the final is hard to take because I think we were the better team. Club America were good but they backed right off us; we had all the ball, all the initiative and a couple of chances but we couldn't score."

After playing five matches in three days, Inglethorpe stressed the positives of competing so strongly in such a high quality competition.

"The most pleasing thing about the tournament is that, whilst we've finished second, the best players in the tournament were ours.

"Nabil Bentaleb, Jack Bartram, Kevin Stewart, Alex Pritchard and Ryan Fredericks were all very, very good. Nabil in particular looked like a complete midfield player.

"It's difficult for all of us [to accept a loss on penalties], because everybody has put so much into it. We have to console ourselves with the fact that I believe we had the best players in the competition.

"The reason we go to these tournaments is because the Premier League is an international league. We've played a Mexican side, two German sides, a Swiss side and a Mexican side. We know that we can compete against some of the best young players in the world."

TEAM VS WERDER BREMEN: Lawrence, A.McQueen, Ball, Stewart, Barthram (Gardiner 46), Bentaleb (Smith 44), Gomelt, Munns, McEvoy (W-Lassen 36), Ward, Z-Caicedo (Pritchard 41)

Goals: Bentaleb 8, Z-Caicedo 9, Ward 33

TEAM VS CLUB AMERICA: Miles, Barthram, Ball, Stewart, Smith, Bentaleb, Gomelt, Munns, Pritchard, Fredericks (McEvoy 47), Zapata-Caicedo