MATCH 12: RB LEIPZIG 4-2 WERDER BREMEN (H/T: 3-0)
Goalscorers: Ludewig (2’), Abouchabaka, MC Mensah Quarshie
RB Leipzig’s Young Bulls clearly set the tone in the opening 15 minutes and wanted to clinch the game right at the start, but Werder Bremen had a very good chance to get an early lead against the run of play. This was saved superbly by the Leipzig goalkeeper, much to the Red Bulls’ relief. Leipzig then managed to find the net – and not just once or twice, but three times within the space of just 15 minutes in the first half. Ludewig scored two of those and Abouchabaka added the third for the 3-0 half-time lead.
Bremen were able to get more into the game in the second half, and they got the first goal of the period thanks to a Leipzig own goal. Bremen missed a chance to pull another back, but any hopes of a dramatic comeback were soon dashed by Abouchabaka, whose second goal made it 4-1 to the Red Bulls from Leipzig. Werder Bremen were able to add another though, with the Leipzig goalkeeper being shown a red card and a penalty awarded - MC Mensah Quarshie stepped up to convert and make it 4-2 at full-time.
MATCH 11: FC BAYERN MUNICH 0-1 RED BULL NEW YORK (H/T: 0-0)
Bayern Munich became encamped in their opponents’ half right from the start and played some good combination football in the penalty area, without creating a real goalscoring threat. Shortly before the end of the first half, a Bayern player looked to be fouled in the area – but no spot kick was given. Bayern continued to pile the pressure on in the second half and battled to the end, but the Americans finished when it mattered – with Jara netting to seal a 1-0 win for Red Bull New York against Bayern Munich.
SEMI-FINAL 2: BORUSSIA DORTMUND 0-1 WEST AFRICAN FOOTBALL ACADEMY (H/T: 0-1)
Goalscorer: Aminu Mohammed
The West African Football Academy team had the first big scoring chance against Borussia Dortmund after just a few minutes, but this went off-target. Just a few minutes later, Aminu Mohammed was fouled in the penalty area. He then stepped up to take the penalty himself and score (11’). Having taken the early lead, the Africans put Dortmund under pressure, who struggled to contain their opponents. In the 25th minute the Borussia goalkeeper stopped a header from the Africans on the goal line. The Germans then stepped up a gear and it became a real end-to-end affair as they looked for an equaliser. Weinhardt De Oliveira had their best chance in the 30th minute, but he headed over.
The African side defended very deeply in the second period and tried their luck on the break. The Germans turned the pressure on in the final stages but were still unable to get on the scoresheet. The West African Football Academy were therefore confirmed as the Young Bulls' opponents in the final.
SEMI-FINAL 1: FC RED BULL SALZBURG 2-2 MANCHESTER CITY FC (H/T: 2-1), FC RED BULL SALZBURG WIN 3-2 ON PENALTIES
Goalscorers: Szoboszlai, Zikic Nmecha, Sancho
The Young Bulls made a flying start, penning Manchester City right back, with the English side only threatening on the break. Salzburg raced into an early lead with goals from both Szoboszlai and Zikic. The Citizens came back strongly, however, with goalkeeper Antosch keeping Ralf Santelli’s Salzburg side ahead. He had no chance of stopping a dream goal from Nmecha just before half-time, however. Manchester City continued to dominate in the second period, despite seeing two men sent off. The Young Bulls were unable to make their extra men count, and had to concede an equaliser from Sancho. The game finished 2-2 and in the penalty shoot-out, keeper Antosch became the match winner. He saved three penalties to see the Young Bulls through to the final.
Our coach Ralf Santelli had the following to say on the dramatic encounter:
We went into a quick 2-0 lead. Somehow we then stepped off a few percent, and City got more into the game. Our goalkeeper kept us in the lead with fantastic saves. Then it got really chaotic, not only because of the two red cards for our opponents. We didn’t manage to calm the game down, we conceded the equaliser and didn’t convert our chances. We were really well prepared for the penalties, we analysed City well beforehand and Daniel Antosch saved three penalties
MATCHES FOR PLACE 5 TO 8: JUVENTUS 0-2 RED BULL BRASIL (H/T: 0-1)
Goalscorers: Bocchio (10’), Alvaes Pereira (38’)
Juventus enjoyed a good start to the game, getting the first goalscoring opportunity after a matter of seconds. It would be the Brazilians who scored first, however, with Bocchio finishing a spectacular attack to make it 1-0. The Italians tried to battle back and could have equalised via Gerthoux. The decider came after 40 minutes – as Alvaes Pereira finished a free-kick from 25 metres out.
MATCHES FOR PLACE 5 TO 8: BENFICA 1-2 VALENCIA CF (H/T: 1-1)
Goalscorers: Branco Batista (18’), La Pena Ramos (25’), Nóbrega (44’ og)
Benfica allowed the Spaniards to come at them from the start as they tried to threaten on the break. The plan started very well for the Portuguese side, as Branco Batista put them in front with their first real attack. They had to concede a deserved equaliser virtually on the stroke of half-time, however. It got worse for Benfica in the second-half, as Nóbrega suffered the misfortune of putting the ball into his own net. They couldn’t come back from this blow and Valencia were deserving 2-1 winners.
MATCHES FOR PLACE 9 to 12: NEW YORK RED BULLS 0-2 RB LEIPZIG (H/T: 0-1)
Goalscorers: Mahmudov (23’), Krüger (41’). Red card: Ilin (35’ New York)
Leipzig were the more active team from the very first minute, and went close to an early goal with a long-range effort. Eventually, Mahmudov was in plenty of space after a free-kick from the left and netted. Leipzig continued to press, never letting the game out of their grip and making it 2-0 with a long-range Krüger goal. After Ilin was sent off with 15 minutes to go, a Leipzig win was assured.
MATCHES FOR PLACE 9 to 12: WERDER BREMEN 1-0 BAYERN MUNICH (H/T: 0-0)
Goalscorers: Teifel (40’)
Werder Bremen made the better start, getting the first good opportunity via MC Mensah Ovarshie. Bayern then grew in strength, but were unable to make their combination football count. Bayern did get chances in the second half, but their finishing let them down. Bremen then made it 1-0 completely against the run of play via Teifel. After taking the lead, they closed the young Munich players down well in their own half, therefore keeping them well away from their goal.
QUARTER-FINAL 4: WEST AFRICAN FOOTBALL ACADEMY 1-1 RED BULL BRASIL (H/T: 1-1), WEST AFRICAN FOOTBALL ACADEMY WIN 5-4 ON PENALTIES
Goalscorers: Aminu (13’), Mayron Tristao (16’)
The Africans made a superb start to the game, taking control right from the word go and dominating. The Red Bull Brasil boys had real difficulty trying to handle the Africans’ strike trio. Aminu put them ahead, cleanly converting a penalty after being fouled. Shortly afterwards, Mayron Trista was able to equalise with a superb solo move. The West African Football Academy also dictated proceedings in the second half, without being able to add another goal. The Africans then shaded a dramatic penalty shoot-out to become the last team to qualify for the semi-finals, where they are to face Borussia Dortmund.
QUARTER-FINAL 3: MANCHESTER CITY 0-0 VALENCIA CF (H/T: 0-0), MAN CITY WIN 5-4 ON PENALTIES
Manchester City started with high-tempo football as they tried to set an attacking tone. Valencia were therefore forced to sit back, and they rarely gave the English outfit a chance -Jadon Sancho having the Citizens’ best effort. The Spaniards got much more into the game in the second half, and were a constant threat at times, without being able to score. The Valencia goalkeeper was then called upon to make a stunning save in the final stages. The match would ultimately be decided on penalties, which Manchester City got the better off, putting them through to a semi-final with Salzburg’s Young Bulls.
QUARTER-FINAL 2: BORUSSIA DORTMUND 2-0 JUVENTUS (H/T: 2-0)
Goalscorers: Weinhardt de Oliveira (1’), Yassin (9’)
The second quarter-final began in dramatic fashion. Dortmund took the lead on a wonderful attack after just 10 seconds and had the game firmly under their control, also hitting the post in the opening minutes. Juventus were overwhelmed with the quick Dortmund play and conceded their second after 10 minutes. The Germans stepped down a gear in the second half and did what they needed to comfortably protect the lead to the end.
QUARTER-FINAL 1: FC RED BULL SALZBURG 2-1 BENFICA (H/T: 2-1)
Goalscorers: Anselm (13’), Aganovic (15’), Nóbrega (25’ pen)
Benfica enjoyed the better start and had a few good chances to take the lead. Salzburg needed a few minutes to get into the game and create their first opportunities with a Meisl free-kick and a Wallquist header. The vital opening goal soon followed. Anselm was supplied from a backheel and slotted the ball confidently inside the far post. The Young Bulls struck again on their next attack, with Aganovic being found with some perfect play and simply needing to tap the ball in. The Portuguese youngsters could have no complaints about being two down at this point, with Ralf Santelli’s Salzburg team having more good chances that weren’t used. Shortly before the break, Benfica pulled a goal back from the penalty spot. They improved as the second half went on, but the Salzburg defence were able to soak up the pressure while the hosts threatened themselves on the break, without finding the net again. The Young Bulls therefore made it through to the semi-finals.
Ralf Santelli is delighted about making the last four, saying:
Looking at the match as a whole, we deserved to win. Benfica were on top at the end and made for some nervy moments. We weren’t so fresh as in yesterday’s matches, which is to be expected with the weather and the intensive matches. We have worked hard to get a place in the semi-final, and we are looking forward to the afternoon.