City clinch third in the Lion City Cup
- 01 July 2012 12:40
- Posted by Mark Booth, photos: Jaron Lee & Serene Tan (Red Card)
City u15s signed off on their Canon Lion City campaign with a 3-1 win over Vasco da Gama.
City have scored first in every match of the competition so far and the third place play-off was no different, as Callum Bullock ran onto a clever flick from Lukas Nmecha, opened his body and curled the ball around Vinicius in the sixth minute.
Despite the early goal, it was an understandably low-key start to the game - as third place play-offs often are - but City showed how comfortable they can be in possession, setting the first 20 minutes to a tempo you might have expected from the Latin opposition.
However, this early composure gave way to a degree of sloppiness in City’s passing which allowed Vasco to grow in confidence and level.
A defensive mix-up on 30 minutes presented Joao dos Santos with a gilt-edged opportunity and the forward made no mistake in slotting coolly past Grimshaw.
City had Grimshaw to thank for not going in at half-time behind. Vasco’s star man Matheus da Silva curled a wonderful effort from the right corner of the penalty box which was destined for the top corner until Grimshaw produced a stunning fingertip save to push the ball onto the crossbar.
The City keeper’s reflexes were tested again on 46 minutes when Evender da Silva struck sweetly from 30 yards and Grimshaw was equal to it, tipping it over the crossbar.
The Blues capitalised on the save by going up the other end and taking the lead immediately – 13-year old Nmecha found a pocket of space and headed an Aaron Nemane cross into the corner of the net.
It was the same combination that produced City’s third of the evening a few minutes later – a classic counter-attack goal which saw Nemane charging over the half-way line, picking the perfect moment to feed Lukas Nmecha who slid the ball in at the keeper’s near post for his third goal of the tournament.
There were a couple of nervy moments at the back in the final 20 minutes as Vasco desperately chased a second but City were worthy winners on the night and can reflect on an enjoyable and successful spell in Singapore, only losing to eventual winners Ajax.
City will return to the UK on Monday night in preparation for the 2012/13 season after two weeks of tournament football that will surely aid their development as players.