Ghana’s Lizzy Sports Academy fought back from a goal down to defeat Real Madrid on penalties in the Gold Cup final of the Under-13 Dubai Intercontinental Cup Football 2018.
After a barren first-half, Real Madrid broke the deadlock and seemed to have the match under control but midfielder Sumiala Alidu equalized for the relentless Lizzy Sports Academy boys in the second minute of added time and then the Ghanaian side prevailed 3-2 in the shootout.
Lizzy, owned by former France international Marcel Desailly, had earlier defeated the other Spanish giants, Barcelona, 2-0 to finish with an all win record in their group, with Seth Obeng and Nicolas Ablido finding the back of the net.
In the Round of 16, the Ghanaians defeated Canadian Academy of Football by the same score to book a quarterfinal clash with Italian powerhouses Juventus, edging them 5-4 on penalties after a goalless 90 minutes.
In the semis, Lizzy again prevailed on penalties over Angolan side AFA after a goalless draw and the Ghanaians success in the shootouts saw their gloveman Kingsley Asare winning the Best Goalkeeper and Most Valuable Player of the tournament prizes.
Nana Kweku Agyemang, the head coach of Lizzy Sports Club, said: “We had come here to show the world that Ghana is the gateway to African football. I have that we have achieved our goals, defeating clubs like Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid on our way to the title. We thank the organisers for giving us this opportunity and we will be back to defend the title next year.”
In the Silver Cup final, Russian club FC Rostov defeated Egypt’s Wadi Digla 3-1. Held for the first time in April last year with 12 teams, the second edition of the tournament, held from February 22-24 at Dubai Sports City, had attracted 20 teams from 13 different countries, including Spanish clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona, England’s Liverpool, Italian giants Juventus and Egypt’s Al Ahly.