The Lizzy Sports Club returned to Ghana on Sunday, a day after besting some of the world’s top U-13 sides to win the 2018 Dubai International Cup.
The team received a rapturous welcome at the Kotoka International Airport when they touched down from Dubai.
The Ghanaian side beat Real Madrid 4-2 on penalties in the finals on Saturday after the game had ended level at the end of normal time.
Lizzy Sports Club began the competition with a 4-0 win over Dubai’s Al Wahda on Thursday before thumping Egyptian side Wadi Degla 6-1.
Barcelona were also beaten convincingly, 2-0 in the final group game as the unbeaten Ghanaian side topped the group, scoring 12 goals and conceding just once in their three games.
In the round of 16, Lizzy swept aside the Canadian Academy of Football in a 2-0 win, before being taken to penalties in the quarterfinals by Italian side Juventus.
Victory in the quarters set up a semi-final clash with Angolan side AFA who proved a tough nut to crack, holding Lizzy Sports Club to a goalless draw.
However, the Angolans were no match for the Ghanaians in the penalty shootout, who went on to the final to face Real Madrid.
The club’s keeper, Kingsley Asare, who had been impressive throughout the tournament put in a dominant performance during the shootout, stopping three penalties as the Ghanaians claimed the title.
He was deservedly named Player of the Tournament.
‘Exhausted but successful’
Director of Operations and Social Projects of Centa14 Sports and Entertainment, Willem Alexander Coleman, praised the team for their success despite the issues that affected the team’s preparations for the tournament.
He noted challenges in securing visas for players and management and exhaustion, with the team having to lay two games on the day they arrived.
“It was hell, to put it mildly. We had to do everything out of pocket. We started from the Ghana event in December; we needed a lot of financing but it was difficult to come by. We had to prepare for Dubai and that was even more difficult but we managed to pull it off by the grace of God and were able to go. On the day we were supposed to leave, on the 20th, there were issues with the Visas so only three players and a few officials were able to make it,” he told journalists.
“The rest of the team had to join the next day, meaning they arrived on the morning of the tournament which makes their feat even more remarkable because they were exhausted but still managed to beat all these big teams and ultimately win the trophy. We’re really proud of them.”
By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana