Three days of high-level football at the Paul Renz Academy
The sun was shining down on Sunday at the Paul Renz Academy in Augsburg, as the final day of the international U15 football tournament took centre stage. A fantastic final saw Danish side Silkeborg IF claim the trophy, with Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk finishing as runners-up.
Day three of the tournament started with the game to decide ninth place in the tournament rankings, as Luxembourg’s U15 national team beat Young Boys BSC 6-1 on aggregate over two legs (4-1, 2-0). Then, two minor semi-finals took place to decide the ties for the fifth and seventh placed sides. Borussia Dortmund beat US side Real Salt Lake 2-0, and FC Augsburg’s young side came through 1-0 against Croatia’s Dinamo Zagreb – that set up an all-German playoff for fifth place. Felix Neumeyer’s FCA side failed to find their feet in the game, and were beaten 5-0 by BVB to end their home tournament in sixth.
The two main semi-finals were then awaited with excitement. Two brilliantly created goals saw Silkeborg IF book their place in the final, beating the Hungarian Puskás Akadémia 2-0. At the same time on another pitch, Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk played out a very close game. Goalless at full-time, the Ukrainian side scored a header in extra time to secure a 1-0 win and set up the final: Silkeborg IF vs. Shakhtar Donetsk.
As the third-place playoff took place (Juventus beat the Puskás Akadémia 3-1), the near-capacity stand was treated to an autograph session with Ricardo Pepi and Mads Pedersen. The pair of FCA first-teamers took the time to sign fan memorabilia and take photos with those who asked. Whilst Pepi went off to say hello to his compatriots from Salt Lake City, Pedersen took a seat in the commentary booth to be a co-commentator for the grand final.
With FCA’s CEO Michael Ströll watching on, Silkeborg made a perfect start, taking the lead after just nine minutes before catching the Shakhtar goalkeeper off guard to double their lead. The Ukrainian side threw everything forwards in the second half in search of a comeback, but their Danish opponents defended sternly and secured a well-earned tournament victory.
There were fantastic scenes and great celebrations on show as Silkeborg were presented the trophy by Pepi and Pedersen. Each of the other teams also received lots of well-earned applause from the more than 300 in attendance at the youth academy’s grounds.
1st: Silkeborg IF
2nd: Shakhtar Donetsk
4th: Puskás Akadémia
5th: Borussia Dortmund
6th: FC Augsburg
7th: Dinamo Zagreb
8th: Real Salt Lake
10th: Young Boys BSC