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Young Blues out of Dallas Cup on penalties

Academy Platt Lane 2008

Academy Platt Lane 2008

City's youth team have been knocked out of the Dallas Cup on penalties after drawing their semi-final with Sao Paulo 0-0, but Academy Manager Jim Cassell is proud of the mark the lads have left on the tournament.

City's youth team have been knocked out of the Dallas Cup on penalties after drawing their semi-final with Sao Paulo 0-0, but Academy Manager Jim Cassell is proud of the mark the lads have left on the tournament.
It was an entertaining affair at the Pizza Hut Park Stadium, with City trading blows with a strong and skillful Brazilian outfit, who eventually saw off the young Blues 4-2 in the penalty shoot-out.

Speaking to mcfc.co.uk on Saturday morning from Texas, Jim said, "We played for 120 minutes without conceding a goal, which is a terrific performance by a group of lads that were in some cases two years younger than the opposition. They were a bit more powerful than us, and the age difference did show, but I have to give our lads top marks.

"Our tactics were spot-on, we were disciplined and created chances, but possibly did not have enough to break Sao Paolo down."

Reflecting on City's progress to the semis, which saw them score 11 times while concede just twice, Jim added, "We played four games against teams from different continents, beating AC Milan, Tigres from Mexico and Toronto but to not concede against Sao Paulo was another fantastic achievement. Penalty shoot-outs are a lottery, as we have seen so many times, and unfortunately this time we lost out, but great credit to our lads.

"I have to congratulate everybody on our staff and especially (head coach) Alex Gibson for the way it went for us in Dallas. I think it has showed that we have some boys here that are going to go a long way in the game.

"All the lads did themselves great credit, but Joe Clegg deserves a mention because he never gets get the praise he should do. He made three or four top class saves that probably helped us get to the shoot-out.

"The American organisers came to both teams afterwards and said what a fantastic game of football it had been, real end-to-end stuff. It was good for our lads to experience the sort of game where there's a bit of tugging off the ball, more use of the body and they learnt to deal with it. I can't praise them too highly for the way they approached it and the way they carried out the tactics we had in place."

City were invited to the prestigous competition after winning the FA Youth Cup last year, and reflecting on the success of the City Academy since it's inception Jim concluded:

"We have taken City into areas where we have never been before. 10 years ago, when we were just starting the Academy, I would never have thought we would have been playing a team from Sao Paulo in Dallas, Texas! There were plenty of City shirts in the stadium, which was amazing to see, and we all thank those fans for coming down and cheering the boys on. It has been a great advert for the club, and we have put Manchester City on the map in north America."

Team: Clegg, Trippier, Boyata, Wabara, Cunningham, Benali, Tutte, Ibrahim, Chantler, Mak, Nimely-Tchuimeni.

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Comeback kids do City proud

Academy Platt Lane 2008

JIM CASSELL'S City youngsters pulled off a stirring fightback from two goals down to beat Mexican side Tigres 3-2 in the prestigious Dallas Cup and leave the FA Youth Cup holders one point from qualifying for the next stage in Texas.