City's Internationalen U19-Turnier campaign in Oberndorf, Germany ended on a disappointing note on Sunday, after a young selection missed out on a third place finish in the third/fourth place play-off.
City finished as runners-up in the pre-season tournament last year but a combination of being the youngest side in the competition, a tough draw and bad luck contributed in a still-credible fourth place finish.
With many of City's regulars still on pre-season duty with the first team, it was a young squad that made the trip to Germany for a quick-fire five games in the space of three days.
Adam Sadler’s men were drawn against Chivas, Wolfsburg, Freiburg and Congo u19s in their group. The Blues kicked off with a hard-fought goalless draw against Chivas where they had ‘keeper Billy O’Brien to thank for the point after he made a string of fine saves, continuing his fine pre-season form.
Wolfsburg were up next and a solid performance, not unlike the seniors showing against the same opposition on Saturday, gave City a 1-0 win -their first in the tournament. The Congolese national team were up next and it was another 1-0 win to propel City to the group summit.
Unfortunately, last year’s beaten finalists saved their weakest performance of the group stage until last and they were unable to take a measure of revenge against the holders, going down 2-0 to Freiburg which denied City a place in the final.
City and Schalke contested the third/fourth place play-off and despite the Blues keeping the ball very well at times, there was a lack of penetration in the final third and some tired legs in the City ranks, so it was a convincing 3-0 win for the German side.
Chile under-19s walked off with the trophy after defeating Freiburg 3-1 in the final.