THE ACADEMY

13/04/2009 22:11, Report by Steve Bartram

Reds reign in Italy

United's youngsters have won the Torneo Calcio Memorial Claudio Sassi-Sassuolo, overcoming Dutch giants Ajax in a tense final on Sunday.



Ryan Tunnicliffe stroked home the winner a minute from the end of time, swinging a tight match in the Reds' favour and ensuring that the prestigious youth trophy will travel back to Manchester.

It had seemed inevitable that the Reds would have to go through the nerve-shredding ordeal of penalties for the second time in 24 hours, having overcome FC Modena on spot-kicks after a 1-1 semi-final draw on Saturday.

United's squad was comprised of players born after 1990, plus five over-age players, and quickly made their intentions clear with a perfect record in the group stage.

Local sides FC Chiasso and US Sassuolo were overcome, as were Denmark's Aalborg BK as United took nine points from nine, prior to the weekend's drama.

Congratulations go to coaches Paul McGuinness, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Warren Joyce, Jim Ryan, Richard Merron and, of course, the players themselves.

Tale of the tournament

Group Stage
United 6-0 FC Chiasso
(Ajose 4, Tunnicliffe, King)

United 2-1 Sassuolo
(Brady, Norwood)

United 3-2 Aalborg
(Norwood, Brady, Ajose)

Semi Final
United 1-1 FC Modena
(Morrison)
United won 5-3 on pens (Norwood, De Laet, Eikrem, James, Brady)

Final
United 1-0 Ajax
(Tunnicliffe)

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