It took a penalty shootout to separate Ajax and Inter Milan in the NextGen Series Final.
Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium hosted the tie which saw some of Europe’s most elite youth players the opportunity to shine.
Lorenzo Crisetig scored the winning penalty for Inter as they were crowned the first ever NextGen Series champions.
Both sides were given the opportunity to get used to playing in England thanks to their semi final ties. Inter Milan went into the game only four days after their semi final win over Marseille and Ajax played Liverpool just over a week ago.
The sides could not be separated in the first few stages of play and remained even for most of the first half at 0-0.
After fifteen minutes an acrobatic flick from Davy Klaassen almost found its way into the net but he was denied by the post.
Samuele Longo opened the scoring for the Italians and it was a beautiful effort. Daniel Bessa produced a superb reverse pass from the left hand side. He found Longo with an accurate pass and the striker only had to place the ball into the net.
However, Ajax weren’t on the back foot for long as Stefan Denswil grabbed the equaliser with a stunning curled free-kick which glided into the top corner. His defensive partner, Joel Veltman was fouled 25 yards out from goal and the Dutch centre back stepped up to rifle the ball into the net coming off the post, giving the Inter ‘keeper no chance.
Ibrahima M’Baye was sent off for Inter in the second half. The left-back turned Klaassen on the wing very well but the ball evaded him on his run. Veltman came in to make the block which prompted M’Baye to produce a reckless challenge that was deserving of a sending off.
Extra time was interesting to say the least as a number of chances rocketed against the crossbar.
Firstly Stefane Denswil almost scored his second free-kick of the game but his effort bounced off the woodwork.
Samuele Longo also had the chance to score a second but his effort was tipped on to the crossbar by Mickey Van der Hart.
Nick de Bondt began celebrating when he saw a through ball land at his feet and slotted past Raffaele Di Gennaro but was ruled out for offside late on in extra time with penalties looming.
Daniel Bessa scored the opening penalty for Inter. Densvil added to his superb performance all afternoon to equalise for Ajax.
Inter gained the upper hand again as Joseph Duncan scored their second.
Klaassen sent his penalty hard and straight down the middle to draw Ajax level once again.
Van der Hart almost got a hand to Inter’s third penalty but it was narrowly netted by substitute Rodrigo Alborno.
Ajax suffered a huge blow as they missed a penalty from Veltman and Inter netted with Longo.
de Bondt had to retake his penalty after missing the initial strike to give Inter false hope of securing a victory. He netted at the second attempt to put the pressure back on to Inter but Crisetig scored the final penalty to give Inter a historic win.
Keep checking The Youth Radar for a review of the tournament and profiles on some of the stand out players in the coming days.
Line-up: 1. Mickey van der Hart, 2. Sven Niewport, 3. Joel Veltman, 4. Stefane Denswil, 5. Mithail Dijks, 6. Fabian Sporkslede, 7. Lesley de Sa (75), 8. Mats Rits (105), 9. Rowendey Schoop (54), 10. Davy Klaassen (C), 11. Viktor Fischer
Subs: 12. Peter Leeuwenburgh, 15. Mike Busse, 16. Sinan Keskin, 17. Nick de Bondt (75), 18. Danzell Gravenberch (54), 19. Ruben Ligeon, 20. Hasnaoui El Abdelmalek (105)
Coach: Fred Grim
Yellows: Rits, Dijks
Line-up: 1. Raffaele Di Gennaro, 2. Simone Pecorini, 3. Ibrahima Mbaye, 4. Lukas Spedlhofer, 5. Marek Kysela, 6. Joseph Duncan, 7. Andrea Romano (C), 8. Lorenzo Crisetig, 9. Samuele Longo, 10. Daniel Bessa, 11. Marko Livaja (75)
Subs: 12. Andrea Sala, 13. Eugenio Giannetti, 14. Rodrigo Alborno (75), 15. Marco Benassi, 16. Giovanni Terrani, 17. Gianmarco Falasca, 18. Francesco Forte
Coach: Andrea Stramaccioni
Yellows: Pecorini, Alborno, Duncan
Reds: Mbaye 70′