SUPERCUP NI REVIEW
History. Heritage. Where players are made. The SuperCup NI tournament is over for another. Teams round around the globe visited Northern Ireland to compete in the prestigious competition.
The tournament is known throughout the world of football as the place where players are made. Falcao, Hummels, Rooney, Beckham and many more have gained the honour of being a tournament graduate, and it’s certain that we’ll see some of this year’s graduates on the international stage in the years to come.
The Official Ball of the SuperCup NI was the Mitre SuperCup NI Pro Max. Engineered with Hyperseam technology the ball delivers accuracy, speed and power, which helped players, find the back of the net. We take a look at some of the results throughout the tournament…
Battle of the British
The U21’s final was to be a battle between England and Scotland. Everton vs Celtic.
David Unsworth’s Everton side were coming into the tournament in a confident mood, having a flawless pre-season to date, which included defeating Espanyol in the semi-final. The game was a nervy affair to begin with, but Everton were able to settle down first and were rewarded with a goal. Harry Charsley, who also scored in the semi-final, scored a fantastic individual goal, putting the Mitre Pro Max Hyperseam into the top corner with a bending strike.
Celtic battled hard to get back into the game, but Paul Crossan couldn’t despatch their best chance of the game after a fine pass from Calvin Miller. On the hour mark Celtics chances of getting an equaliser took a hit, as an Anthony Ralston challenge was late, resulting in a straight red. Down to ten men Celtic weren’t able to build any noticeable pressure and the young Everton squad were the team celebrating at the full time whistle.
Kings of the Premier Section
Chilean side O’Higgins went head to head with Scottish side Hibernian to be crowned champions of the Premier Section. O’Higgins had looked strong throughout the tournament and were tipped to lift the trophy and a strong start saw their confidence grow further. Meneses hit the post early on for the South American team, but Hibs were able to hold out until half-time. The second half started more brightly for Hibs as Fraser Murray latched onto a fantastic ball from Jamie Gullan, but keeper Luis Ureta was able to make a save.
O’Higgins started to find the form which saw them dominate the first half, and the pressure final told when Salazar drilled a powerful shot into the top corner, leaving the keeper with no chance to make the sure 1-0. The Scottish side continued to battled and O’Higgins were under the cosh for the last 10 minutes, but with Hibs pushing men forward they were caught on the counter as Salazar added his second with a goal that showed great technique, after a great ball in from Espinoza. The Chilean side celebrated at the final whistle with the score ended 2-0
Back to back titles
African side Made to Dream produced an outstanding display in the 2015 tournament to defeat Co.Londonderry this time around to deliver back to back trophies. The Ghanaian Academy have been in great form over the past few years, being victorious in a variety of youth tournaments including Amsterdam and Manchester and their players are certainly ones to watch in the future.
This years victory against County Londonderry was orchestrad by Kelvin Ofori, who was a constant threat, and the striker hit the crossbar early on with a great shot from outside the area. Kamal Deen also impressed in midfield as we went past players with ease on several occasions. Right to Dream couldn’t find a way through the stubborn defence of Londonderry and the teams went in 0-0 at half-time.
The second half saw an early break-through. With just one minute on the clock a penalty was awarded to Made to Dream, and captain Emmanuel Bam stepped up to make it 1-0. Some great defence from Londonderry continued to frustrate the African side, but Bam was able to slot home after a goalmouth scramble to make the score 2-0, and all but secure back to back titles for the team.
Bam could and should have had a hat-trick, but he was denied by the keeper and post on several occasions. There was to be another goal however as the impressive Kelvin Ofori scored a superb goal, picking the ball up in midfield and driving through the Northern Irish defence to round off another comprehensive victory in the tournament.
Blog created by Nathan Spencer