Villarreal Juvenil A has made history today by winning their first ever Copa de Campeones trophy in their 5th participation. Today's victory as well as the obtainment of the Juvenil division, cements Villarreal Juvenil A status as the best U-19 club team in Spain at the present time.
It has been a vertiginous, vibrant game from start to finish. Not even 2 minutes had pass before Villarreal had a chance to open the score after the Espanyol GK Rubén, gave the ball away to Simón, who tried to surprise the GK but his shot was rather defective. 2 minutes later Mario opened the score after a nice combination with Simón, it was a give and go, Simón passed it back to Mario who struck a left shot that went into the back corner of Ruben's goal. From them on it was all for Villarreal. The Young Submarine dominated the actions and controlled the tempo of the match. The second goal arrived after a corner kick taken by Beli headed in by center back Genís in the 24th minute. Espanyol reacted quickly but Ximo was in top form saving the Parakeets attempts.
Villarreal reached the second half with a two goal lead. The Submarine created some chances but failed to convert them. It was a quite a different half. Seemed like Villarreal put down the pedal and relaxed a bit. Javi Calleja brought some changes (Chuca, Pibe, Akale, Chepe, Mathi.) Just when it seemed Villarreal had control of the game and the scoreboard on their favor, Espanyol pulled one back by Víctor Campuzano. The Parakeet player made a good run and after a solo effort, he struck a powerful left shot that made its way into the far post of Ximo's goal in the 88th minute. That goal relived Espanyol's hopes of tying the scoreboard, and they did it so in the very last play of the additional time. After a corner kick taken by Espanyol, they made a cross and sub player Eric Gracia, found himself alone in the box and headed the ball in to tie the game after Villarreal players were calling for an offside.
Both teams found themselves ventured into extra time. Then in the 111th minute Villarreal were reduced to 10 men after Genís, author of the second goal, was sent off by a second yellow card offense. Despite being down to 10 men, Javi Calleja's pupils never gave up and after much insistence they found their reward. Chepe was brought down near the box, Chuca took the free kick and Uruguayan defender Mathi Rodríguez headed the ball in, making it 3-2 in favor of Villarreal in the 117th minute. The ref made the final whistle and thus, Villarreal had won their first ever Copa de Campeones.
It has been a superb occasion to round up the season for the Juvenil A having won their division and now becoming the best U19 team in Spain.
Having won the Copa de Campeones, Villarreal have earned the right to dispute the upcoming UEFA Youth League, which is the U19 equivalent to the Champions League. Up to this point there were 32 teams taking part in the UEFA Youth League but UEFA has decided to expand the competition up to 64 teams.
Furthermore, Villarreal has decided to give out the prize money given by the RFEF to the winning team (12.020 euros), to the victims of the earthquake of Nepal via UNICEF's campaign. The club sets the example being altruistic as always helping out the Nepal victims in this kind gesture.
Last but not least, it is planned that the Juvenil A will receive an award honor tribute by the club just before the kick off of the match between the first team and Elche tomorrow at El Madrigal.
You can relieve the full match here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDQr_4rqhVU
RCD Espanyol: Rubén; Carlos Soria, Iago (Eric Sarmiento, m. 115), Lluís López, Aarón; Iván Écija (Álex López, m. 69), Marc Roca (Lauren, m. 77), Óscar Melendo (Patrick, m. 105), Juanan; Marc Gual (Eric Gracia, m. 63) y Víctor Campuzano.
Villarreal CF: Ximo; Miguelón, Genís, Maxi, Javi Jiménez; Beli (Chuca, m. 63), Rodri, Cassano (Mathi, m. 88), Alfonso (Chepe, m. 87); Simón (Pibe, m. 71) y Mario (Akale, m. 81).
Goals: 0-1. Min. 4: Mario. 0-2. Min. 24: Genís. 1-2. Min. 88: Víctor Campuzano. 2-2. Min. 93: Eric Gracia. 2-3. Min. 117: Mathi.