All in all, it was a great day for the Academy. A 1-0 win over FC Utrecht was repeated against PSV to secure a third place playoff place. A day earlier the Ghanaians had played out two goalless draws against Vitesse and FC Twente and a 1-1 versus Helsingborg.
‘We were well organized today, especially against PSV. We perhaps played better football yesterday; today we showed some fight. We have to be at the top of our game against every opponent, so it is nice for the lads when they manage to beat a big club. It was a lottery against Celtic after we finished 1-1 at the end of regular time.’
Ghana actually won the previous edition of the tournament, although a title prolongation was not on coach Gösgens’s mind. ‘Last year we had a different team, full of players that now play Under 20 football. The lads who played this weekend were still in the Under 15 team last year. I certainly didn’t come here feeling we could win.’ That said, the Africans were the team to see in Tiel. ‘We were the big attraction this weekend. We will definitely come back to Tiel.’
The free flowing attacking style of the Ghanaians was a breath of fresh air. The Academy players certainly have the skills, but their handicap is physical. ‘The lads are all at the right age, but their nutrition means they grow slowly. Ghanaians only stop growing around twenty years of age, whereas Dutch players are already 1.70 metres tall at 14. I don’t expect them to grow as tall as Europeans.’
Feyenoord – PSV 0-0 (PSV win on penalties)
Third place playoff
Feyenoord Ghana – Celtic 1-1 (Celtic win on penalties)