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Fulham under-19s crowned Dallas Cup Champions

Fulham’s under-19s make history thrashing Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol 5-1 in the final of the 34th Dallas Cup

Victor Decolongon

Starting on the 24th of March, Fulham began their Dallas Cup campaign in style, beating last year’s champions Coritiba (3-1), L.A. Galaxy Academy (2-1), Eintracht Frankfurt (5-0) and Fluminense (4-3 on penalties, after drawing one-all).

Kashiwa Reysol overcame host club Dallas Texans Academy (1-0), Club America (5-1), England’s own Manchester United, (2-0) and Aalborg BK (4-0).

Kicking off at the Cotton Bowl Stadium, Texas, Fulham started the game as they meant to go on and took the lead in 7 minutes after some intricate footwork from Lasse Vigen Christensen set up Muamer Tankovic who buried his shot high above the keeper.

Playing with a high level of intensity, Fulham continued to push their opposition back but were unable to double their lead in the first half. Their best opportunity came on 20 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Reysol goalkeeper Ito, upended Cauley Woodrow inside the area.

Commanding his goalmouth, Ito made up for his error, getting down well to his right hand side and keeping out Woodrow’s spot-kick, before denying his attempt from the rebound.

As the first half progressed, Reysol started to impose some control on the game, testing Fulham keeper Marek Rodak on two key occasions. The Whites were able to hang on however and were happy to hear the half-time whistle when it came.

Fulham began the second half superbly and were two-up within a minute of kick-off. Woodrow latched onto a lackadaisical back-pass from a Reysol defender and coolly scooped the ball up and over the arriving goalkeeper.

Woodrow doubled his scoring tally on the 63rd minute, getting on the end of a beautiful long-range pass from Kavanagh in a left back position, and burying his half volley into the net beyond the outstretched arms of the keeper.

Sitting pretty at 3-0 Fulham were caught napping by Reysol only moments later when striker Oshima latched onto a midfield pass that found its way inside the Fulham box, placing his shot calmly under the body of Rodak.

But it was substitute Jordan Evans who put the tie out of sight. A darting run from Josh Passley was completed with a superb cross that found the outstretched leg of Evans who sent the ball across the line.

Substitute George Williams added to Reysol’s misery on 84 minutes. From goal scorer to assist maker, Evans ran industriously from midfield before finding Williams on the edge of the area. Williams took his shot first time and smashed it top left corner.

Winning the competition for the first time Fulham accompany the likes of Real Madrid, Liverpool, West Ham and Nottingham Forest, whom have all won it in respective years.