Despite the boys incredible efforts on day two, topping their group ahead of Real Madrid and qualifying for the Quarter-Finals, they tasted defeat against Swedish side IF Brommapojkarna in the final eight.
Charlton Athletic 2 FC Spartak Trnava 1
It was the perfect start to day two as the Addicks opened the scoring within the fifth minute through Les Yeutembip. Charlton won a corner inside the opening five and Kit Fleming stepped up to the set piece, swinging in a great ball for the skipper to tower above the opposing defender and head home to put the young Addicks ahead.
Just minutes later Culleton’s side had the chance to double their lead inside the opening ten as they countered with pace. The ball was spread to Kelechi Ffrench out on the right who struck a perfect ball to the back post for Kingsley Onwuka to latch onto, the midfielder’s first attempt was saved well by the Slovakian side’s keeper before the follow up was parried out for a corner.
A dream start to the day was halted as the opposition received a questionable free kick decision on the left hand side of the pitch just shy of the quarter of an hour mark. Trnava’s number 14 stepped up and curled his effort straight into the top right, an unstoppable strike.
The young Addicks responded well and continued to threaten up the other end. This time through Theo Laronde, the versatile midfielder received a drilled pass on the edge of the box and struck goalwards, the Trnava keeper yet again making an important save to keep his side in the fixture.
Seven minutes after the half-time interval and the boys were on the receiving end of yet another dodgy refereeing decision after Onwuka was hacked down in the box but the referee waved on.
Despite a handful of questionable calls throughout the tie against the Addicks, Charlton received their reward in the 33rd minute. Ffrench yet again causing havoc down the right hand side as he took it past his man with ease, sending a drilled cut back towards the back post for Mishel Nduka to fire into the top corner and secure qualification with one game to spare.
Charlton Athletic 3 D10 Academy 0
In their final group stage fixture of the tournament, the Addicks faced Argentinian side D10 Academy. The opposition’s fate was already sealed prior to the clash, however, Culleton’s side were still aiming for that top spot of Group D.
The Addicks continued their relentless dominance in the group stage by opening the scoring in the fourth minute. Ffrench yet again a main factor towards the Addicks’ goalmouth success as he glides past the D10 full-back, squaring for Ethan Jeche to tap in with ease from close range.
Two minutes later, Charlton had their second. Kenzo received the ball on the half-way line and sent a powerful through-ball in the direction of Ffrench. The consistent winger pounced onto the pass and drove towards the D10 net before thundering an effort across goal to make it 2-0.
Heading into the interval the Addicks held a comfortable lead having produced a stellar performance in the opening half. The boys continued their hard graft deep into the second-half and had a number of chances to add to their goal difference and solidify their spot at the top.
Their first chance after the interval fell to Onwuka. Enrich Legisi won the ball in the middle of the park through a powerful interception, he slipped the ball to Ethan who sent Onwuka one-on-one with the keeper but the D10 shot-stopper made the all-important stop once again.
Legisi once again proved difficult to deal with in the centre of the pitch as he let fly from 30 yards out, his effort was spilled by the keeper but he was quick to react and claim the ball.
With seven minutes to play of the encounter, Charlton claimed their third and sealed their spot at the top through Lauren Rodrigues de Castro. The winger took it past two midfielders with ease and fired into the roof of the net from 20 yards out.
Charlton Athletic 0 IF Brommapojkarna 2
It was a devastating start for the boys as they commenced their Quarter-Final clash against Swedish side IF Brommapojkarna. Heading into the clash, Charlton were yet to concede an open play goal in the entire tournament however, the opposition struck first and went ahead inside the opening three minutes.
A long ball down the right hand side was pounced on by their centre-forward, he showed fantastic strength to hold off Mikhail Simons at the back and powered into the box. Eventually getting a shot off at Lapper in between the sticks in which the keeper made a good save but the forward followed up the rebound.
Charlton’s hopes of reaching the final four was limited in the 16th minute as the opposition grabbed their second. A low driven cross was drilled across goal and fell to their winger at the back post who calmly tapped in from close range.
The young Addicks struggled to pull themselves into the game and failed to create any real goal scoring opportunities throughout the fixture until Ffrench fired a cross in the direction of Jeche. The forward managed to get a strike away however his effort was fired over from close range, a good chance for Charlton to pull one back.
A heartbreaking defeat for the boys as their hopes of lifting the 2023 Madrid Cup trophy is cut short.
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Article by Alex Forrest