South Korea’s Pohang Steelers defeated Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds 3-1 on Friday night to capture the C33 International under-14 soccer championship in Taipei.
In the battle for third place, Hualien C33 United took on China’s Shanghai Shenxin at the Taipei Municipal Stadium.
The Shanghai team opened the scoring in the fifth minute, but Hualien equalized before halftime. Shanghai went in front again in the second half, and Hualien had at least 15 shots on goal in search of another equalizer.
Just before fulltime, Hualien captain Chang Chih-chien was cut down by a dangerous tackle and was taken off the field on a stretcher. The yellow-card offense came with a spot-kick, which was converted to level the scores at 2-2.
In the penalty shootout, the Shanghai goalkeeper blocked the final shot to hand the Chinese side a 5-4 win, leaving Hualien fourth overall.
“Hualien gave it their best and put on a good performance. They were just unlucky. I cannot fault the players for their display in the match,” tournament organizer J.K. Yao said after the game.
The U14 international tournament was held from Tuesday to Friday and organized by Taiwan’s C33 Football League.
Besides the under-14 teams from top league clubs in Japan, South Korea and China, school teams from Taiwan also took part — Taipei Tianmu Junior High School, New Taipei Municipal Qing Shui High School, Yilan Fushing Junior High School, Taitung East Junior High School, along with the Hualien team.
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