Puma Youth Cup: Report, Day One

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Arsenal and Ajax will compete in the first final of the double-header PUMA Summer Youth Cup, after the sides both won their semi-final ties in Dortmund this morning.

Arsenal U18s were first-up against Bordeaux U19, and scored the opening goal of the tournament with just six minutes on the clock. Tchene Nzokira floated a perfect cross in from the right for Paolo Burton to volley past Jerome Martin for one-nil.

After losing goalkeeper Carl Woods to injury midway through the first-half, they doubled the lead just after the half-hour mark when Elliott Ingham’s corner was met by the head of Tchene Nzokira.

Jeff Cant added a third five minutes after the break when the midfielder was allowed time and space to bring the ball forwards, play a neat one-two with Laurent Martin and coolly slot home from the edge of the box. It finished 3-0.

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In the second match of the day, Ajax strolled past Borussia Dortmund who put up a good first-half fight before capitulating with a number of errors to slump to a 1-4 defeat.

BVB ‘keeper Daniel Schmadtke was at fault for the opener ten minutes before half-time, when his delivery to Osman Varol was woefully short, allowing Kerim Memis to sneak in and square for Robin van der Muelen who blasted home from 20 yards out.

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Eiother side of the interval, Dortmund created two great chances. The first saw Braun’s header cleared off the line at the near post, before Karl-Heinz Horn slotted an equaliser past Masinga ninety seconds after the break.

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That was as good as it got for the hosts who, with manager Rodolfo Borrell changing all ten of his outfield players to give the full squad a run out. It immediately backfired, with Ajax going in front right from the restart after the changes. Van der Muelen was unmarked on the right and allowed to cross to the far post for Danny Tol to tap home.

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Ten minutes later and Ajax had sealed the win. Ouwerkerk cut in from the right, where BVB looked vulnerable all game, before slotting the ball through to Dennis Roos who took a couple of touches and beat the ‘keeper at his near post.

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Ajax were gifted a fourth goal with quarter of an hour to play. Dudziak  made a great interception to hammer away a cross from Van der Muelen, but Marvin Schröer got his header all wrong on the edge of the box, sending it back towards his own goal. Phillip Ros outmuscled two defenders and the ‘keeper to nod home for 4-1.

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Arsenal will play Ajax in tomorrow’s final, with Dortmund playing Bordeaux in the playoff match. The second round of the competition is held over 15 and 16 August with Dortmund and Arsenal being joined by Roma and Montpellier.

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