28.07.2013 Olympia Laupheim 50th International Under-19 Tournament
Wednesday, 31 July 2013 08:52

Norwich City received an invitation to the 50th Anniversary Under-19 youth tournament in Laupheim, Germany, as three time winners between 1978 and 1980. This year there was to be no repeat in 2013 as a very young City squad lost both group games on Saturday in sweltering heat against Skoda Xanthi (Greece) and Fortuna Düsseldorf (Germany).

Both games saw the Canaries take a 1-0 half-time lead before City let the opposition back in to lose both games 2-1.

It took City only four minutes to go ahead against Xanthi in their first match on Saturday morning. Carlton Morris made ground down the right having been put through and found Henry Randall unmarked in the middle to put City 1-0. Xanthi hit a post soon after and Morris fired over when clean through before half-time. 

The second-half saw City try to defend their lead but defensive mistakes in a disappointing second-half saw the Greeks make the most of the chances to win the game 2-1.

Picture Gallery from match against Xanthi

A 1-0 win for Xanthi in the second group game against Fortuna Düsseldorf meant a draw for City against Fortuna on Saturday afternoon would be enough to see the Canaries through to the semi-finals on Sunday.

City made a cautious start to the game and slowly gained control of the match, starting to put the Düsseldorf goal under pressure. A goal-line clearance following a corner prevented Norwich taking the lead, but moments later Carlton Morris made the most of a slip in the German defence to put the Canaries 1-0 up with a cool finish.

Düsseldorf threatened for much of the remainder of the first-half and Neil Adams was relieved to see his team come in ahead at half-time. All the good work was undone only a minute into the second-half as Düsseldorf pulled a goal back. A defensive slip allowed the Germans to go 2-1 up and despite some desperate attacks Fortuna held out to claim the second semi-final spot in the group.

Picture Gallery from the game against Fortuna Düsseldorf

This left the Canaries with a fifth place play-off on Sunday against hosts Olympia Laupheim. Neil Adams used the game to make sure all his squad got adequate match time over the two days and City dominated proceedings against the amateurs in the first half without making the break through. The best chance of the first period fell to Harrison Heath following good work down the right by Harry Barker.

It was Heath who finally broke the deadlock after the breath after constant Norwich pressure. Carlton Morris then added a second from the penalty spot after a handball in the area.

Picture Gallery from the game against Olympia Laupheim 

While fifth place was certainly a disappointing result, Neil Adams stressed that he had come to Germany with a very young squad for this Under-19 tournament of excellent quality and as ever, the experience gained against continental opposition will be valuable for the team.

VfB Stuttgart, containing many of their Under-17 German Champions side from last year, won the competition which was well organised by the host club Olympia.

I would like to extend a personal thank you at this point to Hermann Schick and Günter Liebmann who made us feel so welcome in Laupheim, and to the Norwich lads and coaching staff for their friendliness towards their two fans on tour!

City Squad:Taylor Reading, Cameron Norman, Ben Wyatt, Ray Grant, Nathan Fox, Kenny Lokko, Harvey Hodd, Henry Randall, Carlton Morris, Harrison Heath, Ben Burgess, Asa Swatman, James Eaton-Collins, Jake Simpson, Lewis Byrne-Hewitt, Christian Scales, Ollie Cole, Michee Efete. 

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