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Published August 27, 2018 at 22:41:18

Wanderers finish 2018 Guangzhou International Tournament in fourth place

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A number of brave efforts have seen the Wanderers Academy finish in fourth place against some of the world’s best Academies in the 2018 Guangzhou International Championship.

A number of brave efforts have seen the Wanderers Academy finish in fourth place against some of the world’s best Academies in the 2018 Guangzhou International Championship.

The prestigious tournament, run by Chinese Super League giants Guangzhou Evergrande, brought together some of the best youth Academies from around the world to compete in a knock-out competition.

The Wanderers Academy were drawn in Group A and faced off against the hosts, Dynamo Kyiv from Ukraine and Palmeiras from Brazil.

The Red & Black quickly made a name for themselves in the tournament after smashing hosts Guangzhou Evergrande 4-1 in the opening match. 

Goals by Dylan Ruiz-Diaz, Thomas Aquilina, Jacob Casha and Stephen Robillard secured the comfortable win for the Wanderers. 

The next match saw the Wanderers take on Brazil’s Palmeiras and a first-half goal by Palmeiras’ Gabriel Veron split the two sides in the tightly contested affair. 

The Wanderers needed a win in their final group stage match of the tournament to qualify for the Semi Final and the squad’s persistence paid off against Dynamo Kyiv. 

Gabriel Popovic and De Robillard got on the scoresheet late in the second half, holding off Kyiv and progressing through to the Semi Final. 

In a sour ending to the Wanderers stint in the tournament, the Red & Black were defeated 5-4 in their contentious Semi Final match against Spain’s Villarreal. 

A hat-trick by Ruiz-Diaz as well as a goal from Casha was unfortunately not enough for the Wanderers to progress with Villarreal awarded a blatantly offside goal to clinch a spot in the Final of the youth tournament. 

To make things worse for the Wanderers, they were reduced to 10-men in the dying minutes with goalkeeper Oliver Kalac wrongfully sent off for a clean tackle. 

The Wanderers then finished the tournament by playing in the third-place playoff and were defeated by Palmeiras, finishing the tournament in fourth place.