5th Gambardella Cup for AS Monaco
The Monegasque U18s won (4-2) on Saturday evening against Clermont Foot 63 at the Stade de France in Paris.
The score: 4-2
After 1962, 1972, 2011 and 2016, AS Monaco will be engraved on the prestigious Gambardella Cup for the fifth time in its history.
At the Stade de France, with Paul Mitchell and Ben Lambrecht looking on, the Barilaro/Dos Santos duo’s players turned the match around after a goal by Robin Pages (14′, 0-1) put them behind at the quarter-hour mark.
Ritchy Valme’s inspired team-mates equalised through Mayssam Benama (22′, 1-1), and Joan Tincres put his side into the lead after a magnificent run down the right wing (25′ 2-1).
Although Mayssam Benama missed a chance to add to the score from the penalty spot (34′), the young Monegasques continued to push forward and put pressure on their opponents, finally scoring after half time through Saïmon Bouabre (57′, 3-1).
Clermont-Ferrand did not roll over however, and managed to reduce the gap thanks to Colas Chastang (65′, 3-2), before Pape Cabral clinched the Monegasque victory (82′, 4-2) towards the end of the match.
A logical victory after a magnificent performance from a promising generation, some of whom should be knocking on the door of the first team in the months and years to come.
The Man of the Match: Mayssam Benama, again
Already his team’s top scorer before the final, the Monaco midfielder once again showed the full extent of his talent by scoring his fifth goal of the competition.
It was a crucial goal, as it enabled the side to equalise. And although he missed a penalty half an hour into the game (34′), the young Monaco metronome played for the full match, as did Joan Tincres and Saïmon Bouabre, who also made a strong impression.
The number: 2
AS Monaco became the second most successful team in the competition after Auxerre, who has lifted the trophy on seven occasions.
The quote: “This is a well-deserved victory”
Frédéric Barilaro, AS Monaco U18 coach: “I think this is a well-deserved victory because we created a lot of chances at the start of the match, even hitting the post. Their first opportunity was a goal from a set-piece and we nearly conceded a second one not long afterwards. The players showed real mental strength to get back into the game.”