Despite three American teams making it to the semi-finals, two quick first-half goals cemented FC Barcelona the 2019 International Champions Cup Futures Girls title over the Players Development Academy (PDA).
Just 24 hours earlier, both teams won their respective semi-final matchups to earn themselves the chance to play in the final. La Masia a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles FC Slammers and PDA a 3-4 shootout victory over ICC Futures West.
During the match it was La Masia’s technical ability that helped them lift the trophy.
They played with intricate formations and moved the ball cleanly across the pitch with good communication and team movement. These tactics helped them score their first goal just 1:22 into the game.
A strong opening play let players link up along the left flank and the ball was whipped in to the centre of the box. The PDA goalkeeper made a good initial save but Martina Pubill poked the rebound in the back of the net.
After going down early, PDA came out strong in attack and started making good strides forward and using their physicality to gain back possession of the ball.
However, the quality of the Catalans was too much.
Only six minutes later, La Masia captain Noah Bezis took a shot from outside the box and had enough strength and power to curl the ball under the crossbar. PDA’s keeper had no chance of saving it.
At halftime, Barcelona maintained their 2-0 lead.
Coming into the second half, PDA attempted to regroup on the pitch and gain more touches on the ball. The head coach also made a goalkeeping substitution.
While the Americans eventually grew into the game, they could not find a way to put the finishing touch on their chances.
Around the 35-minute mark, they had a good opportunity to cut their deficit in half but the ball rolled just wide of the left post. Another chance soared over the bar.
At the full time whistle, the two early chances proved to be enough for the visiting team to win the tournament as PDA sat heartbroken on the pitch.
United States Women’s National Team players Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger presented Barcelona with the 2019 ICC Futures trophy before the team joined in on the celebrations with fans.