For the second time in three years, a Brazilian team was crowned champions of the Canon Lion City Cup. The boys from Corinthians defeated Dutch team PSV after a nail-biting penalty shoot-out in an intense final marred by two controversial decisions.
PSV had shown a steady improvement as their tournament run progressed with striker Matthias Verreth finding his scoring touch in the semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt. But the in-form player was substituted
In the first ten minutes, both sides showed no trace of nerves. PSV goalkeeper Mike van de Meulenhof had to be alert to keep out Matheus da Silva’s free-kick.
PSV’s Amar Catic found time and space to send in a dangerous cross for Joey Konings but his header went straight into Victor’s Marganelli’s arms.
The first controversial incident occurred in the 20th minute. Corinthians were reduced to 10 men when striker Gustavo Franca was shown a red card after challenging Meulenhof for a bouncing ball.
PSV almost punished Corinthians immediately. A clever chip by Lennard Daneels sent Jaell Hattu clear but under pressure from his marker, his header was weak.
The confident looking Matheus continued to cause problems with his sublime vision and skill. The Brazil U15 international took a number of shots from distance but Man-of-the-Match Meulenhof kept the scores level with a number of brilliant saves.
The deadlock was finally broken three minutes after the restart. PSV left-back Lassana Faye failed to properly clear Miullen Carvalho’s cross and Corinthians’ captain Leo Jaba duly punished the mistake by slamming the ball home.
With only 10 men on the pitch, Corinthians sought to preserve their lead. In a bid to beef up his midfield, Coach Marcio brought on Renan Areias for forward Miullen.
The plan almost backfired immediately with PSV captain Dante Rigo going close from a free-kick. Left winger Karim Bannani also went close in the 70th minute but goalkeeper Victor Marganelli managed to keep out the Dutch international’s low drive.
Margenlli had not conceded a goal throughout the entire tournament. But that streak was ended in the 78th minute. It was Bannani who rose highest after a corner kick and he was immediately mobbed by teammates and coaches. The match then went to penalties.
After Corinthians scored their first four spot-kicks, Robin Schoonbrood struck PSV’s third penalty hard but too close to Marganelli.
Meulenhof thought he had rescued his side when he saved Leo Jaba’s attempt but the referee indicated for the penalty to be retaken after the goalkeeper was adjudged to have moved of his line too early.
The Canon Lion City Cup top scorer Leo Jaba made no mistake again and there were wild celebration from the Brazilians as they lifted the trophy. To cap off a stunning tournament for Corinthians, Matheus was named as the Canon Lion City Cup’s Most Valuable Player for his outstanding displays.