Chelsea celebrated their first trophy win at the Milk Cup last night in what was a fitting end to the tournament for them.
The young Blues had dominated the Junior Section and it was no different in the final against Cruz Azul as the boys from Stamford Bridge ran out 3-0 winners.
Victory was as good as assured at half-time with two spectacular goals from Reece Mitchell and John Swift proving the Mexicans’ undoing. Lewis Baker claimed the third by stroking home a penalty in stoppage time.
Head coach Adrian Viveash said: “It’s been a tremendous week, on and off the pitch. We’ve loved being in Ireland.
“This is a new group we’ve brought and they are worthy of the Milk Cup, this competition and its history.”
Scorer Mitchell added: “Hard work is the key to what we’ve achieved.”
Chelsea had the ideal start with Mitchell’s eye-catching goal after just three minutes. It’s not hard to see why he has been offered a scholarship at the West London club.
Swift floated a pin-perfect cross in from the right which Mitchell met with a bicycle kick and hit the far corner of the net.
It was the Chelsea striker’s fourth goal of the tournament and the best of them all.
Swift doubled Chelsea’s advantage on the stroke of half-time when the towering midfielder let fly from 25 yards with a blistering effort which fizzed past Perez and into the net.
Azul started the second period with a bit more urgency, but without threatening the Chelsea rearguard, who seemed content to protect their lead at a canter.
Baker sent Perez the wrong way from the penalty spot to claim Chelsea’s first junior crown.
In the two other finals played yesterday there were mixed fortunes for the county teams competing for honours.
In the Dunluce finale, John Bailie’s Down side romped to a 5-2 win over Brentford.
However, in Broughshane there was heartbreak for Ollie Mullan’s Londonderry when they lost on penalties to Aspire, from Quatar.
Adam McKeever struck late on with an equaliser that took the game to a penalty shoot-out, but it was Aspire who triumphed in that contest.
Goalkeeper Faisal Abdulla was the hero, saving twice to earn his side the win.