Athletic Club U23 Eliminated From Premier League International Cup In 5-4 Thriller Against Tottenham
Athletic Club have participated in the Premier League U23 International Cup every year since the competition was introduced in 2014/2015. Last year the Katxorros were seeded into a very difficult group along with Manchester United, Celtic, and Swansea City and failed to advance for the first time. This year they faced another challenging group after being matched up with Tottenham, Norwich City, and Wolfsburg.
After a 3-0 loss to Wolfsburg and a 3-0 win over Norwich, Athletic needed to beat Tottenham on Wednesday to top the group and advance to the next round. They knew it would be a difficult game on the road and it turned out to be a thrilling match. Tottenham took an early 2-0 lead but it didn’t take long for Athletic to respond.
Asier Villalibre pulled a goal back in the 37th minute before Iñigo Vicente was able to equalize just moments after failing to convert a penalty. Victor San Bartolomé then gave Athletic the lead after the hour mark which was followed by two quick goals from Tottenham. Asier Benito pulled one back in stoppage time but it wasn’t enough as Athletic fell 5-4 and have now been eliminated from the competition.
Despite failing to advance out of the group stage the Katxorros should be proud of their efforts and the experience that the players gained is invaluable. These starlets were able to test themselves against other top young players their age and will be better because of the opportunity. Now that the competition is over the players will be able to focus fully on their seasons with Bilbao Athletic and CD Basconia for the rest of the year.