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Gothia Cup round-up: final group stage matches take place

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Wednesday saw five Scottish clubs all compete for a spot in the knockout stages of the World's largest youth football tournament, The Gothia Cup.
Tynecastle have already booked their place into the round of 64. It hasn't only done it at one age group, but remarkably all three teams have taken their spot into the advanced stages of the tournament. The under 14s confirmed the retention of their unbeaten record with a 1-1 draw against Gelfe IF of Sweden. 
They weren't the only unbeaten Tynecastle side though, as the under 15s stormed their way to a 6-0 demolition of Gransholm IF. The under 13s experienced a blip though, as they were beaten 4-0 to local Swedish side IF Brommapojkarna. A disappointing result for the U13’s side, however that will be at the back of their minds as all three sides can rightfully celebrate their place in the knockout stages. A magnificent way to represent Scotland. 
There was a contrast of emotions for Linlithgow girls however. Their under 15s unfortunately finished bottom of their group with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of local side Skultorps IF, who topped group 12.  Playing them in their final group game was always going to be a massive ask, and it proved to be too much, however the West Lothian outfit can lift their heads high.
Boroughmuir Thistle girls sent four representing sides to Gothenberg this week, unfortunately none of them have managed to finish inside the top two of their groups, leaving Thistle without any teams in the round of 64. 
The two under 12s sides both experienced completely different scenarios. The first team obliterated Swedish outfit Torna Hallestad IF by 12 goals to nil, leaving them extremely close to qualifying, whereas the second team suffered a disappointing loss by another Swedish representative, Lerums IS, who comfortably finished in first position in group two.
The under 14s were beaten by an inch against Swedish opponents Upsala IF, who finished one place above them in third, by a narrow 1-0 scoreline. The margin was greater in the under 13s match however, as they fell 4-0 to Knvista IK, also from Sweden.
Currie Star FC were also being represented by four of their sides. The under 14s first and second teams both finished the group stages sitting in bottom place. The first team knew that they had to throw everything but the kitchen sink at German opponents, SuS Kaiserau, and they did just that. Unfortunately they conceded four goals at the back, as they lost 4-2. A brave effort from a side who had nothing to lose. 
The under 14s second team were defeated 4-0 by Swedish side Laholms FK, who finished one place and four points ahead of the West Edinburgh outfit.
There was, however, one Currie Star side that made it past the group stage, and that was the under 14s first team, who topped their table and sealed their place with a solid 2-0 win against Dalstorps IF. 
They and Tyncastle will be joined by one more side in the round of 64, and that side is Hazlehead Academy's under 14s. They booked their spot courtesy of a 1-0 victory over local side Partille IF, making it ten goals scored, zero conceded and a 100% record so far for the team from Aberdeenshire, who have enjoyed the perfect tournament up to now. They and the rest of the country will be hoping it can continue.
Commiserations to the teams who haven't qualified, and good luck to the teams who have in the knockout stages of the 2015 Gothia Cup!

Gregor Kerr | YFS South East Region Journalist
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