The U-20 team of Ghana's Berekum Chelsea FC failed to make a successful defence of their title at the Ostrach 2012 Yokohama Tournament after settling for bronze at the 2012 edition of the competition held from 26-29 May in Germany.
The Ghanaian side, the only African participating team at the tournament that brought together youth teams from some top Clubs around the world, lost out to eventual winners Atletico Paranense of Brazil 5-4 on penalties at the semis.
Prior to the loss, the Berekum-based Club drew 1-1 with Kaiserslautern, beat Japanese side Ryutsu Keizai University by a lone goal before settling for a 1-1 draw with the youth team of VFL Bochum at the group phase to qualify for the semis.
At the semis, the Brazilian side halted the good run of the Ghanaian side via penalties before making amends in the third place play-off, when they beat Kaiserslautern 3-0 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in regulation time.
The Ghanaian side also took further consolation in Solomon Sarbah, who was adjudged the best defender whilst striker Benjamin Asamoah scooped the top scorer award after netting two goals in five matches.
Atletico Paranense beat Dutch side Rotterdam Feyenoord 5-4 on penalties in the final to take the trophy.
Joseph Addo, International Relations Manager of the Club, speaking to GNA Sports on their arrival at the Kotoka International Airport on Tuesday evening, described the tournament as a useful experience for the players who took part in the Reserve League.
He said only four members of last year’s winning squad made the trip this time, adding that the performance has boosted the confidence of the new crop of players.
Addo added that the team will resume training on July 1 to begin preparations for next season and future assignments.
This is the fourth time Berekum Chelsea are participating at the tournament held annually since 1971.**