Bolivia grab the gold
Bolivia wrote their name into the history books by becoming the first-ever winners of the Boys Youth Olympic Football Tournament, defeating Haiti 5-0 to clinch the gold medal, despite playing the majority of game with ten men.
In tonight’s earlier match, hosts Singapore put their semi-final loss to Haiti behind them by beating Montenegro 4-1 for the bronze. Two goals from Hanafi Mohd and Ammirul Mazlan saw the home side round off their campaign with a resounding win.
Match of the day
Bolivia 5-0 Haiti
Goals: Rodrigo Mejido 5’, Jorge Alpire 31’, Cristian Arano 53’, Luis Banegas 60’, 72’
Entering the rematch as undisputed favourites, Bolivia took just five minutes to show their authority when Rodrigo Mejido put his side ahead. Having netted four times in their 9-0 demolition of Haiti, the dynamic forward looked on top form, signified by his well-taken goal. However, 15 minutes later Mejido received his marching orders for an altercation with an opponent. Despite the dismissal of their talisman, the South Americans doubled their lead shortly after the half hour. Carlos Anez hit the post with a free-kick and in the ensuing goalmouth scramble, Jorge Alpire was in the right place at the right time to head home.
Bolivia coach Douglas Cuenca sent on Luis Banegas to boost their strikeforce after the restart, which quickly paid dividends. The substitute was involved in a three-man move which led to their third goal in the 53rd minute when Cristian Arano made it 3-0. The remainder of the game belonged to Banegas, who bundled home a Noel Rodriguez free-kick on the hour mark to put the game beyond the Haitians’ reach before bursting into the area to fire home eight minutes from time.
The other game
Montenegro 1-4 Singapore
Goals: Jovan Baosic 14’; Hanafi Mohd 6’, 45’, Ammirul Mazlan 57’, 65’
The hosts came out like a house on fire and took just six minutes to take the lead. The instigator of the opening goal was Jonathan Tan, who surged to the edge of the box working the ball through for Hanafi Mohd, who unleashed a powerful drive that flew into back of the net. The Europeans, however, drew level eight minutes later when Jovan Baosic got his head onto Nebojsa Kosovic’s free-kick.
Montenegro pushed forward after the interval and looked dangerous with captain Kosovic a constant threat. The Europeans, however, must have felt it was not their day when Singapore restored the lead only five minutes into the second half, when Mohd latched on to an accurate pass to complete his brace. After Suhaimi flashed a low effort just wide, it was Ammirul Mazlan’s turn to shine. The Singapore midfielder first struck from the spot to make it 3-1 in the 57th minute, before flinging himself to head home Mohd’s free-kick from an acute angle 15 minutes from time.
Goal of the day
Although there were no fewer than ten to choose from, the pick of today’s goals was Singapore’s fourth. Hanafi flicked a free-kick from the right into the area and just as if it looked the ball would go wide, Mazlan came from nowhere to head it home from an acute angle.
6 - Despite being red-carded midway through the first half, Mejido’s fifth minute goal took his tally to six to top the tournament’s scoring chart.
“Winning the final means more than just the gold medal for us. For the players, the success may open a door to a bright future and our people should be proud of the team’s success in this tournament.” Douglas Cuenca, Bolivia coach