A cruel end. Villarreal U19s (Juvenil A) were so close to the Copa de Campeones title, but fell on penalties against Real Zaragoza in the final, which took place at Balaídos. The Yellows also missed a penalty in the 18th minute. Despite dominating a large amount of the game, the Yellows Academy side went away empty-handed.
Miguel Ángel Tena kept the same starting XI that put in such a good performance in the semi-final against Sevilla. The 19s came up against a side that had not conceded a single goal in the entirety of the competition, so it was not going to be easy at all.
The dominance by the Yellows was clear from the opening moments. The first clear chance came in the ninth minute after a great through ball from Álex Baena for Fer Niño, whose shot brushed the post.
In the 18th minute, Villarreal were awarded a penalty. Dani Tasende played a ball for Niño, who was brought down in the box. Iván Morante stepped up, but goalkeeper Azón kept it out.
The Yellows kept on trying, with Baena's shot just centimetres from going in.
In the second half, Zaragoza continued defending with military precision. The Yellows dominated, but were unable to create much danger. Tiredness kicked in, and the opposition got closer to Villarreal's goal.
The 90 minutes ended goalless, so the match went to extra time. John came close to scoring for the Yellows, while Filip Jorgensen made a great save to keep out Puche.
The match went down to penalties. Galdón and John missed their spot-kicks, while the only blot for Zaragoza was Hernández (7-6 to Real Zaragoza).
Next up for the U19s
The next challenge for the U19s is the U19 Copa del Rey. Their next opponent will be Real Zaragoza in the quarter-finals. The first leg will take place at the Mini Estadi at the Villarreal CF training ground (Ciudad Deportiva). The time is still to be confirmed.
Real Zaragoza U19s: Azón; Francés, Martín, Hernández, Serrano, Castillo, Jiménez (Puche, m. 69), Alastuey (Torres, m. 58), Val (Sancho, m. 79), Borge, Benedet (Vera, m. 100).
Villarreal U19s: Filip Jorgensen; Izan (José Luis, m. 90), Vadik, Pereiro, Dani Tasende; Galdón, Morante (John, m. 85), Carlo Adriano, Enric (Arana, m. 73); Baena, Fer Niño (Gonzaga, m. 108).
Goals: Goalless in 120 minutes.
Penalties (7-6, Real Zaragoza took the first spot-kick):
- Real Zaragoza U19s: Hernández (stopped by Jorgensen), Martín (goal), Vera (goal), Serrano (goal), Puche (goal), Sancho (goal), Borge (goal), Castillo (goal).
- Villarreal CF U19s: Galdón (over the bar), Dani Tasende (goal), Arana (goal), Gonzaga (goal), Baena (goal), Pereiro (goal), Carlo Adriano (goal), John (stopped by Azón).
Referee: Muñiz Ruiz. Booked: Fernández, Serrano (Real Zaragoza U19s); Vadik, Baena (Villarreal U19s).
Matchday information: U19s Copa de Campeones final at Balaídos.