5th September 2018
Men's Blues reach final of World Elite University Football Tournament
In July, Cambridge once again sent a team to the World Elite University Football Tournament, this year being held in Wuhan, China. Having reached the semi-final in the previous two tournaments, hopes were high for a young team made up predominantly of Falcons and Kestrels players.
Making it through the group after matches against hosts Huazhong University and the University of Southern California, Cambridge were drawn against the University of Melbourne for the quarter-final. In a tightly contested affair, the team battled to a 3-2 victory, setting up a semi-final match against the impressive Seoul University.
In a cautious first-half, in which Soul dominated possession but were contained by the careful defensive work set up by Cambridge coach Jez George, it was Cambridge who broke the deadlock, Ollie Lerway firing home. The ever-threatening Kosi Nwuba then doubled Cambridge's lead, sending the sides in at half-time with the Blues 2-0 up. As Seoul began to tire in the second half, the threat of Luke Sefton in particular began to take its toll, and he won a penalty with just over ten minutes to play, which also saw Seoul reduced to ten men. Although Cambridge were to miss the penalty, two headed goals in the final few minutes from Oscar Melbourne and Alex Bull put the gloss on a fantastic team performance.
The final proved a step too far for the Cambridge team, reduced in number by the unfortunate injury to the umpressive Joe Young, with last year's winners Tübingen University once again taking the crown. But it was a memorable two weeks for a youthful Cambridge team. The aforementioned Nwuba, Bull and Young, as well as other freshers Josiah Price, Angus Buttar, Callum Thomson and Matt Thorne, have shown that there is strength in depth in Cambridge football at the moment.
The tournament also saw the handover of the captaincy for next season, Jack Congdon giving the armband to Oscar Melbourne for the knockout matches. With preseason beginning later in September, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the upcoming season for CUAFC.