The last UEFA Youth League 8th finals have been played during the week and I thought I’d make a round up for you guys. In case you have forgotten I can shortly remind you that UEFA’s Youth League is like a Champions League for the U19 teams and this has been the second edition.
Ardit Toli & Qazim Laci (Olympiakos U19) :
Olympiakos and their Albanian duo Ardit Toli and Qazim Laci was put on their XI as the Greeks visited Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine’s capital Kiev. After 90 minutes of play time the result remained 1-1 which meant a penalty shoot-out was going to take place since there is no extra time played in the Youth League. Every single player in both teams managed to score their penalties first. Laci scored the fourth penalty goal for his team but Toli’s penalty was shortly after saved by the Ukrainian goalkeeper. Shakhtar Donetsk won the game with a total of 6-5.
Bersant Celina (Manchester City U19) :
Kosovo’s NT player Bersant Celina was the first Albanian to score in this edition of UEFA’s Youth League and he will (hopefully) keep scoring as Manchester City have made it to the quarter-finals. In the 8th final against Schalke coach Patrick Vieira benched him first as City got a visit from the Germans. City had taken an early 1-0 lead and Celina was substituted in with 10 minutes left of the game. The 18 year old had an effort on goal which forced Schalke’s goalie to make a save shortly after and right before the game ended Schalke managed to equalize. The penalty shoot out resulted in a 4-2 win for City and Celina scored City’s second penalty goal. City will now face Roma in the quarter finals on March 10th. Fun fact: Celina scored the first goal against Roma in their 4-0 win during the group stage.
Emanuele Ndoj (Roma U19) :
Emanuele Ndoj had been put on Roma’s bench twice during the group stage but finally got to make his first appearance earlier this week. The Albanian U19 player started on the bench and was substituted in after an hour of play time as the Italians visited Ajax. Just like the other games a penalty shoot-out had to take place and Roma eventually won. They will now face Celina’s boys in the quarter-final.