AS Monaco can call itself U18 champion of France again after seven years. The youth team of the Principality’s football club recorded a 4-2 victory over Clermont Foot at the Stade de France in the final of the Gambardella Cup on Saturday. It was a deserved victory for the team of coach Fréderic Barilaro, who won this award for the third time with the Monegasque youth. It is a good result for the politics of director Paul Mitchell to invest again in the youth academy La Diagonale. Monaco won this trophy also in 1962, 1972, 2011 and 2016.  

Monaco got off to a good start from kick-off and could have opened the scoring within five minutes but Joan Tancres hit the post. A few minutes later, a goal by the Monegasques was disallowed for offside. But Clermont opened the scoring against the odds when Robin Pages scored from a corner kick. Monaco responded without stress and levelled the score eight minutes later. Saïmon Bouabré put Mayssam Benama in position after a quick attack.

Three minutes later, Monaco took the lead through a goal from Joan Tincres, who managed to play out defender Robin Pages and goalkeeper Ramousse with a solo before hitting the target. Eight minutes later Monaco was able to go even further but then Benama missed a penalty after Michal was brought down in the penalty area.

After half-time, Monaco played a solid game, with Lucas Michal scoring from a cross by Bouabré in the twelfth minute. Seven minutes later Clermont came back in the match with a goal of Chastang after bad defending by Allan Eser. In the 82th minute 16-year-old Pape Cabral decided the final with his goal after Ramousse dived under a cross, and Captain Ritchy Valme was allowed to pick up the trophy.  

PHOTO: Youth Academy La Diagonale)