U17s win J-League Club Challenge


  • West Ham United U17s have clinched the J-League Club Challenge title
  • They beat local side Gamba Osaka in the final 4-2
  • Bernardo Rosa was awarded MVP after scoring five times, twice in the final

West Ham United U17s beat local side Gamba Osaka 4-2 to clinch the J-League Club Challenge title.

The Hammers were beaten by their final opponents in the group stage, but the victory never looked in doubt as Danny Searle’s men dominated from start to finish.

Bernardo Rosa scored twice in the triumph, taking his competition tally to five, and he was given the tournament’s MVP award.

Amadou Diallo and Reece Hannam scored the other two goals, as the Hammers completed a terrific week in Japan.

“Coming out to a tournament like this is the unknown. Although we won two game on the first day we looked a bit lethargic,” admitted head coach Searle.

“The second day was much better and today I think our class came through. We’ve got the youngest squad here and to come here and evolve the way we did is very important.”

The Hammers made the perfect start to the final when Ben Johnson’s terrific cross was nodded home by Rosa.

However, local side Osaka, who beat the Hammers 1-0 in the group stage, responded immediately. A long ball over the top of defence was finished well.

Searle’s players had improved as the week went on and bounce back well to lead by two at the break. Rosa volleyed home excellently and that was followed by Amadou Diallo’s neat finish from a long kick by keeper Joseph Anang.

Osaka responded in the second half to put the game back in the balance, but the Hammers sealed the tournament victory when Hannam drilled home brilliantly from just inside the box.

“When we did the pre-match today, we said ‘you know what the standard is and you know what type of football they play,” added Searle.

“We grew into the game well and I’m glad the boys achieved what they did today. It’s an excellent achievement.”

West Ham (v Gamba Osaka): Anang (Sanneh); Johnson, Dalipi (Okotcha), Wells, Hannam; Coventry, Mingi (Forson); Ngakia (King), Rosa, Diallo; Adarkwa (Ashby). Subs not used: Watson, Chesters.

Goals: Rosa (2), Diallo, Hannam.

Bookings: Diallo.