MONDAY, AUGUST 1
Northern Ireland 3 v 1 Serbia and Montenegro
USA 1 v 1 Brazil
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3
Northern Ireland 2 v 0 Brazil
USA 1 v 0 Serbia and Montenegro
FRIDAY, AUGUST 5
Brazil 5 - 0 Serbia and Montenegro
MILK CUP ELITE FINAL
NORTHERN IRELAND 2- 4 USA
A Boston student handed Northern Ireland a reality check in the Elite Milk Cup final at Coleraine Showgrounds.
Charlie Davies emerged as one of the stars of the tournament with a hat-trick to secure the USA the Elite title in their third visit to the tournament.
Davies sparkled as Northern Ireland’s star waned in the sunshine. It was a night of disappointment for the home side who never quite got to grips with the speed of the Americans.
Yet it all started so promisingly for the Irish. US keeper Steven Sandbo sent Kyle Lafferty crashing to the ground inside the box and referee Brian Turkington awarded a penalty. Tommy Stewart stepped up to confidently sweep the ball past Sandbo.
Northern Ireland’s lead only lasted eight minutes as defender Scott Best handled the ball under pressure and from the penalty award Rodrigo Lopez sent keeper Jonathan Tuffy the wrong way with his positively struck right foot shot.
Coleraine defender Kyle McVey glanced a header wide of the target at the other end and then Lafferty worked a good opening, bursting past a defender to get in a shot which only just fizzed wide of the near post.
Davies snatched the lead after 33 minutes with skipper Dax McCarty and Lopez beginning to weave their magic in midfield. Davies stormed though the centre and fired a shot past Tuffy from 18 yards.
Deadly Davies produced another blistering burst of speed to follow through on a defence splitting pass to steer a shot into the net from 12 yards.
The Americans could have added a fourth early in the second half as Mike Vidiera met Lee Nguyen’s cross only to see his glancing header skid wide.
The USA did manage to breach the Irish defence again when McVey was penalised for his tackle on Davies as he scampered into the danger zone. From the spot Davies completed his hat-trick to cap a marvellous performance.
Eight minutes from the end Jonny Steele, who plays his soccer in the States with Kansas City Comets, hit a second for the Irish.
Brazil ended their championship on a high note, beating Serbia and Montenegro 5-0 at Ballymena to finish third.