Justin Oboavwoduo struck twice, including an extra-time winner, as Manchester City Under-18s came from behind to beat West Ham United 2-1 in the Premier League U18 National final, becoming the first team to win the title three times in a row.
In a meeting of the North and South group champions, West Ham captain Gideon Kodua put his side in front on the half-hour mark with a smart finish from Patrick Kelly's fine pass.
City levelled with 16 minutes remaining when Oboavwoduo's header from Kane Taylor's free-kick squirmed through Finn Herrick's grasp and over the line to force extra-time.
City then scored the winner in the 102nd minute, with Herrick making a super save from Taylor but seeing the ball fall to Oboavwoduo, who made no mistake.
OBOAVWODUO PUTS US AHEAD!!! 🤩— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 10, 2023
CITY+ ▶️ https://t.co/pPcgc5wcU8@RecastTV ▶️ https://t.co/bEdabzxM6V https://t.co/wwgVIZBBvK pic.twitter.com/XKmsuqHMaM
“I'm really proud of the players in terms of the way we were trying to play and what we wanted to do," Man City U18 lead coach Ben Wilkinson told the official club website.
“I think the level of opposition was probably the best we’ve played over the last couple of years. It was a really difficult game.
“I thought we grew stronger as the game went on and am just really proud of what the boys have achieved.”
#PLU18 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSSS!!! 🏆💙 pic.twitter.com/6oH3pOq8Wo— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 10, 2023
Although disappointed with the result, West Ham U18 lead coach Kevin Keen took great pride in his team's performance.
"You’ve got two top teams in the country at U18s level going head-to-head, and Ben [Wilkinson] gave us lots of plaudits for the way we play and the way we construct our team," Keen told the official club website.
"He’s done fantastically and he was full of credit for us. We’ve done well and I’m not sad at all. We’ve just come up a little bit short but, at the same time, that’s a learning opportunity for our lads as well."
Manchester City U18s: Murray-Jones, Wright (Samuel, 70'), Simpson-Pusey, Alleyne, Taylor, Dada-Mascoll, Oboavwoduo (Alfa-Ruprec, 116'), Dickson, Heskey (Muir, 70'), O'Reilly (Okeke, 91'), Galvez
Sub not used: Grant
West Ham United U18s: Herrick, Tarima (Battrum, 70'), Casey, Clayton, Scarles (Jones, 91'), Orford, Kelly (Rigge, 85'), Earthy, Marshall, Kodua, Mubama
Sub not used: Terry