Pirates fail to improve on Premier Cup record

BRAZIL's Sao Paulo FC were crowned Manchester United Premier Cup champions of the world for the second time, continuing South American domination of the global 20-team event, after beating Werder Bremen 3-1 in extra time at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

BRAZIL's Sao Paulo FC were crowned Manchester United Premier Cup champions of the world for the second time, continuing South American domination of the global 20-team event, after beating Werder Bremen 3-1 in extra time at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

The German team took charge in the opening session, scoring after just five minutes and looked to be in the driver's seat until Sao Paulo raised the tempo, earning the equaliser halfway through the second half.

Just one minute into extra time and the Brazilians took the lead for the first time in the match before delivering the decisive blow just before the final whistle. Sao Paulo were deserved winners of the title for the second time.

Coach Thorsten Bolder from Werder Bremen said: "I am very proud of my boys, but although they played with passion and strength, unfortunately they did not perform as well as they have throughout the week. We participated in a training camp the week before the tournament, and maybe that contributed."

Sao Paulo's Bruno Jose Petri said: "We've suffered a few setbacks this week. Losing a couple of matches in the group stages was a big shock, Brazilians do not lose."

Legendary England and Manchester United captain Bryan Robson made on-pitch presentations to the top three teams and later, at the closing ceremony, awarded Colo Colo's Cristostomo the top scorer award for his six goals and the most valuable player award to Orlando Pirates' Sakhile Ngubo.

Japan's Gamba Osaka took the fair play award.

Meanwhile, Pirates' head of development Augusto Palacios was an obviously disappointed man after they failed to improve on an eighth-place finish in 2006 and ninth in 2007.

Pirates finished 11th this year but Palacios believed it was a worthwhile experience for the technical staff and under-15 players.

Pirates did close the tournament in style by clobbering host team Manchester United 2-0 in an entertaining placing game for the Red Devils to finish 12th.

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