Leicester City claimed the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens for a second time after defeating defending champions Aston Villa 3-0 in Sunday’s final at Hong Kong Football Club.
Tournament leading scorer Josh Eppiah scored twice, while Josh Gordon was also on target as Leicester produced a dominant performance to add to their title in 2013.
Eppiah’s brace took him to eight goals for the competition as the striker edged Villa’s seven-goal Harry McKirdy to the top scorer accolade and the forward was also named the Most Valuable Player to cap an excellent two days.
“I’m over the moon and proud of myself. I took my chances well but the team and the staff around me have helped,” said Eppiah, who also scored twice in the 3-1 quarter-final win over West Ham United and once in the semi-final victory against Glasgow Rangers.
“This whole tournament has been amazing and I’d love to come back next year because I’m still a youngster and have more years to come back and do the same as I did today.
“The boys fought, held on, came back and in the final we were all up for it so we came out and gave it everything we have.”
Six-time winners Villa had impressed on the way to the final after defeating Italian debutants Cagliari Calcio 3-0 in the last eight and French newcomers Olympique Marseille in the semi-final to advance unbeaten.
But Leicester had also looked strong over the weekend after winning all five of their games, and captain Hamza Choudhury’s man-marking of McKirdy in the final proved key as the Foxes nullified Villa’s main threat before running out deserved winners.
Runners-up in the previous two editions of the Main Tournament, West Ham enjoyed success this time round by lifting the Main Tournament Shield following a 2-0 victory over Cagliari in the final.
After being eliminated by Leicester in the quarter-finals, the Hammers dropped down to the Shield and returned to form to beat local side HKFA U-23s in the semi-final, before Joe Powell and Jaanai Gordon netted in the final against Cagliari.
Tournament debutants Bayer Leverkusen were crowned Main Tournament Plate champions as goals from Julijan Popovic and Berkan Arik helped claim a 2-1 win over Wellington Phoenix in the final.
After falling out of the Main Tournament, the German side defeated hosts Hong Kong Football Club and Kashima Antlers in the quarter- and semi-finals before seeing off the New Zealanders.
Citi All Stars, meanwhile, retained their Masters Tournament title after Jamie Cureton scored his second goal of the game at death to claim a dramatic 3-2 victory over Wallsend Boys Club in the final.
The match-winning strike capped an excellent weekend for the former Norwich City forward, who claimed the top scorer award with nine goals before being named the Masters Tournament MVP.
“We’ve played well throughout the entire tournament and from the second half [in the final] I thought we performed really well and deserved to win it,” said Cureton.
“It’s my job to score goals, I didn’t expect to get as many as nine, but I’m very pleased. I came three or four years ago and we didn’t do very well, so I’m hoping the nine goals and winning will get me an invite again next year.”
Finally, tournament debutants playonPROS won the Masters Shield after Emile Heskey scored a sublime free-kick to claim a 3-2 victory over Discovery Bay in the final.