Liverpool John Moores University Journalism World Cup Review
Victory: Second years celebrate their cup win
Goals in either half by Adam Smith and Rob Harper were enough to secure a 2-0 victory for Level 2 as they retained the JMU Journalism World Cup by beating Level 3 in the final.
The match was expected to be a classic after last year’s footballing feast which ended with Level 2 (then Level 1) winning in a penalty shootout after the match finished 5-5.
Although the match did not provide as many goals as last year’s final between these two sides, there was no shortage of chances at IM Marsh in Aigburth, with both sides putting in energetic attacking performances in an entertaining contest.
Level 3 goalkeeper Callum Reece was the main reason that the second years failed to find the net more often as he pulled off some fabulous saves, but he was left helpless by Smith’s opener as the second years’ striker lobbed the ball over him.
Smith’s second goal of the tournament made him the top scorer at the 2011 JMU Journalism World Cup, though it was surprising that he and strike partner Will Walton could not add to the tally as several opportunities went begging.
The second years dominated the opening period and much of the first half but were just one up at the break, and the third years, led by skipper Tom Broughton, rallied after the interval as they took the game to their younger opponents.
Norwegian forward Iver Kleiven who scored the winner in Level 3’s semi-final victory over the Alumni Team, was desperately unlucky not to equalise when his fierce shot cannoned back off a post and away for a goal kick.
Soon after Walton himself hit the woodwork at the other end as the match lived up to the status of the occasion.
The third years, clearly playing for their places in next year's star-studded Alumni team grew in stature but could not score despite getting themselves into good attacking positions.
While Level 3 pushed on searching for an equaliser, the game opened up presenting the second years with a host of opportunities to finish the game off.
It was thanks to Callum Reece’s saves that Level 3 was in the hunt right until the dying moments, but their comeback hopes were shattered after a fabulous long-range strike by guest player Harper made it 2-0.
The left back picked the ball up some 25 yards from goal before unleashing an unstoppable effort which left Reece stranded.
Level 2 skipper Liam Deveney was delighted to get his hands on the majestic JMU Journalism World Cup trophy, and he said afterwards: "I'm very proud to have won the tournament again and I can't wait for next year to try to make it three in a row."