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Colchester Utd are celebrating after they won the Copa Catalunya tournament in Barcelona.
After battling their way through their group and into the semi finals, the young U's produced their performance of the tournament against fancied Swedish League outfit Frovi IK who had topped their qualifying group. First half goals from Flo Gamby and Zoe Rushen (2) had Colchester in command at half time following a brilliant display of passing football that drew admiration from the gathered multi-national crowd at the main pitch at the Top Ten complex in Tordera.
In the second half Colchester were able to control the pace of the game, not allowing the Swedes a sniff at goal and extended their lead through Amy Nash.
A thoroughly convincing performance set up a re-match with Colchester's group stage conquerors CAL United in the Final after the Americans triumphed in a penalty shoot out following a 0-0 draw with German outfit Lichterfielder FC.
It was another tough game in the Final for the U's against the athletic and talented Americans and indeed it was the Californians who took an early lead just as they had done in the group game with a 2nd minute corner turned home at the near post. Colchester quickly responded with Hannah Gowland and Zoe Rushen causing the American defence problems and when the CAL keeper brough down Rushen in the box, captain Maegen Doyle cooly converted the ensuing penalty kick.
The U's took the lead soon after when Rushen timed her near post run to perfection to meet Gowland's cross and flick past the keeper.
In the second half, the Americans worked hard to try and break up Colchester's passing game but the U's still enjoyed the majority of the posession and were rewarded when the pairing of Gowland and Rushen once again terrorised the back line, the CAL keeper only being able to parry Gowland's effort into the path of Rushen who gratefully tapped home.
The two-goal cushion took the sting out of the American side's efforts to get back into the game and in truth Colchester had chances to put it beyond reach, however when CAL's talented captain and centre forward converted a late free kick from the top of the box, it set up a nervy last few minutes for Colchester which required Helena Brodie to punch away a last gasp corner to preserve the U's lead.
There were joyous scenes at the final whistle, a fitting end for a squad comprised primarily of Colchester United Ladies Academy side lifting their sixth major trophy of the season.
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