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Kelowna team triumphing in world's largest international youth soccer tournament

The Kelowna United U16 soccer team is one of seven Canadian clubs - and one of the collective 1,731 teams from 78 nations - participating in the World Youth Gothia Cup in Göteborg, Sweden this week.

As the world’s largest international youth soccer (or football) tournament, the Gothia Cup promotes diversity as “a meeting place for the world’s youth, irrespective of religion, skin colour or nationality, with football as the common denominator.”

Since its creation in 1975, the tournament has hosted almost one million players from across 80 nations.

In other words, the Kelowna United U16 is apart of a monstrous tournament.

The team left on the 7,300-kilometre trip to Göteborg on Thursday, bouncing around several airports before finally arriving for the tournament in Sweden.

The tournament kicked off Monday with a flashy and explosive opening ceremony that evening, coloured with pyrotechnics and a mosaic of jerseys in the Ullevi stadium.

So far, during the tournament’s two days of play on July 16 and July 17, the tournament has hosted 4,424 matches in over 100 venues, garnering 7,741 goals on the pitch.

KU has played in two matches so far, picking up victories against both Sweden’s Strands IF team in a tight 4-3 triumph and winning in a 2-0 shutout against Norway’s Store Bergan IL.

However, the boys fell 4-0 to a strong Martutene KE squad from Spain, bringing their record to two wins and a single loss through three games.

Now time to dwell onthat, as they'll be right back in action on Thursday against a yet to be determined opponent and you can watch through the Gothia Cup website.

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