Liverpool U17s manager Mike Garrity admitted even he was a little surprised at the sheer stamina and endurance his players displayed as they fought off Corinthians on Thursday night in the semi-final of the premier Milk Cup Globe.
The Reds were held to a 1-1 draw in normal time. Harry Wilson scored from the spot to edge them in front; however, Sam Hart was then shown a straight red card and the Brazilians made their advantage count by drawing level late on.
Garrity's side showed plenty of fight and self-discipline in what became a heated and ferocious contest as they held off their opponents to win 4-3 in the penalty shoot-out.
With this also being their fourth game in four days, the manager insisted he was proud of the commitment his players showed.
"I don't know how they coped," admitted Garrity. "It just shows you how fit these boys are. This is our fourth week back in training, and we are still building our fitness levels and we are using this week to gain fitness.
"But four games in four days is extremely demanding. Even though the boys are as fit as they are - it's still severe on their bodies.
"With regards to the game, in the first half I thought we played extremely well and then we were a little bit unfortunate to lose a player through a red card.
"But the boys showed brilliant determination when it mattered. What they did - which we spoke about - was they stuck together. The work ethic within the team was just fantastic and that saw them through to the end of the game."
Goalkeeper Andy Firth was the hero of the hour in the penalty shoot-out, saving one shot and doing enough to force two more players to hit the woodwork.
The youngster was in good form as he danced across his goalline and swayed back and forth in an attempt to put the opposition off, and afterwards Garrity joked: "I think goalkeepers are a bit of a different breed to the rest of us.
"I think he must have been watching videos of Bruce Grobbelaar in the 1980s. He's a bit of a character, Andy, but it was nice for all the lads to get the victory on penalties, and it was great to see how happy the boys were at the end of the game.
"You could see how much it meant to them, so I'm delighted for them."