Liverpool's U18 team had to settle for a second place finish at the Newark Liberty International Soccer Summit in New Jersey after being beaten 5-1 by Queens Park Rangers in the final.
The Reds went into the game at Lubetkin Field with a 100 per cent record in the tournament having beaten Colombia's Fudercol 2-0, local side St Benedict's Prep 3-1 and Maccabi Haifa 2-1 in the group stages.
However, after starting the game brightly with new boy Sergi Canos twice going close, QPR struck in the 24th minute with Olamide Shodipo capitalising on a mix-up in the Liverpool defence.
The London team were a constant threat on the break and doubled their lead in the 41st minute after another defensive mistake was clinically punished by Aaron Mitchell.
Canos looked to have got Liverpool back into the game with a deft header just before the break but two quick-fire goals in the space of two minutes early into the second half from Reece Grego-Cox and Mitchell, again, stunned the young Reds.
Midfielder Andreas Komodikis added a fifth for QPR after 76 minutes to cap a disappointing night for Liverpool's young players but coach Mike Garrity insists there was still positives to take from the week spent in New Jersey.
"We are all extremely disappointed with the result," Garrity told Liverpoolfc.com. "We asked the boys all week to keep the ball for long periods and, believe it or not, we actually kept possession better than we have done than in any other game in the tournament. The problem was we made errors in the wrong areas trying to be brave and it cost us.
"It's difficult when you give your opponent a two-nil head start and we never really recovered from that. We do encourage the boys to play the ball out because we want to play football and we'll continue to play football and pass the ball out and build from the back but when individual errors are made, it tough to take.
"I'm sure the boys will learn from this experience tonight though and I'm sure they'll come back a little bit stronger. You have to remember these boys are developing. They're only young players - some of them are really, really young - and it's all about decision making for them.
"To be honest, I think the scoreline was harsh on the boys but that's football and tonight we've been punished. They made it tough for us and when they got a chance, they took it so credit to them. We congratulate them on their win but our boys will come back better and stronger from this defeat.
"One game is not going to define our season. It's a tournament and you always want to do well when you come overseas but we'll look back on this game and we'll all learn from it - the players and the staff. We'll dust ourselves off, pick ourselves up and be ready to go again when we get back to the Academy."