Sheffield United U18s went down 4-0 in the final match of their Chinese tour.
Before a crowd of 11,000 and against a very experienced regional team, the Blades were in the game until well into the second half until the hosts Xinjang Snow Leopards, pulled clear.
Captain Shea Gordon said: "As we approached the last game of our tour in China, we knew that we faced a very tough challenge against a very experienced side. As the game approached we began to realise how big of an occasion it was for the town of Urumqi. Around 11,000 people turned up to watch our team in a highly competitive match."
The game began in the heat which saw the Leopards create early chances and put the pressure on. After an early save down to his right hand side Ramsdale then saw the ball flash past his post from the resulting corner. The Leopards eventually took the lead from a back post cross 10 minutes before half time but for all their pressure the young Blades were still in the game at half time.
Substitutions were made with Ramsey, Burton, Slew and Gilmour all coming on for the second half. The Leopards continued to apply pressure and grind down the Blades back four, eventually taking a 3-0 lead. With the game nearly over United still showed glimpses of class which saw the front players getting in. Following more substitutions (Perryman and Smith) Smith hit the post from distance, before the experienced Leopards side extended their lead to 4-0.
"The result was disappointing but it was a once in a lifetime experience for us as young players," said Shea. "The crowd and the scenery made it very special and something you can't forget. Sheffield United and the city of Urumqi have made a friendship for life on and off the pitch."
Blades: Ramsdale (GK), Semple, Cummings, Adebowale, Brown, Gordon (C), Hallam, Mallon, Maw, Litchfield, Parkhouse.
Subs: Burton, Gilmour, Slew, Ford, Smith, Perryman , Ramsey, Hutchinson, Sharvin.