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Academy bow out in semis

Posted on 3 April 2010  - 12:00

Our Academy squad's fine run in the Dallas Cup came to an end in the semi-finals against Brazilian side Cruzeiro in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Our Academy squad's fine run in the Dallas Cup came to an end in the semi-finals against Brazilian side Cruzeiro in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The team was left to rue missed chances as Cruzeiro opened up a 2-0 lead inside half-hour at FC Dallas' Pizza Hut Park Stadium.

Jake Nicholson converted a penalty for 2-1 in the 35th minute and the lads had the better of it from there only to be hit on the counter-attack for 3-1 two minutes from time.

They still did enough to win a second penalty when Calum Butcher was fouled at a corner but unfortunately Jake hit the crossbar and it stayed at 3-1.

Coach Alex Inglethorpe reported: "We didn't start particularly well, Cruzeiro scored after 10 minutes but we picked up after that.

"We had three fantastic opportunities. Kudus Oyenuga had a one-on-one chance saved, he was then denied again by the keeper and perhaps might have done better with a headed chance from Paul Jose M'poku's cross.

"Cruzeiro scored again but we hit back straight away when they were penalised for handball. Jake Nicholson tucked away the penalty and at 2-1, I felt we were in the ascendency.

"The second half continued the same way and we got ourselves into some great positions for shots and crosses but we didn't capitalise.

"They scored a third goal as we looked to commit players forward but we still managed to hit back and win another penalty but Jake hit the bar this time.

"It was disappointing because on the balance of play, I felt we deserved more.

"I thought we were excellent. We were playing a top Brazilian team and you would expect them to have a lot of possession but if anything, we were more technically efficient.

"It's a shame to go out at this stage but the lads have been superb. We're the youngest squad in this age group and we've picked up a couple of injuries along the way but the lads have worked hard. They've been outstanding.

"Remember, we've played four 90-minute matches in six days in 80 degree heat against top, top opposition. For this young group to have got this far is a fantastic achievement."

Spurs: Jansson, Nicholson, Francis-Angol (Bartram, 60), Cox, Durojaiye, Butcher, Byrne, Luongo (Tapping, 65), Oyenuga (Pritchard, 70), Carroll, M'poku.