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Academy defeated in second Vietnam outing

Posted on 8 January 2014  - 14:30

John McDermott was pleased with the valiant efforts of our Academy players as they chased an equaliser in a narrow 2-1 defeat to Roma Under-19s at the Nutifood Cup in Vietnam on Wednesday.

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Filip Lesniak netted a first half penalty shortly after we fell behind but, once the Italian side had gone back in front, we were unable to find a second leveller despite laying siege to Roma’s goal in the closing stages.

“Luck wasn’t on our side today,” said Academy Manager John after what was our second of three games this week in Vietnam.

“We’ve hit the post and we’ve had several melees in the goal area that were almost comical at times. But all credit to Roma who defended for their lives. We didn’t have the rub of the green in front of goal but Roma will know they’ve been in a game.”

The match began at a slow pace, Roma taking the lead in the 28th minute with a dipping 30-yarder that left goalkeeper Harry Voss with no chance.

We hit back within two minutes, however, as Lesniak converted from the spot after Emmanuel Sonupe was fouled in the area.

A couple of lapses in concentration at the back allowed Roma to regain the advantage three minutes into the second half, a deficit we were unable to peg back – although it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

Substitutes Will Miller and Daniel Akindayini were just off target from close range, Josh Onomah had a shot blocked, and Alex McQueen hit the post with four minutes remaining.

That proved to be as close as we’d get to restoring parity for a second time in what John described as “a good, technical, tactical game” after the final whistle.

“We were a little bit sloppy right at the start of the second half,” he added. “We gave away a needless corner, then defended it poorly and they scored.

“After that we really turned the screw and our performance was probably better than it was against Japan (we beat the Japanese Under-19 national side 2-1 in the tournament opener on Monday).

“There wasn’t much else we could have done today. I thought we performed very, very well in the second half and I was very proud of the way in which we played.”

Spurs: Voss, Walkes (Vincent-Young 72), A McQueen, Ball (Akindayini 80), Ogilvie, Lesniak, Winks (Miller 64), Harrison, Sonupe (Walker-Peters 77), Oduwa, D McQueen (Onomah 51).