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Youngsters share spoils in Mexico opener

Posted on 15 January 2016  - 17:39

Marcus Edwards was on target as our Under-18s drew 1-1 with Mexican side Club Atlas in our first game at the 2016 Copa Chivas in Guadalajara today (Friday, January 15).

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The attacking midfielder fired us ahead six minutes into the second half as we put on a good performance to get our Group C campaign underway, although an Atlas equaliser 15 minutes from time meant we had to settle for a share of the spoils.

“There’s a feeling that we should have won the game so we’re disappointed that we weren’t able to go on and get all three points, but there’s pride in terms of how we applied ourselves in tough conditions at altitude in the first game of what promises to be a very tough tournament,” said Under-18s Coach Kieran McKenna.

“We produced some good bits of attacking play and there were a lot of pleasing things about the performance so hopefully we can build on this in the next game tomorrow.”

Playing two 35-minute halves, Atlas were quick out of the traps and got in a couple of early shots – although goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman wasn’t really troubled.

At the other end, Edwards and Kazaiah Sterling sped forward on the counter-attack but the former slightly over-hit his pass to the latter and the chance slipped away.

Defender Japhet Tanganga went close with a header from Edwards’ corner later in the first period before we took the lead six minutes into the second half. Samuel Shashoua picked up the ball in midfield and turned his marker before sliding in to Edwards, who cut inside and finished well.

We almost doubled our advantage when Shilow Tracey’s header from another Edwards cross cannoned off the crossbar but, with centre-back Tanganga down injured in opposing territory having ventured forward for another attack, Atlas went on the attack themselves and equalised with a deflected shot on 55 minutes.

Shortly afterwards, Ryan Loft flicked on Edwards’ corner to Shashoua at the back post and he hit the back of the net – only to see his effort ruled out for off-side.

Dylan Duncan went through late in the game but was also thwarted by the assistant referee’s flag.

We take on Liga MX side CF Pachuca on Saturday, kick-off 9am local time.

Spurs U18s: Whiteman, Muscatt, Tsaroulla, Owens, Tanganga, Brown, Tracey (Duncan 55), Stylianides, Sterling (Loft 49), Edwards, Shashoua.