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Victory for youngsters in Stemwede opener

Posted on 22 May 2015  - 19:48

Emmanuel Sonupe’s persistence in attack paid off as our Academy defeated FC Nurnberg 1-0 in the opening game of the Volksbank Cup in Stemwede, Germany, on Friday afternoon.

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The wide man showed the wherewithal to chase the ball down as the opposing goalkeeper prepared to play it forward and duly blocked the stopper’s kick before tucking the ball home in the first half.

We had a few chances to extend our lead later in the game, while goalkeeper Harry Voss made an important save at his near post towards the end to preserve our advantage.

“It was quite typical of a lot of first games in tournaments in that neither side adapted very quickly to the conditions and we didn’t really get into our flow,” said Under-18s Coach Kieran McKenna after the 50-minute contest.

“In that situation it’s about capitalising on the other team’s mistakes and trying to make sure you don’t make any mistakes yourselves, so in the end we scored after a good bit of pressing from the front by Emmanuel Sonupe. He got a little bit of luck but he probably earned his luck on that occasion.

“In the second half we made a few attacking substitutions and they improved the game. Anthony Georgiou came on, settled in really well, took the game to them and looked for another goal. In the end we weren’t able to get it and we were indebted to Harry Voss at the end for making a really big save.”

The opening stages yielded few chances but, after Sonupe’s opener in the 17th minute, we had a second effort ruled out. Nathan Oduwa’s cross was parried by the goalkeeper but Charlie Owens was penalised for a high boot as he challenged for the rebound and slotted into the net.

After the break, Shayon Harrison was played through by Georgiou, only to be denied by a low save from the keeper, while Sonupe went close with a free header in the six yard box – Georgiou again the provider with a good cross.

Nurnberg saw a free-kick sail just over the bar while Harrison forced another save from the keeper after latching onto a ball over the top, but it was Voss who was most influential late in the game – making a point-blank range save at his near post in a one-on-one situation to ensure we ran out 1-0 winners.

We take on Austrian giants Red Bull Salzburg (10am local time) and local outfit Muhlenkreis Team (2.30pm local time) as the group stage continues on Saturday.

Spurs: Voss, Paul, Ogilvie, Amos (Stylianides 25), Maghoma, Lesniak, Sonupe, Owens, Loft (Harrison 33), Goddard (Walkes 42), Oduwa (Georgiou 30).