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U18s recover from slow start

It was a mixed day for our Under-18s at the opening of the Eurofoot international tournament in Belgium today.

It was a mixed day for our Under-18s at the opening of the Eurofoot international tournament in Belgium on Friday.

Alex Inglethorpe's side left it late to earn a point out of their first game against Club Brugge, before upping their performance later on in the day to beat Sao Paulo.

Against the Belgians, the lads started slowly and went a goal down in the first five minutes of the encounter, which, as with all games at Eurofoot, was 20 minutes each way.

After a lapse in concentration, Brugge broke down our right-hand side and centred for an easy central tap-in.

Coach Alex said: "We found it difficult to get into our usual rhythm, maybe due to nerves with a lot of players making their senior tournament debut."

But things improved, and we managed to find a late equaliser when Ryan Fredericks was fouled in the box, and Harry Kane converted the penalty.

And the situation got even better in our afternoon fixture with Brazilian outfit Sao Paulo - one of the favourites for the tournament.

The only goal of the game in our 1-0 victory was again created by Fredericks, who beat his man on the right-hand side, only for a defender to turn into his own net.

Kudos Oyenuga went close to doubling the lead in the second half, with the opposing goalkeeper pulling off an outstanding save.

And we also managed to contain the Brazilians at the other end, with Alex summing up: "They were a very strong side and we did very well to beat them and finish the day as strongly as we did.

"Overall, it was a disappointing start to the day but I was very pleased by our response in the afternoon. Hopefully we can keep that momentum going into Saturday."

At the end of the first day, we sit second in Group A, alongside Gent and Willem II, with Anderlecht out in front having won both their opening day games.

On Saturday, we take on all three of those teams with a place in Sunday's semi-finals at stake.