Youngsters lose out to Porto in Malaysia
10 January 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Our Academy’s run at the Frenz Under-18 International Cup in Malaysia came to an end at the quarter-final stage on Saturday with a 4-2 defeat to FC Porto.
The Portuguese giants built on a 2-0 first half lead with two further strikes after the break to surge into a four-goal advantage.
But a late rally – in which Kazaiah Sterling pulled a goal back, Cy Goddard had an effort disallowed and Shayon Harrison scored from the penalty spot in stoppage time – saw us reduce the margin of defeat.
“It was obviously a disappointing result,” reflected Under-18s Coach Kieran McKenna.
“We started brightly, we were on the front foot and we settled quite quickly but then conceded two soft goals – a penalty following a handball and a goal following a set piece – which really set us back.
“After that we were chasing the game a little bit and Porto played some really good football to book their place in the next round.”
Returning to Shah Alam Stadium in Selangor, the site of our impressive Group D campaign in which we won two out of three matches earlier in the week, we had a fair amount of possession in the opening stages of the game as Porto sat off.
Chances, however, were few and far between – Anthony Georgiou going closest to hitting the target for us when cutting inside and trying his luck with his left foot.
We were dealt a blow 20 minutes in, however, when a cross from the left wasn’t dealt with and hit defender Joe Muscatt’s hand. The referee pointed to the spot and Porto duly opened the scoring.
Three minutes later it was 2-0 as a corner was cleared to the edge of the box and goalkeeper Harry Voss was beaten by a 20-yard strike.
Ismail Azzaoui caused our opponents problems down the left shortly before half-time but couldn’t make his efforts count, with Porto extending their lead on 53 minutes after capitalising on a long ball over the top.
It was 4-0 four minutes later following a counter-attack, but we responded well and substitutes Goddard and Sterling both looked dangerous going forward.
It was the latter who pulled a goal back on 69 minutes, receiving the ball from Christian Maghoma, beating a defender and firing across the keeper – his shot crashing in off the post.
Muscatt fed Goddard and he found the top corner a few minutes later – only to see his effort chalked off for off-side – before Harrison scored from the spot two minutes into added time, having himself been fouled in the area.
The players, who enjoyed a sightseeing trip to Petronas Towers in nearby Kuala Lumpur on Friday, will now return home ahead of our return to Barclays Under-18 Premier League action against Leicester City next weekend.
Spurs: Voss, Walker-Peters, Muscatt, Owens (Goddard 65), Maghoma, Walkes, Georgiou, Amos, Loft (Harrison 45), Duncan (Sterling 45), Azzaoui.