Roles secures point against Inter Under-19s
UEFA Youth League: Inter 1-1 Spurs
Tue 18 September 2018, 16:29|Tottenham Hotspur
Jack Roles secured a point from the penalty spot as a dramatic UEFA Youth League opener at Inter ended 1-1 in Milan on Tuesday afternoon.
Having gone 1-0 down on the counter-attack through Facundo Colidio during the first half, we fought back to level, before the man who won the spot-kick, striker Troy Parrott, was sent off for a second yellow card following a challenge on goalkeeper Vladan Dekic.
Forced to play the last quarter of the game with 10 men, we dug in superbly and although Colidio could have won it for Inter with a couple of chances shortly after the red card, the numbers were evened up when Inter substitute Salcedo collected a second yellow in the last few minutes. Dekic had to save from his own team-mate, Davide Grassini, deep into added time but there was to be no winning goal.
After Roles was denied by Dekic with a first-time sweeping effort from close-range, it was Inter who had the better of the first quarter of the game. Davide Merola squandered two great openings, dragging across goal from the left angle and then seeing his strike from the other side well saved at his near post by Brandon Austin, despite strike partner Colidio being up in support.
The home side made the breakthrough during a period in the ascendancy mid-way through the half as Roles' effort was cleared away at the far post by defender Ryan Nolan – Inter's Irish skipper tasked with marking fellow countryman Parrott – and the home side broke away, with Colidio slotting in a matter of seconds after Roles' initial chance.
We started to dictate the tempo as half-time approached. Winger J'Neil Bennett was always an outlet down the right but his life was made difficult by his full-back, while Tashan Oakley-Boothe saw a sweet strike from range well saved by Dekic, with Roles flagged off-side as he steered in the rebound in the 41st minute.
Both of these sides impressed at the Under-19 Oberndorf tournament in Germany in early August – we were narrowly beaten by Schalke in the last four and they subsequently toppled Inter in the final – but our young team learned more about the rigours of European football during a dramatic second half in the humid Italian conditions.
Colidio's wayward finishing coupled with some clever passages of play meant we were always in the game and after Austin denied the Inter striker moments after the restart, we regained the lead from the spot on 58 minutes as Parrott went down in the area under compatriot Nolan's challenge, the referee took a moment before awarding a penalty and Roles smashed into the top corner.
Eight minutes later, though, Parrott was off – shown a second yellow card as he went for a low ball with keeper Dekic in the six-yard box – and Colidio should have made his side's advantage count, only to hit the post and then slice wide at the back post with two chances in as many minutes.
Salcedo entered the fray in the 76th minute but 12 minutes later, shortly after firing just wide, he had picked up a second caution for clashing with centre-back Luis Binks and it was 10 men each. Bennett's late cross from the right saw Rodel Richards threaten in the box, with Grassini accidentally nudging towards his own goal and forcing Dekic into a low save.
The talk was about the penalty and the red card after an eventful 90 minutes. Coach Matt Wells explained that the coaching team had spoken at half-time about service into Troy Parrott and that's ultimately how the penalty and subsequently Jack Roles' equaliser came about. Unfortunately, Parrott was soon sent off for a second bookable offence - a moment that turned the tide back Inter's way.
Matt reflected: "It was one of those games where there were key moments everywhere. In the second half, the penalty is a big turning point for us. We scored after exactly what we spoke about at half-time - rolling short passes into the penalty area for Troy to pin the defender and he won the penalty. It was then disappointing to go down to 10 men because I'm confident if we'd stayed with 11 we would have had a good chance of winning the game. But that's football, and certainly European football at this level, a massive learning curve and we'll be stronger for the experience."
Summing up our UEFA Youth League opener, Matt added: "It's mixed emotions after the game. Obviously we're disappointed not to get the result on the balance of our play. We dominated the game but once you go down to 10 men with a long spell left in the match, probably we then have to take a point and look forward to the next game against Barcelona.
"In the first half we didn't play so well on the ball and yet we got to the final third so easily that we didn't control the counter-attacks well enough. It was far too easy for them considering how deep they were to get up the pitch. We didn't manage that well, so we'll have to improve there. We also talked at half-time about our penalty box habits. We got into the final third so many times but I felt their defenders had more desire to get first contact."
Inter 1-1 Spurs
Inter (4-3-3): Dekic, Persyn, Nolan (c), Van Den Eynden, Corrado; Gavioli (Schiro 77), Pompetti, Demirovic (Burgio 61); Merola (Salcedo 61), Mulattieri, Colidio (Adorante 77). Substitutes (not used): Tintori, Grassini, Rizzo.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Austin (c), Eyoma, Walcott, Binks, Brown; Skipp, Oakley-Boothe; Bennett, Roles (Richards 76), Maghoma (Patterson 76); Parrott. Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Lyons-Foster, Bowden, White, A Shashoua.
Goals: Inter - Colidio 22; Spurs - Roles 58 (pen).
Yellow cards: Inter - Demirovic 56, Pompetti 59, Salcedo 82, 88; Spurs - Parrott 10, 66, Roles 24, Brown 85, Binks 88.
Red card: Spurs - Parrott 66. Inter - Salcedo 88.
Referee: Antti Munukka (Fin).
Venue: Stadio Ernesto Breda, San Giovanni, Milan.
Weather: Sunny, 27 degrees.