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Old 14-01-2018, 01:03 PM   #10
Andi Istiabudi
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Default Re: Man United U-18 Matches 2017/18

UNDER-18S: SUNDERLAND 1 UNITED 2

Under-18 Premier League | Academy of Light | Scorers: Chong 32 pen, 79; Dunne 39


Manchester United’s Under-18s emerged from the winter break to register a confident and impressive victory over Sunderland on Wearside.

Tahith Chong was United’s hero with two goals, one in each half, as Kieran McKenna’s side dominated the match in overcast and blustery conditions to keep our title hopes well and truly alive.

Both sides made something of a tentative start to the game with United, kitted out in black shirts and white shorts to avoid a clash with Sunderland’s normal red and white stripes, perhaps enjoying a little more of the early possession.

Genuine openings were rare during the opening exchanges, but nevertheless both sides looked lively and refreshed following the festive break.

Sunderland’s Anthony Patterson was called into action more than United‘s Alex Fojticek, but there was nothing very testing to worry him until the 32nd minute, when he was challenged to try and prevent Chong’s penalty from finding the net.

Ethan Laird had been felled after bursting into the Black Cats’ penalty area and Chong made no mistake with a perfectly struck spot-kick past Patterson.

United were had certainly captured the initiative and were looking good to increase the lead before the break but, completely against the run of play, as so often happens, Sunderland grabbed an equaliser.

It arrived six minutes before the break when a rare lapse in United’s defence allowed Sunderland skipper Jordan Hickey to go clear and unselfishly he picked out striker Robbie Dunne, who gleefully hit the ball into the net.

United should have gone in at half-time holding the lead, but it is safe to say they would have been more than content with their overall performance in the opening 45 minutes.

The second half took on much the same pattern as the first had concluded in, with the visitors continuing to display more of an attacking appetite.

Laird, the Reds’ right-back, continued his excellent overlapping form from the first half and on one occasion his side-footed shot almost found the target.

There was a flashpoint in the 72nd minute, when substitute Largie Ramazani was tripped by Sunderland’s Tom Scothern. The referee awarded the free-kick to United but, in the heated skirmish that followed, the home team was reduced to 10 men when Tom Howard was red-carded. United’s Ramazani also picked up a booking for his involvement in the unsavoury incident.

This unexpected development would surely act in United’s favour during the time that remained, and so it proved with 11 minutes left on the clock.

And it was Ramazani, who had obviously put to the back of his mind the earlier caution, who opened up the Sunderland defence with brilliant threaded ball to Chong.

The Reds’ goalscoring hero on the day took the pass in his stride before rounding Patterson and tapping the ball into the unguarded net.

It was proving to be a really enjoyable day for United’s Chong, but a less than happy one for Patterson, who overall had contributed hugely to Sunderland’s cause.

There was another bad-tempered interlude involving several players from either side, in time added on, but on this occasion it passed without the match official taking any action.

It was deserved win for United and they did particularly well in the closing stages to take maximum benefit of the imbalance in personnel.

United: Fojticek; Laird, Dunne, O’Connor, Tanner; Galbraith (Greenwood 60), Puigmal, Levitt, Chong, Mellor (McGhee 83), Baars (Ramazani 60). Substitutes not used: Bernard, Thompson.

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