Milk Cup 2009: Reds hold their nerve to dispatch Desportivo on penalties
Posted by nickogs20 on July 29, 2009
It was nailbiting stuff on the north coast this evening as United’s Milk Cup hopes were kept alive with a dramatic 6-5 penalty shootout victory over Desportivo Brasil at the Limavady Showgrounds. After a hard-fought seventy minutes that saw the deadlock remain unbroken, centre-half Sean McGinty struck the winning spot-kick to send the Reds into the semi-finals.
What to say about the game itself? Very little unfortunately, with it sadly not being shown live nor covered in the daily highlights roundup. A real battle was forecast against this impressive Desportivo side though, and that appears to have been how things panned out, the Reds’ rearguard holding firm but the attack, bolstered by the return from suspension of Ravel Morrison, unable to make the decisive breakthrough.
The penalty shootout appears to have been a similarly even affair, both teams finding the target with their first five kicks (Ryan Tunnicliffe, Will Keane, Robbie Brady, Michael Ngoo and Larnell Cole for United) to take the game into sudden death. Sam Johnstone then made the decisive save from the sixth Desportivo spotkick, allowing McGinty to step up and clinch victory before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.
United now advance into the semis, and things do not get any easier – Fenerbahce lie in wait in Ballymena tomorrow (kick-off 6pm), and the Turkish side have arguably been the most impressive team in the Premier section so far, bagging ten goals in their three matches without conceding any themselves. Their progress into the semi-final was decidedly more straightforward, Irish side Cherry Orchard having put up scant resistance in a 5-0 romp for the Istanbul club.
As with Monday’s opening game, tomorrow’s semi-final (and indeed the second semi involving Porto and Sheffield United) will be shown live on BBCi (online and via red button) thanks to the BBC Blast initiative.
1. Sam Johnstone
2. Michael Keane
3. Zeki Fryers
4. Sean McGinty
5. Tom Thorpe
6. Ryan Tunnicliffe
7. Ravel Morrison
8. Etzaz Hussain (14. Larnell Cole 51)
10. Will Keane
11. Robbie Brady (c)
12. John Cofie (18. Michael Ngoo 45)
Subs not used
13. James Wren
15. Jesse Lingard
16. Luke Giverin
17. Rico Gomes
Penalty scorers: W. Keane, Tunnicliffe, Cole, Ngoo, Brady, McGinty.
In other news, our trio of Reds in the Northern Ireland U20 squad are a step ahead of their younger teammates, having qualified for the Elite section final with a convincing 3-0 win over Bulgaria in Coleraine. They now take on Denmark in Friday’s final in Coleraine, a game that will take place immediately before the Premier section final at the same venue. Both games will be live on BBC2 Northern Ireland.