Match reportBen Doak solo goal gives U19s 4-3 victory over Rangers in Youth League
Ben Doak's sensational goal clinched a 4-3 win away at Rangers on Wednesday to put Liverpool U19s within touching distance of qualifying for the last 16 of the UEFA Youth League.
The Scottish winger decided the Group A fixture with a superb run and finish in the 80th minute at Partick Thistle's Firhill Stadium.
The result now leaves the young Reds needing just a point against AFC Ajax on matchday five to guarantee top spot and therefore automatic progression to the knockout rounds of the competition.
Barry Lewtas' side were 3-1 up in the contest after 35 minutes thanks to goals from Oakley Cannonier (two) and Melkamu Frauendorf.
But they had Lee Jonas sent off early in the second half that prompted a fightback from their Scottish opposition, before Doak intervened towards the closing stages.
A frantic start to the affair saw the opening two goals separated by a matter of seconds.
In minute eight, Liverpool went ahead with Cannonier's sixth goal in this season's competition when he tucked away a loose ball from close range after Doak had a shot blocked, having done brilliantly to beat Robbie Fraser.
But the hosts' response was immediate and from the penalty spot. Jarell Quansah was ruled to have upended Zak Lovelace and that allowed Jason Lindsay the chance to beat Harvey Davies from 12 yards out.
Recovering from that particular setback, the Reds restored their advantage in the 18th minute.
Bobby Clark threaded a perfect pass that created an opening for Frauendorf inside the penalty area, with the latter beating Jacob Pazikas in the Rangers net with a composed finish.
Rangers nearly levelled quickly again but Davies saved well from Connor Allan, and Robbie Ure then headed wide from the goalkeeper's deflection.
Lewtas' charges capitalised on that let-off to make it 3-1 10 minutes before half-time.
Countering from a Rangers corner, Doak played a defence-splitting pass that sent Cannonier through on goal.
The No.9 brushed off the challenges of Jack Harkness and his initial shot was saved, before following up to grab his second of the afternoon.
The goal was Cannonier's last moment in the game, as he was forced off before the restart with an apparent injury.
Liverpool's task at holding onto the points was made more difficult when Jonas was dismissed for denying Ure a clear goalscoring opportunity two minutes into the second period.
Rangers halved the deficit just after the hour mark as Arron Lyall nudged the ball past Davies following a one-two with Lovelace.
Lovelace was again at the heart of the move that drew the Scottish side level. The forward ended a charge into the box with a scooped finish that clipped the post and fell kindly to Ure, who tapped in.
With one player fewer, it required a piece of magic to put the Reds back in front once more and ultimately snatch the victory.
Ten minutes before the end, Doak picked up possession near the right corner flag in Rangers' half. The winger proceeded to skip past three blue shirts on his way to the penalty area, before finishing off the driving run with an outside-of-the-boot strike.
Liverpool U19s: Davies, Miles, Jonas, Quansah, Chambers, McConnell, Corness, Clark, Doak (Pilling, 92), Frauendorf, Cannonier (Koumas, 38).
Unused substitutes: Hewitson, Hayes-Green, Young, Kone-Doherty, Gyimah.