LFC U19s beat Porto on penalties to reach Youth League quarter-finals

Match reportLFC U19s beat Porto on penalties to reach Youth League quarter-finals

By Sam Williams


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Liverpool U19s progressed to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Youth League by beating FC Porto 6-5 on penalties after Wednesday’s last-16 tie ended 1-1 at the Academy.

Melkamu Frauendorf’s second-half goal ensured the young Reds were rewarded for a dominant display after the break, into which they had gone trailing thanks to a contentious early spot-kick won and converted by Jorge Meireles.

Barry Lewtas’ side were unable to force a winner inside 90 minutes but prevailed on sudden death in the shootout, with Luca Stephenson ultimately scoring decisively as Jesus Diaz then hit the crossbar.

A quarter-final trip to Sporting CP now awaits Liverpool.

There was more than an element of fortune about Porto’s eighth-minute opener as the referee adjudged Harvey Davies to have fouled Meireles, despite the goalkeeper appearing to play the ball when diving at the forward’s feet.

Meireles picked himself up and scored from the spot to edge the visitors in front during what was an evenly matched first half.

Liverpool initially struggled to carve out openings as Porto kept them at arm’s length but, as the first 45 minutes wore on, their attacking play began to show signs that an equaliser was in the offing.

A searching Stephenson pass found Lewis Koumas who, on the stretch, could only direct his attempt off target.

Captain Dominic Corness then saw a powerful low hit deflected wide after Ben Doak had unselfishly sought out Koumas instead of going for goal himself, with Frauendorf and Doak also seeing shots blocked before the interval.

Lewtas’ team cranked up the pressure further in the early moments of the second period and deservedly drew level through Frauendorf.

Doak cut inside from the right flank and his low strike was stopped by a defender, but Frauendorf was on hand to poke home the loose ball.

Jayden Danns’ first involvement after coming off the bench was nearly an assist, his headed knock-down finding Frauendorf who then scuffed a shot just wide.

Doak’s influence was growing and Porto managed to desperately scramble clear after the Scot had sped to the byline and smashed in a cross.

Soon after, Doak drove forward and found Bobby Clark with a throughball, with the referee uninterested in Liverpool’s appeals that their No.10 was pulled back in the area by Antonio Ribeiro.

But six successful penalties in a row after Doak had hit the post with the first spot-kick proved enough for the young Reds to advance in dramatic circumstances.

Liverpool U19s: Davies, Davidson, Miles, Jonas, Scanlon, Corness, Stephenson, Clark, Frauendorf (Gift, 82), Doak, Koumas (Danns, 62).

Unused subs: Hewitson, Onanuga, Laffey, Morrison, Osborne.



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