Match reportLiverpool eliminated from UEFA Youth League after Sporting defeat
Liverpool U19s were eliminated from the UEFA Youth League on Tuesday afternoon following a 1-0 defeat away at Sporting CP.
The young Reds bowed out of the competition at the quarter-final stage after Rodrigo Ribeiro's match-winner in Lisbon.
Ribeiro netted the tie's only goal in the 65th minute – much to the dismay of Barry Lewtas' side, who felt there was a clear foul in the build-up – to send the Portuguese outfit into the last four.
The visitors were dealt an early blow when Ben Doak was forced off after eight minutes with a head injury. However, they recovered well and threatened on goal through Luca Stephenson and James McConnell in the opening half an hour.
Sporting finished the first half strongly as Afonso Moreira dragged a shot just past the post, before Harvey Davies was forced into a pair of good saves just prior to the interval.
The start to the second half was light in terms of opportunities but high in tension.
Melkamu Frauendorf called goalkeeper Diego Callai into action with a finish from a tight angle. As the spell of Liverpool pressure continued, McConnell's hit from distance was spilled by Callai, who quickly got up and cleared before Ranel Young could pounce.
But the deadlock was broken by Sporting in controversial fashion not long after the hour mark had passed.
Ribeiro latched on to a ball over the top and applied a powerful finish beyond Davies to put his side ahead, despite strong protests from the Reds that Lee Jonas was unfairly blocked when he attempted to deal with the danger.
To their credit, Lewtas' charges pushed extremely hard for a route back into the game right until the end but were just unable to find a way through.
Stephenson's curler from way outside the area flashed agonisingly wide, and Keyrol Figueroa was then denied a chance in front of goal by a last-ditch challenge from Joao Muniz.
Liverpool U19s: Davies, Davidson, Miles, Jonas, Scanlon, Stephenson, Frauendorf, Corness, Doak (Young, 8 (Figueroa, 73)), McConnell, Clark.
Unused substitutes: Hewitson, Danns, Laffey, Gift, Osborne.