·4 October 2022
·4 October 2022
Our Under-19s tasted defeat in the UEFA Youth League on Tuesday afternoon as Eintracht Frankfurt edged a tightly-fought contest 1-0 in Dreieich.
The match-winner for Eintracht came 25 minutes into the match as towering striker Ignacio Ferri Julia rose highest in the box to head home, but that does not tell the full story of the match as our youngsters will have felt unlucky not to have come away with anything.
Throughout the game, we constantly looked a threat going forward, however we couldn't quite put the finishing touches to some bright forward play and, in the game's final stages, we were looking likeliest for the next goal as Alfie Devine, Damola Ajayi and Romaine Mundle all went close. We we also had a strong shout for a first-half penalty waved away.
We started brightly in the clash in the south of Frankfurt, and had two good opportunities to take the lead within the first 20 minutes. First, Devine was played through by Mundle but, once into the box, his strike was straight down the goalkeeper’s throat. Minutes later, the duo switched roles, Devine releasing Mundle – this time, our efforts were denied by a brave block by Baum.
However, despite our bright showings, it was our hosts who took the lead with their number nine Ferri Julia glancing home a cross. The forward could have then doubled his tally four minutes later, but his tame strike was a comfortable save for the Adam Hayton. A third opporunity then fell to him on 32 minutes but, once more, he struck straight at Hayton.
The goal had given the hosts momentum, but we were still posing a threat in the encounter and should have been level just after the half-hour mark when Devine surged down the right and squared for Jamie Donley. The striker, though, who was under pressure from a defender, was unable to register the desired contact as the ball rolled into the goalkeeper’s arms. The key moment of the first period though came on 35 minutes as Donley again caused a nuisance in the box. This time as he skipped around Derek Biakye Osei, he was seemingly fouled by the defender, but nothing was doing for the referee, and play was waved on.
Ferri Julia then had another chance for the hosts before the break, this time going one-on-one with Hayton – our man between the sticks, though, came out on top once more.
From the restart, Eintracht continued to cause us problems. on 48 minutes, Gianluca Schafer drew a save out of Hayton at his near post before Marko Mladenovic clipped the outside of the post with a free-kick from 20 yards on 51. Ferri Julia then nearly got his second as confusion at the back once again allowed him in on goal. Hayton though, once again, managed to charge out quickly and deny the striker.
Having shown such resilience at the back during the hosts' bright period, we began to turn the screw ourselves as we approached the hour mark - Mundle testing Bignetti from distance. However, it wasn’t until the final 10 minutes that we really began to dominate and looked increasingly likely to finding an equaliser.
We created two huge openings in our hunt for a leveller. First, on 84 minutes, the positive Ajayi sprung us forward, releasing Devine down the left and into a crossing position. Duly, the midfielder then stood up a teasing ball towards the penalty spot where Ajayi had continued his run to however, the ball didn’t quite drop enough for the attacker as he looked to head home.
Then, in the final minute of normal time, Devine had two opportunities in quick succession to grab us a leveller. Having recycled a corner from the left, the midfielder scooped the ball towards goal from the left of the box, only to see Baum on the line who headed it clear. From that clearance though, he quickly struck the ball back to where it came, but again, bodies on the line denied us a deserved equaliser.
Goal: Eintracht – Ferri Julia 25.
Yellow cards: Eintracht – Hannak 80, Harangi 87; Spurs – Donley 47, McKnight 65.
Referee: Milos Gigovic.
Venue: Sportpark Dreieich, Germany.
Weather: Clear skies, 14 degrees.
View publisher imprint