Saturday, December 15, 2012

Young Reds Reach NexLions Final

Liverpool U18s will face Sporting Lisbon in the final of the inaugural NexLions Cup after beating Singapore 1-0 on Friday in the Jalan Besar Stadium.

A single first-half back-heeled goal from Samed Yesil was enough to secure victory for the youngsters - who only arrived in Singapore late on Wednesday afternoon - and set up what promises to be a mouth-watering clash with the highly-rated Portuguese outfit on Sunday night.

Earlier in the evening, Sporting came from a goal down at half-time against Manchester United to win 4-1 and book their place in the final.

Having arrived at the stadium in time to watch much of that second-half - including a goal scored within 20 seconds of the restart - the Liverpool players will be acutely aware of the task they face in attempting to overcome a physically strong Sporting side.

For LFC coach Alex Inglethorpe, however, it's the perfect test for his players.

"Before the game, I said I wanted to play Sporting Lisbon on Sunday because it will provide a real challenge for our lads," he said.

"They won't often come up against teams like Sporting who play with a different style to many English teams.

"These are the players who Premier League managers look at and so it's a good way to benchmark where they are against these continental players.

"Some of our players tonight were just 16, so to come away with a victory against a team featuring a couple of 21-year-olds is a great learning experience for them."

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