by Andrew Crawshaw
An Arsenal U17 team took part in an international club competition in Holland this past week playing against the likes of Anderlecht and Barcelona to win the ABN AMRO Future Cup in dramatic fashion via two penalty shootouts. The squad was a mixture of players from the U18, U16 and U15 teams. My thanks to Jeorge Bird for his summary of the competition.
In the group stage wins over Red Bull Saltzburg, Right to Dream and hosts Ajax saw Arsenal into the semi-final and a meeting with Barcelona.
During normal time neither team scored although Edward Nkeitah had the ball in the net but it was disallowed. The game went to penalties where Arsenal prevailed 4 – 2 thanks to goals by Nkeitah, Dragomir, Willock and Tormey. Goalkeeper Joao Virginia made two saves and was the hero of the hour.
In the final we played Anderlecht who beat us at U19 level in the UEFA Youth League recently.
Again the game was scoreless at the end of normal time so penalties again the order of the day. Virginia again rose to the occasion with no fewer than three saves enabling Emile Smith-Rowe to score the deciding goal.
- Eduard Nkeitah – striker (Untold tip – a player to watch out for in the future he has scored 16 goals at U18 level so far this season)
- Nathan Tella – right winger
- Joe Willock – attacking midfielder
- Vlad Dragomir – Romanian youth international attacking midfielder
- Joao Virginia – goal keeper Portugal U16 International
- Josh Benson – midfielder
- Toby Omole – Centre-back
- Nathan Tormey – winger
- Robbie Burton – Welsh midfielder
- Joseph Olowu – Centre back
- Emile Smith-Rowe – winger (second Untold tip as one to watch out for) likely to feature at U21 level next year if his current progress continues
- Dominic Thompson – left back
- Jay Beckford – attacker
- Xavier Amaechi – attacking midfielder
- Mark McGuiness – Centre-back
- Olujimi Olayinka – midfielder
- Trae Coyle – attacking midfield
- Daniel Barden – Goalkeeper
FA Youth Cup Semi-Final
We start the FA Youth Cup second leg against Manchester City with a 2 – 1 deficit to overcome. There is no weighting given to away goals so we need to win by 2 goals to progress in normal play. Should the scores be level after 90 minutes then extra time and penalties await.
We are likely to have a strong team tonight with several members of the U21 squad not playing on Friday to enable their participation. We can expect to see Chris Willock, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Kaylen Hinds, Marc Bola, Reiss Nelson, Chiori Johnson, Kristopher da Graca, Stephy Mavididi and Tyrell Robinson all being part of the squad.
The team is likely to be similar to that from the first leg
Johnson – Bielik – M Bola – Robinson
Sheaf – Bennacer
Reine-Adelaide – Hinds – C Willock
Virginia (GK), Da Graca, Nelson, McGuane, Malen
In the first leg Arsenal got off to a flyer with Reine-Adelaide scoring with just 4 minutes on the clock and nearly doubled the advantage shortly afterwards with Hinds hitting the post. City weathered the storm and gradually came into the game Nemane in particular causing problems. City had the ball in the net but were offside, Reine-Adelaide hit the crossbar bot the second goal came from City. Their main dangerman, Nmecha beating Keto and Buckley-Rickets added a second in the 39th minute. The second half saw City with the best chances, Johnson clearing off our line and an effort from Nmecha being deflected wide following a Keto save from Nemane.
Interviewed for Arsenal.com, Attacking midfielder Kaylen Hinds said :-
“We are still in this tie and we are at our home ground….Every time I have played at the Emirates Stadium we haven’t lost….It is a good luck thing for me as well. Even when I was playing with the U15s, I never lost there…..I have scored at Emirates Stadium three times too. We have to score first on the night, that is all it is…..We learned from our mistakes last time and know what to do differently in this tie….Their wingers are their greatest threat and they have a good No10…..It’s nothing we can’t handle”
Let’s all hope that his confidence is well placed.
The game is live on Arsenal Player from 19:45 UK time, it is also on ITV4 so no excuses for anyone not watching the game
If you are quick you might still be able to get a ticket for the game to print out yourselves. £4 adults and £2 concessions.
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