Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Thursday February 21 2013
Liverpool's U19 side have been knocked-out of this season's NextGen Series after defeat against Sporting Lisbon...
An injury-ravaged Liverpool U19 side were eliminated from the NextGen Series at the last 16 stage on Wednesday night after a heavy 4-0 defeat to Sporting Lisbon in Portugal.
Alex Inglethorpe's youngsters, who battled so bravely to win their final three group games and reach this stage, were rocked prior to the game by a nasty leg break suffered by promising midfielder Marc Pelosi at the weekend.
The American joined an injury list which already included regulars Jordan Rossiter, Brad Smith, Jakub Sokolik and Samed Yesil, whilst captain Conor Coady was also left at home as he trains with the first team ahead of their Europa League match with Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Lisbon were quick out of the blocks and needed just 11 minutes to snatch an advantage at the Estadio Jose Alvalade - striker Carlos Mane doing the damage by neatly lifting the ball over Reds keeper Ryan Fulton before nodding into an empty net.
The Portugal U19 international doubled the hosts lead on 23 minutes, beating Fulton at his near post after being allowed too much time and space by the Liverpool rearguard.
In truth the visitors were a clear second best throughout the first half and, despite a scuffed Jordan Lussey strike hitting the post, showed very little as an attacking force.
Jordon Ibe fired narrowly wide as the hour mark approached, but the tie was effectively over moments later when defender Joao Palhinha smashed a Sporting corner into the roof of the net.
Liverpool's youngsters showed admirable spirit in searching for a consolation; Krisztian Adorjan's drive from distance bringing a good save out of opposition goalkeeper Mickael Meira, but there was to be further pain in the dying minutes when Wilson Janco scored from long range to make it 4-0.
A disappointing way to exit the competition but given the quality of the opposition, Sporting recorded 3-0 and 5-1 wins over Liverpool in the competition last season, there is no shame in the result. The injuries clearly played their part and considering the likes of Raheem Sterling and Suso are still eligible to play at this level the future remains extremely positive from a youth perspective; our U21s have only lost one game all season and the U18s are still in the FA Youth Cup.
Liverpool U19 line-up: Fulton, Baio, Sama, Jones, McLaughlin, Lussey (Kent), Roddan, Morgan, Adorjan (Peterson), Dunn (Trickett-Smith), Ibe (Sinclair).
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Date:Thursday February 21 2013
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