For those that do not know, a mixture of Liverpool Under 21s and Liverpool Under 18s travelled to the region of Guadalajara in Mexico to compete in the prestigious Copa Chivas International Scotiabank. Throughout the tournament the Reds, led by Under 21 head coach Alex Inglethorpe, will face teams from all over South America including teams from Peru, Mexico and Columbia. The competition is split up into two groups of six. From that, the top two sides in each group qualify for the semi-finals. This means that if the makeshift Under 19s squad would want to win silverware, then they have to either win, or become runners-up in their group. The teams that are competing in the Group are:
Columbia National Team; Universidad Católica of Peru; Club Tijuana of Mexico; Chivas USA and Monarcos Morelia of Mexico.
The Reds played their first match on Tuesday 28th January and will play a match everyday apart from Friday 31st January, to give the players a break. If they qualify for the semi-finals and then the final, they could play in Mexico until Tuesday 4th February. It is also worth noting that each game is only 70 minutes long, meaning each half lasts only 35 minutes.
LFC 2 (Trickett-Smith 19’, Peterson 31’) – 2 (Marín 59’, Jaimes 70+2) Morelia
In the first match of Group B, Liverpool Under 19s faced Mexican side Monarcos Morelia at the Club Chivas San Rafael stadium in Guadalajara. Many of you who follow Liverpool Academy games would know that the Reds usually start with a fierce tempo, but in their opening game of the tournament it was the hosts Morelia who started brightest. The Mexicans created their first chance in the 2nd minute when Alex Montoya’s long range effort was well saved by Andy Firth. Just 7 minutes later Firth was put to the test again and he superbly saved a Christian Cruz free-kick that was heading into the top corner.
After weathering the early Morelia storm, Liverpool took the lead when Daniel Trickett-Smith’s free-kick took a wicked deflection which left Morelia ‘keeper Juan Chávez helpless. From the kick-off, the Mexicans responded brightly as Javier Mendoza long distance drive was denied again by Firth. Shortly after Alan Garcia’s cross turned shot tested the 17 year old Englishman, as Morelia looked for an equaliser.
History repeated itself in the 31st minute as Liverpool got their second goal after defending a Morelia attack. Trickett-Smith was again involved as he turned provider for Kris Peterson as the former Crewe man cut inside and found Peterson who was 12 yards out and the Swede has no issue beating Chavez as Alex Inglethorpe’s men started off the tournament well.
In order to get back into the game, Morelia knew that they needed goals and started the second half just as well as they started the first. Mendoza again went close as his snap shot went just wide of Firth’s goal. The home side went even closer 5 minutes later as Alexis Montoya picked up the ball on the left and ran over half of the pitch before cutting inside and unleashing a fierce drive that went inches wide of the Liverpool goal.
In the 53rd minute, the Mexican side continued to pile on the pressure as Cruz’s cross from the byline on the left flank found Diego de la Garza, but his shot went wide as Morelia were starting to think that may have rued their missed chances. However just six minutes later in the 59th minute, the Mexican side got their goal as substitute Pavel Marín’s diagonal run beat Connor Randall and then his shot this time beat Firth as it set up a nervy final 10 minutes for Inglethorpe’s side.
Morelia continued to press and were finally rewarded for their persistent efforts in the last kick of the game as Ulises Jaimes’ header at the front post beat Firth to give Jorge Guerrero’s men a point and share the spoils in the opening game of the Copa Chivas International Scotiabank in Mexico.
The result means Liverpool lie in 3rd and Católica lie in 4th, both on one point. The better news for the Reds is that Daniel Trickett-Smith and Kris Peterson are the joint second top scorers in the league.
LFC: Firth; Randall, Paez, Jones, Hart; Rossiter, Lussey; Wilson, Trickett-Smith, Peterson, Canos.
Morelia: Chávez; Jaimes, Cruz, Ambriz, Díaz; García, De la Garza, Abdiel, Mendoza; Martinez, Montoya.
Liverpool Under 19s will take on Peruvian side Universidad Católica on Wednesday 29th January at the San Rafael stadium and again a 9:30am kick off. Católica will have confidence after thrashing Club Tijuana 4-1 in their opening fixture.
Monarcos Morelia will face a tougher test when they face the Columbian national side, who thrashed Chivas USA 4-0 in their opening game of the tournament.
As you may know, these games have already happened, but there will be match reports from all of Liverpool’s games exclusively on my blog and I doubt they will be covered elsewhere so keep an eye out on my blog in the coming days for match reports from every single Liverpool Under 19s game in the tournament.
Thanks for reading this match report and if you have any questions, be sure to tweet me @ScottTaylorUK and I’ll respond if I can answer your question. See you tomorrow for a match report for the Católica game, only on http://www.thenextgenkopites.wordpress.com