By Scott Taylor
Sergi Canos netted a brace as Liverpool U18s qualified for the quarter-finals of the Frenz International Cup. Neil Critchley’s side beat Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande 2-0 in Indonesia to seal a place in the knockout round of the tournament.
In doing so, the Liverpool Under 18s maintained their 100 per cent record following Saturday’s 11 goal thriller in which the young Reds grinded out a 6-5 victory against Frenz United Indonesia.
Today’s win over Guangzhou wasn’t like the goal fest on Saturday, but both teams created chances, after they had warmed into the game. The first 45 minutes of the tie was very lacklustre with no goals being scored and few chances being created, However, it was the Chinese outfit that game closest to breaking the deadlock.
Lin Zewen hit the post and Xie Weijun missed an open goal from the rebound as his effort went agonisingly wide. They rued that missed opportunity, as moments later, the Reds went up the other end and took the lead.
Harry Wilson, who was captaining a young Under 18s side, beat his man beforing sending a cross into the box. The Welsh International then picked out his team-mate Canos at the back post, and the Spaniard continued his fine form with a well-timed volley to open the scoring.
Eleven minutes later, the forward got his and Liverpool’s second to eventually put the game to put. Captain Wilson was again involved, recieving a pass from Wade Maxwell and then feeding Canos. The former Barcelona man then struck a magnificent drive to send the Reds through. in impressive fashion.
Liverpool U18s XI: Jackson, Lewis, Owens (Maxwell 45), Johnson, Whelan (Travis 80), Brewitt, Madger Gomes, Canos, Dobie (Nicholas 76), Toni Gomes, Wilson.
Elswehere, Michael Beale’s Liverpool Under 21s were also in action as they faced Shrewsbury Town in a friendly. Goals from Jerome Sinclair and Cameron Brannagan were enough for the Under 21s who eased past their football league opponents, who fielded seven first-team players in the game at the Kirkby Academy.
It was also the first game back for Reds playmaker Suso, who have been out since Brendan Rodgers side’s 14-13 penalty shootout victory over Middlesbrough in September. The Spaniard, 21, featured for 45 minutes, but did captain the side in that period.
More positives for Michael Beale was that Sam Hart and Conor Masterson made their first games for the development side, being promoted from the Under 18s and the Under 16s respectively. Their opportunity came about when Under 21 trio Lloyd Jones, Kevin Stewart and Jack Dunn joined League Two side Cheltenham Town on a month’s loan.
Liverpool U21s XI: Vigouroux, Randall, Cleary, Maguire, Lussey, Brannagan, Kent, Ojo, Suso, Yesil, Sinclair.
For More Academy Updates, follow Scott on Twitter: @ScottTaylorUK