By Scott Taylor
Harry Wilson was again the star as he helped Liverpool U18s top their group with a 2-0 victory against Feyenoord this morning. The result means that Neil Critchley’s side have now qualified for the quarter-finals of the Frenz International Cup, which will be played on Saturday morning. Callum Nicholas opened the scoring for the Reds before the Welshman Wilson rounded off the scoring in Indonesia to maintain the Reds’ 100% record in the tournament.
Despite not getting on the scoresheet this time round, Sergi Canos was still highly influential in Liverpool’s win. His through ball fell to Nicholas, and the former Manchester United youngster fired an effort past Ferry Hagendijk and into the bottom corner to open the scoring.
After playing in the games against Frenz United and Guangzhou Evergrande, Critchley decieded to rest Wilson, but the second half substitute proved why the Reds needed him as he added a second with 20 minutes remaining. It was a memorable long distance strike from Wilson, as the young Reds rounded off a great group stage to top Group A.
When watching the Under 18s this season, many spectators are used to a quick start from the Premier League side. However, it was a different story today as Feyenoord were the ones who put Liverpool under pressure with a flourish of early chances, even though it was the men in red who should’ve opened the scoring.
Canos was again involved as his cross found Toni Gomes in the middle of the box, but the midfielder could head it straight into the arms of Hagendijk. The Eredivisie side were then determined to make the Reds rue that missed chance.
Firstly, Bert Koomen found himself unmarked at the back post. After receiving the ball from captain Danny van Harren, the defender’s touch was too heavy meaning that Reds goalkeeper Ben Jackson had enough time to claim the ball from Koomen’s feet.
Van Harren was again causing the Liverpool defence all sorts of problems. The captain burst into the penalty area before firing an effort towards Jackson’s near post, but the ‘keeper matched the shot with a fine save. The third and final chance of the onslaught came when Mans Hermann volleyed the ball goalwards, but his shot was only denied by a strong block from Tom Brewitt.
The Dutch side were soon left frustrated as Critchley’s chargers were much more clinical in front of goal. Nicholas needed just one shot to take his chance. He received the ball from Canos and hit a shot under Hagendijk to claim his second goal of the tournament so far. The Liverpool man could’ve had his third goal of the tournament from a much easier situation. The ball fell to him just a few yards out and he was only denied by an on-rushing Hagendijk.
Critchley then made a double substitution to attempt to hold the lead. Firstly, Canos was replaced by Adam Phillips and then holding midfielder Pedro Chirivella came off for Wilson. Since coming on, it took the Wales international just eight minutes to make an impact. He picked the ball up in the middle of the park and burst towards the Feyenoord defence. However, he was given too much room and curled one past Hagendijk from long range to secure a quarter-final spot for the young Reds.
Liverpool U18s XI: Jackson; Travis, Lewis, Brewitt, Owens; Chirivella, Maxwell, Madger Gomes, Canos; Nicholas, Toni Gomes.