Martin Smith

U18s beaten by Spurs

by Ashley Houghton

Youngsters defeated in nine-goal thriller.

Sunderland U18 3 Tottenham U18 6

Sunderland under-18’s lost out to Tottenham Hotspur in a nine-goal thriller at the Academy of Light.

The result means Tottenham will qualify for the play-off stages of the Barclays U18 Premier League with a win at West Bromwich Albion tomorrow, at the expense of Sunderland.

The young Black Cats can still qualify but they’ll need to beat Liverpool on the final day and hope Spurs fail to win against Albion on Saturday.

Victor Zapata-Caicedo scored twice for the visitors before Roman Michael-Percil, Ruben Lameiras, Dominic Ball and Darren McQueen rounded off the win for Spurs.

Martin Smith (pictured) equalised for the hosts before Liam Agnew and James Stinson added to Sunderland’s tally.

The young Black Cats were dominant throughout the early stages and George Honeyman went close to opening the scoring as he struck over from 20 yards after a quick free-kick with Smith.

Spurs took the lead, in controversial fashion, on 24 minutes; Michael-Percil looked to have fouled Jas Sukar before releasing Zapata-Caicedo who finished from close range.

Sunderland were level just a minute later as Steven McCarthy’s shot was handled by Alexander McQueen inside the area and the referee had no choice but to point to the spot. Smith stepped up and rolled the ball home to the right of Spurs ‘keeper Luke McGee.

Tottenham were ahead again on the half-hour; Zapata-Caicedo rolled Sukar and squeezed a shot under Peter Burke from a narrow angle.

Two minutes later the visitors doubled their advantage; William Miller cut back for Michael-Percil who was afforded time to slot home from inside the area.

To the young Black Cats’ credit, they never gave up and their persistence was rewarded minutes later as Agnew’s 25-yard drive was deflected past McGee to give the hosts a lifeline.

Sunderland continued to push for an equaliser as Honeyman went closest when he drilled Smith’s pull-back wide.

The killer blow was dealt shortly after the hour-mark as Lameiras’ corner was headed home at the back post by Dominic Ball.

Minutes later Spurs extended their advantage further; Burke slipped when clearing the ball and it fell kindly to Lameiras who slotted into the open goal.

McQueen made it six 15 minutes from time from Miller’s cut back before Stinson headed home a late consolation from Tom Robson’s cross.

Sunderland: Burke, Ledger, T. Robson, Agnew, McNamee, Sukar (Lane, 68), McCarthy (Greenwood, 68), E. Robson, Stinson, Smith, Honeyman.