Sunderland U23s 2-2 Newcastle United U23s – NUFC win on penalties
Sunderland under-23s are out of the Premier League International Cup after being beaten 11-10 on penalties by Newcastle United at the Stadium of Light.
The visitors were second-best throughout the initial 90 minutes, but they opened the scoring when Curtis Good headed home before the half-hour mark, with Lynden Gooch leveling from the spot ten minutes later after being fouled in the box.
The Black Cats continued to dominate and they were rewarded midway through the second period, as Gooch’s second looked to have sealed a place in the last four.
But there was a late twist in the tale, as Callum Roberts’ 35-yard stoppage-time free-kick forced an additional 30 minutes, during which Max Stryjek a penalty.
A marathon penalty shootout was required but Newcastle came out on top, with Jake Hackett missing the decisive spot kick.
A bumper turnout on Wearside ensured a cracking atmosphere throughout, as supporters of both clubs descended on the Stadium of Light. A driving run from Victor Fernandez crafted the first opportunity, but the winger was unable to apply the finish after breezing past Josh Robson. And the Magpies were almost caught cold soon after, as Gooch and Benji Kimpioka combined before the USA international’s effort was cleared off the line.
Sunderland remained on top as Newcastle struggled for time on the ball beyond their defensive third, but despite forcing numerous corners the Black Cats were unable to capitalised on their dominance. With 27 minutes played, they paid the price. A pinpoint free-kick towards the six-yard box was met by Good, who beat Max Stryjek and Brandon Taylor to the punch, and he sent a bullet header into the net.
Undeterred, Dickman’s men stuck to their task as the visitors showed no signs of increasing their advantage, and ten minutes after falling behind they were handed a route back into the game. Persistent work from Gooch forced the Magpies into an error and he made no mistake from the spot, as the away end fell silent and the red and white army stood to applaud the striker. And the Black Cats were unlucky not to take the lead before the break, as Kimpioka’s deflected effort was clawed to safety by Paul Woolston.
COMETH THE HOUR
The visitors mustered the first attempt of the second period and, in all honesty, they should have retaken the lead. With Stryjek caught in two minds, Luke Chapman stole in behind the defence and raced through on goal, but a stunning recovery from Josh Robson ensured it parity remained. And with 67 minutes played, the Lads edged in front. Luke Molyneux’s cross evaded everyone and when Newcastle failed to clear, Gooch pounced with a thundering finish sending the Lads into a 2-1 lead.
With just seconds of added time remaining, Sunderland looked home and dry. But there was more action to come and with time all but up, Roberts' free-kick nestled into the corner to force extra-time. The winger had a golden chance to send the Magpies into the lead just 41 seconds after the restart, but he was unable to better Stryjek from the spot as the riproaring tie remained level. And there were further chances for the Magpies, as Owen Gallacher struck the base of the post before Good hit crossbar. An epic penalty shootout was required to separate the sides but eventually it did, as Newcastle progressed to the semi-finals.
Sunderland: Stryjek, J Robson, Hume, Embleton, Taylor (Storey 45), Galloway, Molyneux, Hackett, Shields (Diamond 67), Gooch (Gamble 84), Kimpioka.
Subs not used: Talbot, Connelly, Kokolo, Mumba.
Newcastle United: Woolston, Spooner (Elmhanni 81), Yarney, Good, Newberry, Hunter, Fernandez, Sangare, Chapman, Heaney (Gallacher 71), Roberts.
Subs not used: O’Connor, Huuhtanen, Kitchen, Smith, Bartlett.