Stoke City U23 6-2 Sunderland U23
Sunderland under-23s fell to their first defeat in group A of the Premier League Cup this evening at the hands of Stoke City.
A first-half double from Mame Biram Diouf after Saido Berahino’s opener had given Stoke a commanding advantage at the break, despite Lee Connelly’s goal for the Black Cats.
Benji Kimpioka got the deficit down to one in the second 45 before the Potters pulled clear, with Berahino and Diouf, who both netted hat-tricks, helping the hosts hit six.
Having enjoyed three wins from three in group A of the Premier League Cup so far, Sunderland under-23s travelled to Stoke in high spirits. A Connelly hat-trick last time out, away at Charlton Athletic, saw the Lads come from behind in London a week ago to move within a point of clinching their place in the knockout stages of the Premier League Cup.
However, that run came to a shuddering halt when the Potters took the lead inside 11 minutes, through first-team face Berahino.
After forcing stopper Anthony Patterson into action with eight played, the former West Bromwich Albion youth striker wasn’t to be denied three minutes later as he tucked home Tom Edwards’ pass.
Diouf then doubled the hosts’ lead nine minutes later after Patterson had parried Tre Pemberton’s effort into the Senegalese’s path.
Sunderland fought back and almost halved the deficit when Ethan Robson’s sweetly struck free-kick was batted clear by the Stoke stopper.
The Lads did find a route back into the match as Connelly netted his fourth goal in two matches when Jakob Haugaard pushed Kimpioka’s effort into the Scotsman line of vision.
However, just as Sunderland looked to have given themselves a lifeline Stoke responded and restored their two-goal cushion through Diouf, who bagged his second of the evening in the process.
Sunderland continued to dig in and fight, and they got their reward minutes after the hour mark when Kimpioka fired home a second to reduce the deficit to one.
But once again the Black Cats failed to build as the Potters pulled clear. Berahino slotted home after good build-up play from Edwards before he touched home for his hat-trick after Jake Dunwoody saw his penalty saved on 87 minutes.
Two minutes later it was six. Diouf was at it again as bagged his hat-trick when he received the ball in the area and showed a calmness to tuck the ball under Patterson to seal the victory.
Stoke City U23: Haugaard, Edwards, Collins, Souttar, Pieters, Pemberton, Dunwoody, Jarvis, Verlinden, Diouf, Berahino
Subs: Gyollai, Wara, Niakate, Jennings
Sunderland U23: Patterson, Evan s, Hunter, Taylor, Storey, Robson, Connolly, Mumba, Randall, Kimpioka, Connelly
Subs: Young, Johnstone, Neil, Kokolo, Diamond