Sunderland 1-6 West Bromwich Albion
Sunderland under-18s endured a difficult afternoon on Saturday as West Bromwich Albion struck six times in the Premier League.
Finn Azaz and Jamie Soule scored a brace apiece while Stanley Asomugha and Rayhaan Tulloch also found the net.
Logan Pye did get one for the youth team in the first-half, but the Baggies were ruthless in the second 45 and secured the points.
Having endured a stop-start 2019 so far, Paul Bryson’s side welcomed the Baggies to Wearside on the back of a four-game unbeaten league run having picked up draws over Stoke City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United.
Despite starting well, Sonny Best was unable to turn home Connor Slack’s pull back and his effort went across goal and into the goalkeeper’s hands.
Quick-thinking from Ted Cann then inspired the Baggies to take the lead with just four minutes played. His throw caught Sunderland on the counter and Azaz was on hand to tuck the ball away.
The Black Cats settled down and levelled shortly before the half-hour mark when Pye’s deflected effort from the left found the back of the net.
But the Baggies restored their advantage on the 42nd minute, through Soule, before romping through the gears after the break.
Asomugha added a third two minutes after the restart, with Soule taking his tally to a brace moments before the hour.
Tulloch made it 5-1 in the 72nd minute and then Azaz wrapped up the win with 11 minutes left on the clock to secure a big win at the Academy of Light.
Speaking post-match, Bryson said: “It was a tough afternoon for us. We were without 10 players, so we knew that it was always going to be a challenge. We had a lot of young players playing and they’re being tested.
“Throughout their development they’ve done well but now they’re being asked questions about defending and that’s up to them to learn and learn quickly.
“It’s difficult for them but that’s what they have to do. We had two under-16s, an under-15 playing and they did ok. As long as they learn from it they will be fine.”
Sunderland: Newman, Smith, Ord, Almond, Pye, Scothern, Wonbelle, Slack, Best, Gooch, Townsend
Subs: Lilley, Cameron, Armstrong, Baggs, Watts
West Bromwich Albion: Cann, Harmon, Taylor, Martinez, White, Brown, Solanke, Asomugha, Azaz, Tulloch, Soule
Subs: Gardner-Hickman, Emery, Ashton, Williams