Match Report: Lads suffer cup defeat

Sunderland 1-2 Leicester City Under-21s

Sunderland tasted defeat in their second Trophy outing of the campaign, as Leicester City Under-21s came from behind to win at the Stadium of Light.

A pinpoint free-kick from Chris Maguire provided the Lads with the perfect start, but they failed to kick on and the Foxes struck back following the restart.

George Hurst levelled from the penalty spot with 50 minutes played, before a sumptuous finish from Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall sent the visitors into the lead three minutes later.

Loose hands from goalkeeper Tobias Viktor Johansson provided a late opportunity for the Lads, but Grant Leadbitter failed to hit the target and the Foxes held on.

Phil Parkinson named an experienced side, with Jon McLaughlin protected by a new-look back four.

Grant Leadbitter and Dylan McGeouch lined up in central midfield, as Chris Maguire, Benji Kimpioka and Duncan Watmore backed up Marc McNulty.

Sunderland threatened first, but Chris Maguire’s teasing cross was cut out by Wales international George Thomas.

The Foxes responded well and with six minutes played, they almost took the lead as Callum Wright’s near-post flick whistled across goal.

And they were punished by the Black Cats on 13 minutes, as Maguire’s thumping 22-yard free-kick flew into the top corner.

Both sides crafted half-chances in the stages that followed, but the best opportunity before the break fell to Hurst.

An excellent pass from Dewsbury-Hall split the Sunderland defence in two, however, the striker was unable to get the ball under his spell and beat McLaughlin one on one.

The Lads were dealt a blow before the interval, as Alim Ozturk limped off on his return to action.

A fast start to the second period resulted in Leicester turning the game on its head, as quickfire goals from Hurst and Dewsbury-Hall edged the Foxes in front.

Wright did well to get his body between the ball and McLaughlin, and as legs tangled, the midfielder was sent crashing to ground.

The referee pointed to the spot and Hurst did the rest, dispatching a confident penalty into the corner.

Three minutes later, a bolt from the blue stunned the Stadium of Light, as Dewsbury-Hall showed great feet before rifling an unstoppable finish into the top corner.

Aiden McGeady and Will Grigg were called upon as time ticked away, but the Foxes continued to threaten on the counter and McLaughlin was forced into a smart save to deny Thomas.

Sunderland probed and Leadbitter volleyed a golden chance into the ground and over the crossbar later on, but it was the Foxes’ night, as they claimed three points on Wearside.

Sunderland: J McLaughlin, Ozturk (Willis 36), Flanagan, C McLaughlin, De Bock, Leadbitter, McGeouch, Maguire, Watmore, Kimpioka (McGeady 68), McNulty.
Substitutes: Patterson, Power, O’Nien, Grigg, Hume.

Leicester City U21s: Johansson; Clark, Johnson, Benkovic, Ughelumba, L Thomas; G Thomas, Dewsbury-Hall, Wright; Hirst, Muskwe (Eppiah 69).
Subs not used: Leshabela, Davies, Tee, Arlott-John, Gyamfi, Kranthove.

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