SuperCupNI: Premier League versus County teams in Junior semi-finals
It's Premier League versus County teams, in both SuperCupNI Junior semi-finals on Thursday.
In one semi-final, Manchester United face County Armagh while in the other Southampton take on holders County Antrim.
Manchester United starlet Charlie Savage is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his father Robbie at this week’s SuperCupNI.
Savage Snr won the Milk Cup with Manchester United in 1991 alongside the likes of Gary Neville and David Beckham. Now, son Charlie is just one game away from playing in the final.
Savage scored the third goal in Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Club NI at Seahaven in Portstewart, with Zidane Iqbal and Manni Norkett also finding the net. The victory was enough to see United’s Under 15s top the group and set-up a fascinating semi-final with County Armagh.
The win over the Irish FA’s academy signals a remarkable turn around for the Red Devils who looked down and out after their 2-1 defeat to County Londonderry on Monday night.
Londonderry were very unfortunate not to make the semi-finals. After defeated Manchester United on Monday night, they defeated Rangers 2-1 at the Coleraine Showgrounds yesterday with another stunning display. Unfortunately for Martin Smith’s men, there Tuesday afternoon loss to Club NI cost them a place in the semi-finals. They finished below United on goal difference.
County Armagh booked their place in the last four with an impressive 2-0 win over Chilean side Colina at Clough, with goals from Conall O’Callaghan and Michael McConville. That win meant Armagh pipped Dundalk Schools to a semi-final spot on goal difference, even though Dundalk defeated Leeds United 3-2 in Ballymoney in their Group D clash.
County Antrim qualified for the semi-finals thanks to a 0-0 draw with Plymouth Argyle at Castlerock, which was enough to see them top Group C. Elsewhere in the same group, Mexican side Chivas made short work of County Fermanagh, winning 5-0.
Southampton are many observers’ favourites to win this year’s Junior section. They finished Group E with three wins from three games, by beating Dublin Schools 1-0 at Anderson Park.
The Saints have a fine tradition of producing young players with the likes of Gareth Bale, Luke Shaw, Theo Walcott and Alex-Oxlaide Chamberlin all coming through the club’s youth system.
Also in Group E, County Tyrone defeated American club Strikers 2-1.
Cherry Orchard will go down as the Junior Section’s unluckiest team. A 0-0 draw with Charlton meant the side from south of the border topped Group B, however SuperCupNI rules dictate that the group winners with worst record do not progress to the semi-finals. As Cherry Orchard had a worse goal difference than Group C winners County Antrim,
Orchard do not progress to the semi-finals. Elsewhere in Group B, County Down lost 1-0 to American touring side Global Premier Soccer at Clough. Jonathan Klien scored for GPS.