NFA U15 0
Man City U15 6 Joseph Nuttall 15’, 31’, Marcus Wood 39’, Aaron Nemane 48’, Lukas Nmecha 50’,
Joseph Hardy 56’
The Manchester City Under-15 side gave our Singapore boys a footballing lesson, as they outclassed the National Football Academy Under-15 team 6-0 in a one-sided match on the third day of the 24th Canon Lion City Cup.
Three goals in each half for the visitors saw them romp to victory and finish top of Group B, ahead of second-placed Vasco da Gama, whom they beat 2-0 on Monday.
The away side had the first clear chance of the game when Callum Bullock wriggled free of a defender outside the box, but sliced his shot wide.
Skipper Thomas Holland then put striker Joseph Nuttall through, but the number 9 miskicked and his eventual shot was weak.
The same combination worked wonders the second time round though.
Holland lofted a ball over the defence for Nuttall, who beat the offside trap and thumped a first-time half-volley into the back of the net to give City the lead after fifteen minutes.
Aaron Nemane nearly doubled their lead when he arrived at the far post to meet a deflected cross from the right, but could only place his shot wide from a tight angle.
Hami Syahin got the first shot on target for the home side with a powerful shot from outside the box which stung the palms of Daniel Grimshaw, although the City goalkeeper did well to smother the rebound.
Nuttall got his second of the night on the half-hour when Deri Corfe put him clean through with a slide-rule pass and the striker rounded Kenji Rusydi in the Singapore goal to slot home.
Centreback Joshua Murray ventured forward to turn over a Callum Bullock cross from close range, but it did not take long for City to get a third goal.
A minute before half-time, Marcus Wood picked up the ball in midfield before unleashing a sublime measured effort from 25 yards which flew over Kenji and dipped into the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar to make it 3-0 to City at the break.
The Sky Blues then scored three goals in eight minutes to dash any faint hopes of a Singapore comeback in the second half.
Aaron Nemane rounded substitute goalkeeper Adib Hakim with a beautiful bit of skill to tap home a fourth in the 48th minute, before Lukas Nmecha found space to fire in an accurate low finish into the corner from outside the box to make it 5-0.
Joseph Hardy then ran onto a through ball to finish coolly with the outside of his foot and give City a commanding 6-0 lead after 56 minutes.
Nemane nearly got a second when his thunderous effort from the edge of the box rocked the crossbar.
Adib then blocked a couple of City efforts, as City ran out comfortable winners to top the group and ensure the U15s finished bottom.
Straight from the start, it was clear that the City boys had a physical advantage against the NFA players, who were a year younger at fourteen years old.
The Singapore boys lost almost every physical duel they went into as they were easily shrugged off the ball, while they also struggled to match the pace and movement of the City players.
Towering striker Nuttall, standing at 1.87 metres and built like a beast for his age, was too much to handle for the U15 defenders and took his goals very well.
Aaron Nemane was particularly outstanding throughout the game despite shifting to different midfield positions, while the City defence were hardly troubled.
It must have been worrying to see the U15 backline being sliced open time and again by through balls in behind the last defender and it was in this manner that three of the City goals were scored.
Jordan Chan looked lost in a striking role, while the rest of his teammates were simply outplayed by a more experienced City team which looked much more comfortable on the ball and threatened to score every time they went forward.
While it is clear that it will be very difficult to ever match such European opponents physique-wise, the Cubs are still lacking in the technical area as well. Much work has to be done to make them more competitive in the future, although a positive is that they still have time on their side.
Work to do
City coach Scott Sellars was understandably a happy man after his side’s resounding victory.
“I am happy with the score and really pleased with the performance as well. We had a chance to rotate the squad and we gave all the boys, over two games, quite a lot of football.”
Commenting on the NFA U15s, he said:
“They are a young side and physically our boys were a little bit stronger as a lot of them train everyday… technically we are also very good and I thought Singapore found it difficult.”
Looking ahead to his team’s semi-final tie with their Ajax counterparts, Sellars predicted a tough encounter.
“I think that our next game is going to be really tough. Ajax are obviously a fantastic academy with a great heritage; I watched them today and they looked a really good team. I think this will be our toughest game, so obviously it will be a good test. All I can say (now)is that over two games, we are delighted (with our performances).”
NFA U15 coach Nazri Nazir was in a much more sombre mood, as he reflected on the heavy loss, but also pointed out that they could learn a lot from the match.
“Firstly, I would like to congratulate Man City. I think in today’s match, they outclassed us in many areas, especially in the physical area, and my boys cannot really match them in terms of fitness also. You can see that after twenty minutes, we couldn’t track their players in midfield.
“It is a very good experience for them and I told the boys they should be happy they have the chance to play against this team, and I hope it will be a very valuable learning experience for them.”
He was happy though that his team showed fighting spirit despite being exhausted in the final quarter of the game and also singled out some areas he could work on after this tournament.
“In the last fifteen minutes, most of them were down and I had already made five subs, so I told them not to just not give up and keep the score at 6-0 and they did it. They really fought and pushed and I think there is nothing else much I can ask for.
“As a coach, I am always learning and taking the positives. There are several areas that we need to work on so after this (tournament), we have a lot to do…, such as looking for players with physical (attributes) and speed.
“With the U14 COE League (going on), I have to go down and look for these players. As for my current players, right now I have to work on them in order for them to improve in whichever areas they are weak at.”
Man City will next take on Ajax in the first semi-final of the tournament at 6 p.m on Friday, 29th June, while the NFA U15s do battle with FC Porto in the 5th/6th-placing match on Sunday, 1st July at 3.15 p.m.
City: Daniel Grimshaw, Ryan Ellison, Joshua Murray, Charles Oliver (David Brooks 52’), Adam Robinson, Aaron Nemane, Thomas Holland (C), Callum Bullock (Lukas Nmecha 40’), Marcus Wood (Cameron Humphreys 40’), Deri Corfe (William Patching 40’), Joseph Nuttall (Joseph Hardy 50’). Unused subs: Bradley McDonagh, Yvan Wassi.
NFA U15: Kenji Rusydi (Adib Hakim 40’), Rusyaidi Salime (Abdul Azim 59’), Shahrul Affandy(C), Amer Nazri, Syahrul Sazali (Fadzyl Misawal 35’), Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Jordan Chan, Danish Jefri, Haiqal Anugrah, Syukri Bashir (Royston Tan 64’), Hami Syahin. Unused subs: Mikhail Ramdan, Prakash Raj, Danial Shafiq.
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Visit http://www.footballopod.com/teams/MANCHESTERCITYU15 for more information on the Manchester City U15 squad!
Visit http://www.footballopod.com/teams/NFAU-15 for more information on the NFA U15 squad!
Visit http://www.footballopod.com/ViewArticle.aspx?id=6612 for more information on the launch of Lion City Cup 2012!