Villarreal's U21 managed to earn a valuable point in a goalless draw against Sunderland, in a match that meant the début of our young players in the exciting 'Premier League International Cup U21’.
The Yellows tried to get the lead since the first moments. Thus around the 10th minute Aleix had a clear chance trying to score with a free kick that came very close. The English side was very intense and never gave up, while the Yellows were dominating the ball possession but struggled to generate scoring chances on Sunderland's box. The next Yellow to enjoy a clear chance was Pibe, who shot from a very close range on the 38th minute, forcing the Italian keeper of Sunderland to make a fine save. Sunderland also had their chance but Villarreal enjoyed the last clear one of the first half on the 41st minute.
In the second half, the U21 coach Javi Torres Gómez, rejuvenated the team even more. In fact, his substitutions brought up to seven U18 players on the pitch. With 15 minutes remaining, it was Pibe once again who could have scored the 0-1 but failed after receiving a great inside pass by Javi Garcia. During the last minute the U21 team found a way to hold the local thrusts. In fact, the English was pushing so hard to score that the referee disallowed a goal due to an strict offside.
After this result, equality is the dominant note in Group D of the Premier League International Cup U-21, as in the other match of the first round between Everton and Celtic also ended in a draw (1-1).
The next match for Villarreal's U21 in this competition will be against Celtic, on January 21st 2015 (KO 7 pm, 8pm in Spain). This match will be played at Dartford FC stadium in London.
Sunderland U21: Mannone, Cartwright, Robson, Oliver, McNamee, Beadling, Watmore, Agnew, Mandron, Smith and Lawson.
Villarreal U21: Bañuz; Felipe, Tano, Javi Ramírez, Maldonado; Nahuel, Rodri, Aleix (Pepe Palau, m. 77), Manu Viana (Javi García, m. 66); José Naranjo (Alfonso, m. 46) and Pibe.
Referee: Anthony Backhouse.
Stadium: Stadium of Light.