U16 Grasshopper Club Zurich 1 Celtic 2
In sweltering heat this morning, here in Liechtenstein, a brave display by this fine young Celtic side was rewarded with two late goals and a deserved three points.
First half saw Grasshopper take the lead via a header by the tall midfielder at the near right hand post. Only moments earlier, Ross Doohan made what seems to be one of his regular world-class saves palming the ball out from the upper corner of the goal. The ball however was recycled by Grasshopper and the whipping cross to the front post was met well by the Swiss.
Celtic however had had the better of the first half chances. Regan Hendry left his marker in the centre of the field only for the bouncing ball to get caught up in the long dry grass slowing the pace and allowing the defender to make up the necessary ground. Then, later, Calvin Miller burst though on goal down the left hand side. Breaking into the penalty box with some ambition, Calvin’s left-foot shot was blocked smartly by the feet of the big Grasshopper in goals.
Second half and, following fine advice from coach Michael O’Halloran, the Celtic team began to make their mark on the game. Grasshoppers retreated more and more as Celtic pressed. Shades of Lisbon ’67 were apparent and when Calvin Miller won a corner via good pressing in the box, the cross ball from Theo Archibald was perfectly placed for young Josh Kerr to rise at the back post like a salmon, head and shoulders above the flailing Swiss, and bullet the ball into the roof of the net. 1-1 and looking good.
The young Scottish side took great heart from the goal and increased the frequency of attack. With only two minutes remaining, terrific work by Regan Hendry in the right hand corner of the field saw a low driving shot power toward the Grasshopper near post. The goalkeeper dived low to make the save as best he could but it was to no avail. The ball broke to striker Calvin Miller who finished decisively from close range. 2-1 for the Celtic. Come on you bhoys in green! (Or black, as it was in this case.)
The young Celts managed to hold on in the blistering heat for three precious points and a first victory of the campaign. One draw and one victory, not a bad start to the competition. Four points from a possible seven.
Celtic team : Ross Doohan, James Cassidy, Josh Kerr, Daniel Higgins, Blair Kidd, Mark Hill, Ciaran McKenna, Innes Murray, Regan Hendry, Calvin Miller, Theo Archibald
Subs used: Aidan Quinn, Rory Currie
Coach: Michael O’Halloran
Each game of the tournament is 40mins long (2×20).
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