Young Blues off and running
- 25 June 2012 13:00
- Posted by Mark Booth
City kicked off their Canon Lion Cup campaign in the best possible style with a two-goal victory over Vasco da Gama.
Goals either side of half-time at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore were enough to defeat the Brazilian side and put the Blues in pole position to make the last four.
Diminutive playmaker David Brooks got the scoring under way on six minutes with a calm sidefooted finish after great tenacious work from Aaron Nemane on the right wing and Joe Nuttall doubled the lead two minutes after the break.
There was a welcome sheet of cloud blocking the sun when the game kicked off, meaning it was slightly cooler at pitch level which would have pleased coach Scott Sellers more than his Brazilian counterpart Sergio Bello.
City’s physicality was a huge factor in their early dominance, with Marcus Wood a terrier-like presence in the centre of midfield, providing an effective shield for the centre back pairing of Charlie Oliver and Joshua Murray.
Callum Bullock was a constant threat on the left wing, cutting inside on a couple of occasions to launch shots at keeper Vinicius de Oliveira but both times his shots bent narrowly wide of the target.
Matheus da Silva was man of the match in Vasco’s first match against Singapore and he was a real handful for the City defence, as he wormed and weaved his way through but Vasco were reduced to sideways passes and pot-shots for long stretches of the first period.
Their best chance came in the final seconds of the half when Bradley McDonagh had to be at his very best to tip a da Silva shot wide from the edge of the box.
City managed the conditions well, showing maturity to slow the game down when a break was needed.
Joe Nuttall replaced Aaron Nemane at half-time and Deri Corfe came on for goalscorer David Brooks as Sellers looked to shuffle his pack and keep gas in the tank of his City team.
Nuttall didn’t take long to make an impact, scoring with practically his first touch after latching on to a long ball. It was a sweet strike from the powerful forward that left keeper Vinicius with no chance.
The Brazilians came into the game after conceding the second and McDonagh had to make a couple of excellent saves to protect City’s two goal cushion - his efforts earning him a well deserved man of the match accolade.
The Blues were good value for their win and go into their match against Singapore u15s as firm favourites to qualify for the semi-finals.