Fenerbahce S K 1
Leigh O.G (67)
- Match reports
- Thu 04 Oct 2012, 4:42PM
- Posted by Mark Booth
An impressive City EDS drew their third NextGen Series encounter 1-1 with Fenerbahce in a cauldron of an atmosphere in Istanbul.
Denis Suarez gave City the lead shortly after the break but a second freak own goal in the space of a week cost the Blues’ maximum points.
All the sights and sounds of a typical Turkish Champions League night provided a unique and valuable experience for Attilio Lombardo’s men, as were greeted by flares and firecrackers from the stands as they made their way onto the field at the Maltepe Stadý.
City handed a debut to France under-16’s star Jules Ntcham and were able to welcome back Jordi Hiwula to the line-up after his successful Euro u19 Qualifying campaign with England.
Hiwula was immediately involved, racing clear of the back four only to be brought down a yard outside the box by Hasan in the Fenerbahce goal – although it was early in the game, it was a surprise that the referee allow him to stay on the field and the hosts were able to defend the subsequent free-kick from Suarez.
A tight first half of few clear chances followed, with most of the action played out in the centre of the field as both sides sought to win the midfield battle but the match really came to the boil after the interval.
City’s period of sustained earned its reward in the 49th minute when Ntcham’s cross from the right hand side was met by Suarez who turned in from close range to complete a hugely impressive week for the Spaniard who was so impressive against Crystal Palace on Monday night.
It was a lead that the Blues were able to preserve in relative comfort until the 67th minute when a cross from the right was deflected past a wrong-footed Lawlor to level matters.
It was Wales Under-21 midfielder Emyr Huws who came closest to finding the winner, hooking a shot onto the crossbar but Lombardo will be satisfied that the Blues have claimed four points in their back to back encounters with a very talented Fenerbahce outfit.
Time will tell, but it could prove to be a point worth its weight in gold.
City EDS are next in action in the NextGen Series against Juventus away in Turin on 31 October.