Mercedes Benz Junior Cup: Hoffenheim 2-1 Manchester United

by Tracey Germaine

Manchester United’s U19s lost their opening Group B game to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim by 2-1 at the Mercedes Benz Junior Cup.

11 of the 12 man squad which travelled to the tournament in Sindelfingen, Germany, were on the pitch for the game. George Dorrington was the only player to remain on the pitch for the duration of the match as United continued with their policy of playing one goalkeeper in each match.

Considering that none of this year’s squad had featured at this tournament previously, United got off to a good start in the competition, with the youngsters adapting well to the six-a-side indoor style, which requires ball possession and an attacking focus.

The emphasis was on adapting to the style in the first half of the game which ended goalless, without United or Hoffenheim really creating any clear cut goalscoring chances. That allowed both goalkeepers to play sweeper keeper roles.

The German side took the lead two minutes into the second half as Johannes Bender broke through to score past Dorrington. United struggled to created chances. Josh Doughty found Kayne Diedrick-Roberts in the closed down quickly and blocked the shot. With less than 2 minutes remaining Johannes Bender doubled his goal tally and Hoffenheim’s lead.

15 year old, Angel Gomes, who is the youngest player involved in this year’s competition, pulled a goal back with just over half a minute remaining but there wasn’t sufficient time for that to inspire a comeback.

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