Sunderland had to concede defeat to a very good Manchester City side, losing a two-goal lead in the processs, in Saturday’s Barclays U18 Premier League Northern Division match.
It was a disappointing result, as the Wearsiders had started so well, racing 2-0 ahead with a couple of clinical finishes in the first half hour.
City, after looking good, were shocked when the home side broke to score on 12 minutes when captain Dan Pybus put them ahead with an excellent finish low inside the post from 12 yards past keeper Danny Grimshaw’s despairing dive.
Eleven minutes later, Andrew Nelson’s perfectly weighted pass put Elliott Embleton clear and the striker rifled the ball low into the far corner of the net.
Crucially, one minute before the break, City pulled one back when centre-back Charlie Oliver sidefooted home inside the six-yard box past keeper Greg Purvis, who possibly could have come for the corner.
It was definitely a setback that put City back in the game and, shortly after the restart, they were level when Purvis pulled off a great save only for the ball to come out to Demeaco Duhaney, who drove back in from 12 yards to equalise.
Both sides now went flat out for the winner and Nelson had a good shot well saved by Grimshaw. It was anybody’s game now, but two goals in two minutes wrapped up the game for Jason Wilcox’s visitors.
First, on 77 minutes, striker Lukas Nmecha headed home a rebound from a shot which hit the bar. One minute later, sub Paolo Fernandes crashed in an unstoppable shot high into the top left-hand corner.
Sunderland coach Elliott Dickman summed up: ”It was very disappointing – we did so well but poor goals cost us.
“There was some poor defending, especially down the left, and you can’t give away goals against a team as good as this.”
City’s ninth win of the season moved them within three points of leaders Everton, though they have played a game more.
Sunderland sit in fifth place, 13 points behind City, with six wins and five defeats so far. Their next match is a tricky trip to table-toppers Everton at Finch Farm on Saturday (12.30pm).
Sunderland: Purvis, Gamble (Lowrie 80), Hume, Wright, Taylor, Storey, Asoro (Poame 84), Pybus, Nelson, Embleton (Bale 80), Molyneux.
Manchester City: Grimshaw, Duhaney, Oliver, Kigbu, Davenport, Wood, Buckley, Diallo, Nmecha, Patching (Fernandes 61), Diaz.