Elliott Dickman reacts to Sunderland’s defeat and says Porto showed B system can work

Delighted Porto celebrate their final success by throwing manager Antonio Folha in the air. Picture by Frank Reid
Delighted Porto celebrate their final success by throwing manager Antonio Folha in the air. Picture by Frank Reid
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Elliott Dickman felt Porto B’s senior experience made a big difference as they ran out comfortable 5-0 winners against Sunderland Under-23s in last night’s Premier League International Cup final.

The Portuguese side currently sit eighth in the Segunda Liga, the second tier in Portugal, with 16 wins from 41 games.

Their techincal and phsyical class showed at the Stadium of Light, with Joris Kayembe, set to step up to the first team next season, putting on a sublime performance.

Dickman said: “That [Segunda Liga] is the equivalent of the Championship here, playing against men week in, week out.

“It happens in Europe quite a lot, in Germany, Spain and Holland, their B teams are in a competitive league playing a lot of games.

“That experience is great for them.

“There has been the debate about B teams in England for quite a time now and whether it is fit for purpose or not, but it has proved tonight it does work for them.”

Sunderland had been in the game for much of the first half, despite Galeno’s early goal.

Max Stryjek did superbly to save a penalty from Kayembe just before the half an hour mark, but Galeno’s second eight minutes later left the Black Cats with an insurmountable challenge.

Dickman said: “I was hoping that [penalty save] would be a turning point.

“Sometimes it does spur you on. The fans got behind us unbelievably well. At that moment, I thought we had a glimmer of hope, a get out of jail card. But we didn’t.”

The Black Cats did create some good chances in the second half, Lynden Gooch volleying over from distance, Luke Molyneux turning Joel Asoro’s excellent cross wide, and Josh Maja forcing a fine close-range save from Porto keeper Raul Gudino.

At the other end, they were outclassed, Porto’s exciting front line just demonstrating too much quality.

Galeno, Kayembe and striker Andre Pereira all scored, while sub Ismael Diaz threatened on a number of occasions.

Dickman feels his Sunderland players can make big improvements off the ball.

“It was very tough against a very good side,” he added.

“We started the game reasonably well until they scored the first goal. Fair play to Porto, they are a very talented team and have some exceptional players.

“Tactically and technically, physically, they were probably a bit too much for us.

“But there was bits in our game which were OK, but definitely without the ball it is something we need to be better at.”