For the second week running, Sunderland suffered a late defeat away to Liverpool, this time in the Under-18 Premier League Cup.
Lee Connelly grabbed a brace for the Wearsiders, but it still wasn’t enough to prevent a narrow 3-2 Liverpool win at Melwood yesterday.
Despite the defeat to the section winners, Sunderland progress to the quarter-finals as one of the two best runners-up in the group stage.
The Wearsiders played really well in the first half and led at the interval through Connelly’s first goal, scored in the 25th minute.
It came from an incisive ball played down the side of the defence which found Connelly, who turned a defender and rifled a strike past the keeper from 12 yards.
Sunderland were the better side for the rest of the half, but the Merseysiders levelled shortly after the break when a short corner was taken quickly and half-time sub Adam Lewis scored from the edge of the box.
Seven minutes later, they took the lead from a poor goal from Sunderland’s point of view.
Sunderland keeper Anthony Patterson rolled the ball out, attempting to find Sonny Best, but the pass was intercepted and turned across goal for Rafael Camacho to score with a tap-in.
The visitors hit back to equalise in the 79th minute.
Connelly was through but was pulled back by his shirt and made no mistake from the resulting penalty.
It looked like a deserved draw until three minutes from time when keeper Patterson brought down an attacker and Lewis banged home from the spot to seal Liverpool’s third win out of three in the group.
Sunderland coach Mark Atkinson commented: “The first half was very good, but we made several poor individual decisions in the second half and consequently were unable to manage the game.”
Liverpool: Jaros, Sharif, Boyes (Lewis 45), Clayton, Glennon, Dixon-Bonner, Longstaff (Brookwell 65), Tagseth, Larouci, Jones, Camacho. Subs not used: Raitanen, Atherton, Cain
Sunderland: Patterson, Evans (Best 60), Howard, Young, Kokola, Mumba, Hickey (Dunne 87), Hackett, Kimpioka (Lilley 83), Connelly, Diamond. Subs not used: Newman, Edmundsson.