KEVIN Ball’s Sunderland Under-21s succeeded in reaching the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Sevens for the fourth successive year over the weekend.
But they could not progress to the final – losing to eventual champions Manchester City in extra time.
Goals from Mikael Mandron and Tom McNamee, in the quarter-final against Aston Villa, saw the young Black Cats into the last four.
And the Wearsiders looked good for a place in the final after taking a two-goal lead against City thanks to Mandron and Martin Smith, but City came back to win 3-2 in extra time.
City beat Kitchee 2-1 in the final, the Hong Kong outfit having won through by pipping Newcastle 3-2 with a golden goal in their semi-final.
In Sunderland’s group ties, they drew 0-0 with Kitchee and 1-1 with Chelsea, while beating a Hong Kong FC Captain’s Select 1-0.