Sunderland’s Stryjek’s the shoot-out hero in Youth Cup thriller

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MAX Stryjek was the hero as Sunderland came through a tough FA Youth Cup tie at Ipswich in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

The Wearsiders came from behind to secure a draw after 90 minutes, thanks to Lynden Gooch’s superb strike, and extra time did not produce any further goals.

Polish keeper Stryjek then took command, saving from Byron Lawrence and skipper Joe Robinson, with Sunderland converting four spot-kicks out of four to win through 4-2, with Tom Robson hitting home the decisive strike.

Ipswich started the brighter and Lawrence fired against the underside of the Sunderland bar early on, after the visitors struggled to clear.

Sunderland fashioned their first real chance in the 19th minute when Martin Smith worked space on the edge of the box and drove in a shot which keeper Michael Crowe held.

Lynden Gooch turned well to hit a 25-yarder straight at Crowe 10 minutes later, but Ipswich grabbed the lead six minutes before half-time when Jack Willbye sensationally fired home from fully 30 yards, with Stryjek beaten.

Stryjek made a crucial save to deny Lawrence as Ipswich chased a second goal before the break. On the restart, Lawrence’s cross into the area caused Sunderland problems, but George Clarke, despite having time and space, failed to finish.

Sunderland capitalised on that miss to haul themselves level with a stunning goal of their own, Gooch smashing home a 20-yarder into the bottom left corner of Crowe’s goal in the 55th minute.

Ipswich were back to go close again, but Clarke again wasted a good opportunity, curling an effort over the bar.

Sub Cemal Ramadan then drove just over the bar from 25 yards, with Sunderland under the cosh, and Stryjek made another important save, getting enough of a touch to keep out Teddy Bishop’s close-range effort.

Ramadan had an effort deflected wide, but Sunderland finished the 90 minutes the stronger. Ethan Robson’s astute pass set up Andrew Nelson, but the striker fired over the bar.

American forward Gooch then turned his marker before firing narrowly wide of the post from 25 yards. Rees Greenwood then went closer to a winner, with his shot blocked by George Fowler, just as he looked sure to score.

Extra time failed to produce a winning goal, with both sides looking weary. Ipswich went closest when Stryjek stretched to grab a header from Matthew Clarke which was headed for the top corner of the net.

In the shoot-out, Ramadan converted Ipswich’s opener, though Stryjek got a hand to it. Skipper Martin Smith led by example for Sunderland, scoring the Black Cats’ first.

Stryjek then took over, saving Lawrence’s spot-kick, with Ethan Robson immediately putting Sunderland 2-1 up.

Kyle Hammond and Greenwood then both scored, before skipper Robinson’s penalty was saved by Stryjek. That allowed Tom Robson to step up to guarantee Sunderland’s progress, clinically hitting home the Wearsiders’ fourth for a 4-2 success.

IPSWICH: Crowe, Hammond, Fowler, Sowumni, Robinson, Willbye (Ramadan 63), Lawrence, Berkane, M Clarke, G Clarke, Bishop. Subs: Jones, Marsden, Ellis, Ford

SUNDERLAND: Stryjek, Ellison (Lowrie 67), T Robson, E Robson, Colquhoun, Beadling, Greenwood, Smith, Nelson, Gooch, McEvoy (Blinco 77). Subs: Burke, Stinson, Wright. Att: 391