Early Loza goal sets Canaries on their wayJAMAR LOZA scored after just 14 seconds to send Norwich City’s Under-21s on their way to a 3-0 victory over Sunderland at Carrow Road on Monday night.
The forward, who recently returned from a loan spell at Leyton Orient, scored a fine individual effort that was added to twice by Josh Murphy as Mark Robson’s side earned a merited three points.
Sunderland’s best chance came from the penalty spot towards the end of the first half, but ‘keeper Carlo Nash was equal to Jordan Laidler’s spot-kick.
Robson said afterwards: “I thought it was a very good game actually, both teams put on what I thought was a decent display. We were very good in that first half.
“The boys dealt with them really well – we talked about being calm and how finding that first pass was going to be really important for us.
“It was a fantastic start to the game for us. Credit to Jamar, his goal was excellent.”
Jacob Murphy started his first game since his one month loan spell at Swindon Town concluded at the weekend, while there were also starting berths for experienced senior squad members Nash and David Fox.
The small crowd at Carrow Road had barely taken their seats when City took the lead as Loza burst through the middle of a static Sunderland rear-guard before slotting past Joel Dixon.
Josh Murphy’s shot that fizzed wide and David Fox’s neat free-kick provided further evidence of the Canaries rapid start, before the former doubled City’s lead deservedly on 15 minutes.
Beating the offside trap, Murphy collected a pass from his brother and scored via Dixon, who got a hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out.
City continued on the up and Ray Grant hit the post with a shot on the half hour, but Sunderland were given an opportunity to get back in the game three minutes before the break when they were awarded a penalty after Carl Lawson was brought down by Cameron Norman.
Laidler stepped up, but Nash guessed right and stretched down to his right-hand side to make the save and keep City’s advantage at two.
HALF-TIME: Norwich City 2-0 Sunderland
Laidler had further misfortune in front of goal seven minutes into the second half as he raced onto a through ball but with only Nash to beat, pushed his shot wide of the far post.
He then fired a free-kick straight at Nash as the Black Cats came back into the game, but Josh Murphy kept Dixon on his toes up the other end.
Dixon then made an excellent reaction save from Loza, who had met Grant’s free-kick with a goal-bound header, which meant City’s push for a match-winning third goal had to continue.
Carlton Morris replaced Reece Hall-Johnson with ten minutes left on the clock, but it was Josh Murphy who had the chance to add a third in the final minute of the game with a free-kick from 20 yards, but it sailed over the bar.
He made amends in stoppage time, however, racing into the box and finishing expertly to put the gloss on a dominant performance from the Canaries.
FULL-TIME: Norwich City 3-0 Sunderland
GOALS: Canaries: Jamar Loza (1), Josh Murphy (15, 90)
NORWICH CITY: Nash; Norman, McFadden (c), Gafaiti, Toffolo; Jacob Murphy, Fox, Grant, Josh Murphy; Hall-Johnson (Morris 79); Loza (Young 90). Subs not used: Barker, Matthews (GK), Hodd.
SUNDERLAND: Dixon; Cartwright, Mitchell, Oliver, Harrison, McNamee, Holland (Agnew 73), Laing, Laidler, Honeyman, Lawson (Gooch 72). Subs not used: Ferguson, Burke (GK), Smith.
REFEREE: C Pollard