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MATCH REPORT: UNDER-21s 1-0 BORUSSIA

27 January 2015

Bassong plays 60 as Canaries see off their German visitors

CARLTON Morris' second-half winner gave Norwich City a fine 1-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach at Carrow Road on Tuesday night.

Morris volleyed home to move the Canaries' a step closer to qualifying for the quarter finals of the inaugural Premier League International Cup.

The match proved a useful exercise for a number of Alex Neil's first team squad, including Sebastien Bassong, who completed 60 minutes in his first appearance in yellow and green this season.

City were the better side throughout and hit the woodwork twice through Morris and Josh Murphy, but they did what was required to claim an important three points.

A victory in their final group game against FC Porto will ensure qualification from Group A for Paul Wilkinson's youngsters, who could leave Carrow Road very happy with their night's work.

Wilkinson named a strong line-up before kick-off, with all four over-age slots taken and Morris named in the team as he temporarily returned from his loan spell at York City.

City needed at least a point to keep their qualification hopes alive, but Borussia held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw just before Christmas so their credentials were undoubted.

Norwich started well and Murphy got their first shot away after five minutes, with stopper Niklas Bolten making the save.

Morris' deflected header made a comfortable stop for Bolten as Borussia offered little in terms of attacking threat in the opening 15 minutes, and that allowed Norwich's experienced defence to settle quickly into the contest.

Just before the half hour mark, City went as close as possible to breaking the deadlock through Morris.

The striker met Javier Garrido's cross after Murphy's short corner, but his header came off the underside of the crossbar and bounced on the line, with Borussia eventually able to clear.

Kwame Yeboah wasted Borussia's first opportunity five minutes later, lifting a free-kick over Declan Rudd's crossbar from a central position, around 25 yards from goal.

Cameron Norman, captain for the night, sliced a volley wide as the Canaries resumed control and Conor McGrandles missed the target after a swift one-two with Morris.

Just before the break, the impressive Sam Kelly was withdrawn as a precaution with a hamstring tweak, and was replaced with Michee Efete.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City 0-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

City continued on the front foot and Murphy offered their first sight of goal in the second half on 54 minutes, charging down the left flank before cutting inside, but only to see his right-footed effort slide narrowly wide.

Two minutes later, Man of the Match Ray Grant split the Borussia defence to find Murphy through the middle, and although the speed merchant successfully lobbed Bolten, the ball unluckily rebounded back off the crossbar.

Just a couple of minutes after Bassong and Garrido were withdrawn, the Canaries got the decisive goal in superb fashion.

Murphy played a ball into the target man Morris, and he brought it down expertly on his chest before firing a volley, left-footed, across Bolten and into the corner.

It was a confident finish from the FA Youth Cup winner, and the goal advantage was fully merited for Wilkinson's side.

Murphy could have doubled it on 67 minutes when he turned smartly in the box, only to see Bolten rushing off his line to close off the angles.

It took until the 72nd minute for Borussia have a real effort at goal through captain Nico Brandenburger, who spun and fired over inside the box after Joshua Holtby's corner.

Norwich were in control of the latter parts of the game, however, and after Rudd scrambled to save Holtby's free-kick spectacularly, they held on for a crucial three points.

City's final group game against FC Porto will be played at a date yet to be confirmed. Before that, they return to league action at Leicester on Monday February 9.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

GOALS: Canaries: Carlton Morris (63)

NORWICH CITY: Rudd; Hall-Johnson, Bassong (McFadden 61), Miquel, Garrido (Awuah 61); McGrandles, Grant, Kelly (Efete 45); Norman (c), Murphy, Morris. Subs not used: Oxborough (GK), Gafaiti, Fox, Cole.

BORUSSIA: Bolten; Mero, Manca (Van Den Berg 89), N'Kansah, Brandenburger (c), Berauer, Mickels (Eckert 64), Yeboah, Lieder (Canadi 72), Holtby, Mohr. Subs not used: Mischenko, Hoffmans, Ograjensek (GK).

REFEREE: Mr N Hair

ATTENDANCE: 3,816

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