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Match Reports

Under-23s draw 2-2 against Spurs in international cup

18 January 2019

Norwich City’s Under-23s came from behind twice to pick up a 2-2 draw in the Premier League International Cup courtesy of goals from Adam Idah and Isak Thorvaldsson.

Aston Oxborough continued his comeback from injury and started his second consecutive Under-23s game after being pivotal in City’s match against Aston Villa last week.

Bilal Kamal replaced Timi Odusina at right-back who has gone on-loan to AFC Fylde for the remainder of the season. Louis Lomas and Ciaren Jones continued their partnership at the heart of the City defence, while Caleb Richards remained at left-back and started his second game since returning on loan from FC United of Manchester.

Isak Thorvaldsson and Josh Coley remained on the wings after impressing last week. First Team player Louis Thompson started his first game since returning from the injury he picked up against Aston Villa in October. Under-18s FA Youth Cup goal scorer Saul Milovanovic started alongside Thompson. The City duo replaced Alfie Payne and Tom Scully who were named on the bench.

Adam Idah started alongside Ant Spyrou once again up front, with the pair hoping to carry on their recent good run of form.

Tottenham were dominant in the early exchanges at Colney with City holding firm and defending well against the North East London side.

Vincent Janssen had the first real opening of the game 16 minutes in, but his weak curling effort from the edge of the City penalty area was caught with ease by Oxborough. Moments later the Tottenham striker was sent though by Jack Roles but once again the City keeper denied the Dutch centre-forward.

Just less than 20 minutes in and City had their first chance of the game. Coley got hold of the ball on the half-way line before driving forward and sending a dipping shot from distance towards the Spurs goal, however his effort was caught by Austin.

Four minutes later, Spurs defender Japhet Tanganga had the best opening of the game after being left spare in the box. However the centre-back couldn’t direct his header towards goal and his effort didn’t trouble Oxborough.

After a good passing move on the edge of the City box, Roles played the ball to Janssen who returned the favour with a neat back heel pass which allowed Roles to be through on goal, but the forward’s shot was saved once again by the City stopper.

With 10 first half minutes remaining Spurs took the lead. Janssen played a ball behind the City defence, and was met by Tashan Oakley-Boothe who stroked the ball past Oxborough and into the back of the net.

However Tottenham’s lead didn’t last long, with City responding instantly up the other end. Milovanovic's cross from the right managed to find its way to the back post which allowed Idah to tap in from close range and bring the hosts back level going into the break.

The visitors had the first chance of the second half, with Roles cutting in from the right before rifling a shot well wide of the City goal from just inside the penalty area.

With half an hour to play, the visitors nearly went ahead for the second time in the game. Janssen received the ball inside the six-yard box, but Oxborough was quick to react with the keeper blocking the striker’s effort on goal.

Two minutes later Idah used his pace to drive down the right past Tariq Hinds, but his cross was just out of the reach of Spyrou’s foot at the back post in what was a good chance for the home side.

Spurs regained the lead with 25 minutes of the game left to play. Roles passed to Janssen on the edge of the area before the striker teed the ball up for Roles to take a touch and place it into the far corner of the net.

City nearly got another instant response as Thorvaldsson hit the ball first time on the edge of the area. But his curling effort was met by a fine diving save by Austin in the Tottenham goal who got a strong hand on the ball to guide it round the post.

The Canaries equalised with 10 minutes left to play. A cross from Richards on the left led to a scramble in the box before Thorvaldsson tapped the ball over the line to make it two in two for the Icelandic man.

During the scramble, Austin picked up an injury and there was a lengthy stoppage in play. The keeper was stretchered off and outfield substitute Max Tainio went in goal to replace him.

Norwich dominated most of the play in stoppage time and very nearly found the winner three minutes from the end. Tom Scully hit the ball on volley from 20-yards out, but the dipping effort went narrowly wide of the far post and was to be the last chance of the game.

City's starting XI: Oxborough; Kamal, Richards, Lomas, Jones (c), Thompson (Payne 60), Thorvaldsson, Milovanovic (Scully 60), Spyrou, Idah, Coley.

Unused subs: Omobamidele, McCracken


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