Despite urgency and pace to their game, Manchester United’s under-19s couldn’t complete the necessary win against Brazilian side Coritiba in the Dallas Cup on Wednesday evening.
Tommy Martin’s Reds needed a win to top Bracket A of the Gordon Jago Super Group in Texas.
Goalkeeper Theo Richardson was particularly rushed in restarting play, but the entire United side had clearly been told to speed the game up after the break.
That didn’t leave them enough time to find a second goal against an energetic and technically-gifted Coritiba side, playing with a high-intensity despite having had a game only the day before.
The Reds started the game clearly on top. Captain Regan Poole headed downwards into the ground from an excellent Callum Gribbin-delivered corner, but Coritiba goalkeeper Bruno Bertinato caught it with ease. Gribbin’s set-pieces gave United a number of opportunities throughout the game, the accuracy of his crosses and shots from set plays remarkable.
His earliest chance to shoot himself was with a ninth-minute free-kick which he curled over a poorly positioned wall. Bertinato jumped to his right to keep it out.
Coritiba take lead through Léo
Despite that early dominance, it was Coritiba’s Léo who scored the opening goal of the game, after 17 minutes, giving the Brazilian’s a cushion on which to sew greater damage onto United.
They could not do so immediately, though. United’s players were acutely aware of the task at hand.
Olosunde heads in equaliser
Matthew Olosunde, the American-born former-New York Red Bulls player who scored a stunning goal in United’s 3-1 win vs Real Salt Lake, headed home eventually for the Reds before half-time. After quickly switching play to the edge of the penalty area, Ethan Hamilton, who impressed throughout, had his shot kept out by a combination of the goalkeeper and the post. Olosunde was there to meet the rebound on the left post, heading downwards into the goal to level things.
While intensity and effort was there for United, Coritiba were more skilful as they relaxed in the game. This was evident in the second-half.
Tosin Kehinde found himself in the box with a few yards of space after a wonderful pass from Callum Whelan but skied over the crossbar just after the break.
United’s players were aiming victory, sure, but were too nervous in the first few moments of the second half. Goalscorer Olosunde was fortunate not to be punished as he lost the ball in line with the penalty area.
He made up for it with two vital moments later on. The first saw him climb above his Coritiba opponent and head clear after a long ball forward from the Brazilians. After Aidan Barlow passed straight into the path of an opponent, Olosunde sprinted back while others dithered, got to the ball first and cleared it excellently.
Nishan Burkart’s last contribution to the game came with an excellent long-range drive that was tipped onto the post. The Swiss under-17 international had three players surrounding him but somehow managed to find space to get a shot away.
After that, Tommy Martin threw on Josh Bohui and Zak Dearnley with half-an-hour remaining with the need for a goal becoming more desperate.
But United continued to be too rushed in their place, and continued to fall into Coritiba’s gameplan of riling their opposition.
Tyrell Warren was booked as he lunged in, missed the ball and the man and chased back to cover for the empty space he had left, before fouling a man.
Late fight sees pair sent off
The peak of such action came in the final moments of the game. Coritiba had a goal rightly disallowed for handball following a corner. The Brazilian players’ reaction was ridiculous, half the side swarming the referee and half screaming in the face of the linesman.
United’s player were naïve to involve themselves. Coritiba were partly arguing to waste time, and United responded by fighting with their opposition. Captain Regan Poole vigorously shouted in the face of the referee to make his side’s point. He was shown a straight red card, as was Coritiba’s Léo.
It was an ugly end to a poor game from the Reds again. They will now play in a couple of friendlies before returning to England, but Coritiba top Group A of the Gordon Jago Super Cup and progress to the semi-finals.