- Albion exit the Premier League International Cup
- Alexander Nollenberger and Daniel Jelisic score for Bayern Munich II
- Robert Sanchez makes return in goal for the Seagulls
- The Seagulls finish second in Group D
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s were knocked out of the Premier League International Cup this evening, as Bayern Munich II sealed a 2-0 victory to prevent Simon Rusk’s team from reaching the knockout stages.
The Seagulls needed a point to top Group D after taking four points from their opening two matches, but second-half goals from Alexander Nollenberger and Daniel Jelisic confirmed Bayern’s place in the quarter-finals.
Viktor Gyokeres made a number of runs in behind Bayern’s defence inside the opening 15 minutes of the match, and when Peter Gwargis excellently picked out the forward, his firm shot was well saved by Thorben Hoffmann.
It was Gyokeres again who tested Hoffmann, as the German shot-stopper used his feet to clear the Swede’s half-volley from inside the box, following a dangerous delivery from Alex Cochrane.
Central defender Nico Feldhahn, who was Bayern’s most experienced player at 32 years of age, drove through the middle and pulled the trigger from 25 yards, but saw his dipping effort drop over the crossbar.
Ryan Longman was then sent racing down the left wing by Gwargis, and after the 18-year-old cut inside onto his right foot, his curling effort dropped wide of Hoffmann’s left-hand upright.
After a quiet start to the second half, Albion created their best opportunity of the game on the hour mark, but after Gyokeres headed Longman’s cross back into the six-yard box, Danny Cashman’s close-range header looped just over.
Bayern surged straight up the other end and came close to breaking the deadlock, but Sanchez was on hand to gather Kwasi-Okere Wreiedt’s bullet header, which flew straight at the Spaniard from six yards.
The visitors began to impose themselves on the game and took the lead on 77 minutes, as a corner delivery was flicked on and Nollenberger arrived late at the back post to poke home, which meant Albion would need at least one goal to qualify.
Albion pressed for an equaliser in the closing stages and came agonisingly close to getting the goal they required, but Leo Ostigard’s firm header at the back post was cleared off the goal line.
With time running out, Bayern’s progress to the knockout stages was sealed by a second goal in the third minute of added time — Jelisic fired home from Meritan Shabani’s pass and Albion's cup campaign came to an end.
ALBION: Sanchez; A.Davies, Ostigard, O’Hora, Cochrane; Sanders, Roberts; Gwargis (Ljubicic 87), Cashman (Radulovic 65), Longman (Ahannach 83); Gyokeres.
Subs not used: Keto (GK), Tomlinson, Spong, Jenks.