Under-17s through to Premier League Cup final

Chouchane goal seals deserved 1-0 win over Leicester City

By Bruce Talbot • 21 April 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Samy Chouchane celebrates after putting Albion in front against Leicester City

An early goal from Samy Chouchane sealed Albion’s place in the final of the U-17 Premier League Cup at the Amex.

Chouchane finished off a slick move to put his side in front and Mark Beard’s team had further chances as they dominated the first half.

Leicester came into the game in the second period but Albion defended resolutely when they needed to and had other opportunities to stretch their lead. They will now face Middlesbrough in the final with the date and venue to be confirmed.

Albion were on the front foot from the start, and they took the lead with a superbly worked goal in the ninth minute.

By Paul Hazlewood
Marcus Ifill holds off an opponent against Leicester City

Three players were involved in a sweeping right-to-left attack which finished with French midfielder Chouchane guiding a low shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards for his third goal of the season.

Albion moved the ball fluidly in the first half with Marcus Ifill operating on both flanks and a constant threat. They would have added to their lead before the break but for Foxes’ keeper Kelechi Chibueze.

He raced out of goal when Zac Emmerson got clear and in on goal to save at his feet before denying both Emmerson and skipper Andy Moran with sharp saves after Ifill had surged to the line and pulled the ball into the six-yard box.

Leicester were more proactive at the start of the second half but Albion keeper Toby Bull only had to make a couple of routine stops, while Ofal Offiah caught the eye with both his defensive work and the calm way he brought the ball forward.

By Paul Hazlewood
Zac Sturge gets Albion moving down the left

Moran forced Chibueze to save at full stretch with 20 minutes to go then Leicester counter-attacked through Kian Pennant, whose powerful effort was blocked with his legs by Bull before Sam Braybrooke fired a free kick from inside the D inches wide of the target. The Albion keeper then raced out of goal to thwart Pennant when a defensive mistake put the Leicester forward through on goal.

The game opened up in the closing stages as both sides tired on the big Amex pitch but Albion deserved to go through.

Albion: Bull, Nilsson, Sturge, Collyer, Jackson, Offiah, Moran (Peupion 77), Chouchane, Emmerson (Everitt 69), Ferguson (Qureshi 60), Ifill. Subs not used: Fisher, Hinshelwood.

Referee: Tom Ellsmore