Match Reports

Albion knocked out by injury-time goal

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Samuels and Hinshelwood on target but men's U21s beaten 3-2 by Valencia in International Cup.

By Charlie Hanson • 08 March 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Jack Hinshelwood made it 2-2 with a close range finish.

Albion were knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Premier League International Cup on Wednesday when Valencia fired in a winner in the tenth minute of stoppage time to reach the last four with a 3-2 victory.

Imari Samuels's back-post finish had put Albion in the lead midway through the first half, but two goals in six second-half minutes put the visitors 2-1 in front.

Jack Hinshelwood found an equaliser with six minutes remaining which looked as if it would force extra time, but Jesus Santiago's stoppage-time goal saw the Spanish side through.

Having finished top of their group, Valencia were arguably the toughest team Albion could have drawn in the last eight.

By Paul Hazlewood
Imari Samuels is mobbed after putting Albion ahead midway through the first half.

The visitors were on the hunt for an early goal and Diego Lopez managed to get down the right of the Albion box before letting fly with a neat effort towards the bottom left corner, but an outstretched toe from an Albion player pushed it beyond the post for a corner.

Martin Tejon was next to go close for Valencia – once again a deflection helped Albion – when his strike from the edge of the box flew onto the roof of the net.

Shannon Ruth’s team had their first foray forward after 20 minutes when Cam Peupion was beaten to Andrew Moran’s low cross by Valencia keeper Carlos Manuel Perez. But it was 1-0 moments later. Odel Offiah was denied by an outstanding save from Perez as he dived to his right to tip the defender’s effort away from goal, but Samuels followed up to fire in the opening goal. 

By Paul Hazlewood
Shannon Ruth's team looked set to take the game to extra time and penalties.

Valencia looked to respond quickly as Tejon’s bending effort towards the bottom right corner flew narrowly wide before Albion nearly doubled their lead through Moran, only for the Irishman to fluff his lines when Casper Nilsson found him with a pull-back.

Tom McGill had to be at his best to deny the visitors towards the end of the first half as Lopez saw his initial drive come straight back to him after a terrific reflex save from the Albion stopper, before the Spanish forward fired his second effort straight into the keeper’s body.

Valencia found themselves in front just 12 minutes after the restart though as Lopez was able to poke home from close range, before setting up Ismael Santana to squeeze an effort just past McGill.

By Paul Hazlewood
Jack Hinshelwood scored in the 84th minute to equalise for Albion.

Albion's hopes of reaching the last four appeared to be fading until skipper Hinshelwood popped up with an equaliser. With six minutes to play, Valencia failed to deal with a corner leaving Hinshelwood with a straight forward finish to make it 2-2.

That wasn't the end of the drama though, as Valencia found a winner deep in stoppage time when Santiago's drilled effort from ten yards found the roof of the net.

Albion: McGill, Nilsson, Offiah (Baker-Boaitey 75), Jackson, Samuels, Everitt, Hinshelwood ©, Peupion, Moran (Duffus 63), Barrington (Mullins 63), O’Mahony.

Unused subs: Cahill, Kavanagh, Shann, Packham.