Manchester United’s U19 team avenged last year’s Dallas Cup final defeat by putting Brazilian club Coritiba to the sword on Saturday, storming to a 5-0 victory in a friendly at the Richland College Campus sports complex in Texas.
The game, played out once again in windy conditions, and on a pitch that was very uneven and bumpy, had been arranged by the Dallas Cup Committee in an effort to make sure that all teams in this year's competition were able to play at least four matches during their stay in Texas.
Both United and Coritiba had been eliminated from the actual tournament in midweek, but there was still a competitive edge to this contest. With striker James Wilson grabbing an opportunist hat-trick, Reece James scoring with a pile-driver from 20 yards, and Jack Barmby putting away a penalty with aplomb, the Reds outthought, outfought and outplayed their South American opponents.
Credit should be given to the performance of the young Reds after the disappointment of Wednesday's exit from the Dallas Cup. And after putting away their chances so efficiently against Coritiba, Warren Joyce's players may reflect on what might have been had they done the same in the last competitive match against Japanese club Kashiwa Reysol.
United were quickly into the game, adapting to the conditions better than Coritiba, and creating the first strike on goal after just seven minutes. A long clearance out from defence caught out the Brazilian defenders as they misjudged the flight of the ball, and James Wilson left them trailing in his wake as he advanced into the penalty area. The goalkeeper came out to meet him and was able to push Wilson's bending shot aside and watch as one of his defenders cleared to safety.
There was a period of some pressure from Coritiba in which they forced several corner kicks, but solid defence, and some clean handling from United goalkeeper Jonathan Sutherland, kept the scoreline level.
The Reds worked the ball down both flanks and probed away for an opening at the other end, with both