UEFA Youth League: FC Copenhagen v United

Wednesday 08 November 2023 17:05

Manchester United's Under-19s suffered late heartbreak on Wednesday afternoon, earning a 2-2 draw with FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Youth League.

Travis Binnion's side hit the ground running with a quick-fire double from Ethan Williams and Ethan Wheatley, before Emil Hojlund halved the deficit from the penalty spot. 

A resilient showing at the back from our young Reds was ultimately undone, though, just before the end, when Amin Chiakha knocked the ball in from close range to deny us maximum points against the Group A leaders in the Danish capital.
Ethan Williams opened the scoring in Copenhagen.
The Reds got off to a flying start in the first half, putting us a goal to the good, just 11 minutes in. The move that led to the opener began with an Elyh Harrison save that ultimately set United on our way, patiently working the ball from left to right up the pitch. Wheatley picked out Williams in acres of space, with the latter shifting wide before dragging his shot past Andreas Dithmer. 

Two minutes later, we doubled our advantage with Williams and Wheatley combining once more. A free-kick routine straight from the training ground didn’t quite go to plan initially, but a defence-splitting pass found Williams at the byline, who pulled it back to Wheatley to finish from close range. 

The hosts got back into the tie 10 minutes after our second, when Queyrell Tchicamboud was deemed to have been fouled in the box, prompting the referee to point to the spot. Hojlund - younger brother of Reds forward Rasmus - stepped up to take the penalty, sending Harrison the wrong way and raising Copenhagen hopes. 

The second half was a different story from the first, with neither side able to convert their chances despite the hosts, in particular, swarming the opposing goal. Harrison was forced to make a handful of saves, while plenty of young Reds made crucial blocks to prevent Copenhagen from finding a route to an equaliser. 

Their work would ultimately be in vain, with a last-minute equaliser denying victory for Binnion's side. Neo Jonsson, after bringing down a lofted ball into the box, skipped beyond the defence and poked a dangerous pass across goal for Chiakha to tap in. 

Our U19s occupied the opposing half in search of an even later winner, with a flurry of corners threatening to snatch all three points but to no avail, as the referee eventually blew his whistle to signal the end of the tie.

We sit on four points in the table, two adrift of second-placed Bayern Munich, ahead of our next outing, against Galatasaray.

Ethan Wheatley doubled our first-half advantage in the 13th minute.
United XI: Harrison; Nolan, Kingdon, Kambwala, Missin (Jackson 61); Scanlon, Gore, Mainoo; Williams (Fitzgerald 79), Wheatley (Sharpe 61), Hansen-Aaroen. 

Unused substitutes: Wooster, Musa, Biancheri, T. Fletcher. 

United goals: Williams 11, Wheatley 13.

FC Copenhagen goals: Hojlund 23 (pen), Chiakha 90.