Shoretire strike ensures perfect start for U19s
Manchester United's Under-19s opened our UEFA Youth League campaign with a dogged 1-0 victory at Young Boys.
Teden Mengi captained the side as the Reds enjoyed returning to a valuable tournament for providing continental experience, following its cancellation last term due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shola Shoretire, who became the youngest player to appear in this competition when coming off the bench as a 14-year-old against Valencia in 2018, bagged the only goal of the game in the first half.
The hosts started brightly but Charlie Savage managed an early sighter and it was not long before the Reds edged in front in the 14th minute, when Shoretire was on hand to find the net from close range.
Alejandro Garnacho shot over as the visitors looked for a second goal and Alvaro Fernandez, who recovered from a clash of heads, was off target with a free-kick as the half-time whistle approached.
The latter played his part defensively too and United keeper Radek Vitek also had to be on his toes in a tight opening 45 minutes.
It was nip and tuck again after the interval, although Charlie McNeill had one chance to ease a bit of the pressure on the Reds. Jacel Rhodes went close at the other end as Young Boys continued to work hard to look for a route back into the game.
Bjorn Hardley was unable to convert a corner by Savage soon after Neil Wood made his first change in introducing Zidane Iqbal for young Sam Mather. Joe Hugill then replaced fellow centre-forward McNeill and picked up a booking within a couple of minutes as United had to battle to hold onto the slender lead.
Young Boys keeper Abdullah Laidani prevented Hugill and Iqbal from extending the advantage but the Reds maintained a clean sheet to set things up nicely for the next game - at home to Villarreal at Leigh Sports Village.
United: Vitek; Jurado, Mengi (c), Hardley, Fernandez; Savage, Svidersky; Mather (Iqbal 76), Shoretire, Garnacho (Bennett 89); McNeill (Hugill 81).
Subs not used: Hanbury, Fredricson, Murray, Mainoo, Norkett.
Scorer: Shoretire 14.