Charlie McCann celebrates after scoring for Manchester United Under-18s against Sunderland

United Under-18s enjoy a big win on Wearside

Saturday 07 March 2020 13:16

Manchester United's Under-18s logged the best win of the season so far with an ultimately comfortable 4-0 victory over Sunderland.

Zidane Iqbal opened the scoring at The Academy of Light with a fine finish which his namesake, the current Real Madrid manager, would surely have approved of.

Charlie McCann grabbed a couple, one in each period, and Max Haygarth notched one shortly after joining the action as a second-half substitute.
Zidane Iqbal fires United into the lead at The Academy of Light.
United approached this fixture near Cleadon, north of the River Wear, with a marginally better rate of success on the road compared to that achieved when on home soil at the Aon Training Complex. Seven away matches prior to this one had seen them gather in nine points whilst at home the total was just one fewer from the same number of outings.

Meanwhile, Sunderland were concentrating on the mission to try and claim their very first win, home or away, in this season's Under-18 Premier League North. Given their nickname's association with luck, the Black Cats must have been enduring the most grievous adverse fortune in failing to win any of their fifteen games before facing United.

That remarkable statistic appeared to be even more astonishing during the opening exchanges when Sunderland looked lively and threatening. And they could have strode into the lead as early as the 3rd minute when trialist Nyan Mesuria raced down the left wing but just failed to put the finishing touch to what was a genuine opportunity.
United gradually eased into the proceedings and for a ten-minute spell it became ‘The Anthony Elanga Show’ as the Reds’ talented forward gave Oliver Basey, the Sunderland goalkeeper, plenty to keep him occupied with a series of beautifully struck free-kicks, one of which struck the crossbar.

Despite mounting pressure, Sunderland’s defence stood firm until the 31st minute when United made the breakthrough. Predictably, Elanga was involved as he provided a measured pass to Iqbal, who wriggled into space before slotting the ball home.

The dam had been breached and two minutes before the break, the visitors doubled the advantage with McCann hitting home from Reece Devine’s left-wing cross.
Anthony Elanga delivers another cross from the left wing.
United coach Neil Ryan made a couple of personnel changes at half-time with Bjorn Hardley and Haygarth replacing Devine and Elanga. The substitutions did nothing to disrupt his side's momentum and within twelve minutes of taking the field, Haygarth tapped in the third goal from close range after a cross to the far post was deftly cushioned into his path by Omari Forson.

Three points looked secure with half-an-hour to play and that assumption was confirmed when McCann registered his second goal of the game with another well-struck shot from outside the Sunderland penalty area.
Max Haygarth slots home our third goal after coming on as a substitute.

United: Mee; Neville, Bejger, Hockenhull, Devine (Hardley 46); McCann, Stanley, Iqbal; Forson, Sotona (Wellens 69), Elanga (Haygarth 46).

Substitute not used: Mastny.

Goals: Iqbal 31, McCann 43, 60, Haygarth 57.