BELFAST: The Samoa and Otago youth teams both went down in their first up matches at the Northern Ireland Milk Cup on Saturday, 19 July.
Samoa were overwhelmed by local side Country Armagh 11-0 Mourneview Park, Lurgan, while Otago put up a good fight but were beaten by Greek side Panathinaikos 1-0 at Rugby Avenue Stadium, Coleraine.
The inexperienced Samoan under fifteen team, who are in the junior division of the Milk Cup, were outclassed by County Armagh and were down 3-0 in as many minutes after a nervous start. By half-time the score-line had reached 7-0.
But after a rev up from coach David Brand at the break, the young Samoan team came out and played much more confidently in the second half. They showed more competitiveness and gained their share of the possession, but were unable to score.
Brand was disappointed as expected afterwards but admitted he had expected more from his young charges with the final score not reflective of their ability.
“Many of them did not stand up today and played with little purpose which hurts. After so much hard work on the training field it is hard to accept,” he told oceaniafootball.com afterwards.
“However I guess I must be realistic and we were outplayed by a much better side that have been playing for many years. Many of our boys have only played a handful of games. Hopefully they will learn from this.”
Samoa will next play Scottish side Livingston on 21 July at the Roe Mill 2, Limavady at 4:00pm (local NIR time). The Otago youth side could be forgiven for having mixed feelings on their next match, also on 21 July, which sees them faced against arguably the world’s most famous soccer club, Manchester United, at Cricket Park, Ballymoney at 4:00pm (local NIR time). In the early 1990’s, a youngish David Beckham played for Manchester United at the Milk Cup.