Everton FC secured a 1-0 victory courtesy a late goal by Jacob Beaumont-Clark against a spirited Sudeva Delhi FC team in the Reliance Foundation presents Premier League Next Generation Cup at the Reliance Corporate Park (RCP) in Navi Mumbai today.

Sudeva had a terrific outing from a defensive perspective, keeping the Everton attackers at bay for the large portions of the game. Sudeva were disciplined, as they defended in numbers but hardly lost their shape throughout the course of the match. Prajal Tushir and Chungkham Jackson specifically stood out with their outstanding outings for the side from the national capital.

Prajal played at the right-back slot and worked tirelessly to recover the ball and move it up on the flanks multiple times. He provided ample cover to his centre-backs but also helped the team transition seamlessly into attack from the flank. He interlinked brilliantly with the forwards, slipping in some cheeky passes into the 18-yard box, which could have been capitalised by the Sudeva forwards.

He also helped the team stretch the Everton backline by pushing forward and drawing a couple of key defenders from the English team towards him. His deliveries and crosses into the box could arguably have been a little bit more precise but the youngster clocked in an impressive performance nonetheless. Eventually, Everton notched the winner as Clark pounced upon a loose delivery inside the Sudeva box in the final minute to help his team get their first victory of the tournament.

“I am really pleased with the performance overall. We understand that at this point at the start of the tournament, we are looking for a reaction from our lads and obviously it was a real great experience for them to play in this climate, something that the boys have not faced before. So, the performance and the application was much more than what we had expected. So, really pleased overall and nice to top that (with a goal) in the end as well,” Everton coach Kieran Driscoll reflected on the game and the performance of his boys.

“I think we could have won this match you know. We created our chances but unfortunately we could not capitalise on them. First few minutes, we created a couple of goal-scoring chances. But, I think this is football and yeah, there is a regret of not winning,” Sudeva coach Chencho Dorji mentioned after the match.

Sudeva and Everton will next play Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) at 8pm on Tuesday at RCP.

Brief Scores

Everton FC 1 (Jacob Beaumont Clark 72’) – 0 Sudeva Delhi FC

Wolves continue unbeaten run with 2-0 win over Reliance Foundation Young Champs 

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC scored twice early to bag a 2-0 victory against the Reliance Foundation Young Champs in their Reliance Foundation presents Premier League Next Generation Cup fixture on Saturday in Navi Mumbai.

Wolverhmapton optimised their physical prowess getting a foot ahead early on in the game. They actually scored from their first attacking move itself, with fullback Marvin Kaleta putting in an accurate curling cross into the box from the left flank. The delivery created a bit of a skirmish inside the 18-yard area and Aaron Keto-Diyawa got into the end of the cross to put it into the back of the net.

The Wolves carried on their impressive goal-scoring form from the previous match as they ensured that they exerted offensive pressure from all ends of the pitch to test the RFYC backline. RFYC coach Arata Izumi had said on Friday that he is aware that the Wolves come in with a plan to disrupt the positioning of the two opposition centre-backs. They capitalise on that by creating space for their forwards and scoring off crosses that they send in from the flanks.

The Wolves doubled their lead in the seventh minute with Nathan Fraser jumping high to nod in the ball from a cross coming in from the right flank. Fraser, who had netted twice in Wolves’ opening fixture against Everton, was at the right place at the right time again as his strike helped the visiting team gain further ground in the proceedings.

RFYC came out with some renewed spirit and vigour in the second-half though. They seemed to have remodelled their plans a bit, taking the ball to wider areas to create gaps in the Wolves’ defence.

The wingers also put in some good deliveries into the box but the team could have done with some greater efficiency upfront. Regardless, the team will be content with their improved showing towards the fag end of the game and could possibly look to build up on that in their upcoming matches in the tournament.

“I don’t think that we did something wrong or that we could have done better. Definitely, what we could have done better is the approach to this game. That is something that brought us into that difficult situation with two quick goals and made our game difficult,” RFYC coach Izumi said after the match.

He added, “Because of those two goals, probably the boys also got the feeling that we had nothing to lose – let’s play our football. That proved themselves that they can play against this opponent. So that way, I think next game against Everton, the mental preparation will be of utmost important for us

“Pleased to win the game. We got a head early, which helped, a little bit with the first goal. We had spells of pressure. Probably, in the end, there was little bit disappointment that we couldn’t win the game clearly. I thought we kept the ball well from a possession point of view in tough conditions,” Wolves coach James Collins assessed the performance of his players.

Wolves and RFYC will next face Sudeva Delhi FC and Everton FC respectively at the RCP at 8pm on Tuesday.

Brief Scores

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 (Aaron Keto-Diyawa 1’, Nathan Fraser 7’) – 0 Everton FC