UEFA Youth League Report: St. Patrick’s Athletic 1 – 2 Crvena ZvezdaWed, Sep 29 2021
Macdara Ferris reports from Richmond Park
An injury time goal from Saints skipper Ross Fay will give the St. Patrick’s Athletic under-19 team hope when they travel to Serbia next month for the second leg of this round of 32 UEFA Youth League tie against Crvena Zvezda.
It looked like Red Star were going to take a 2-0 lead back to Belgrade for the second leg after Marko Lazetic scored early and late in the first half at Richmond Park before Fay headed home Ben McCormack’s centre in the third minute of injury time.
The Athletic had got off to the worst start possible when, albeit with a hint of offside, Lazetic rifled home the opener after just three minutes into the top corner of the net. Goalkeeper Josh Keeley couldn’t do much about that but the netminder had an excellent game for the Saints with a number of crucial saves in the game.
It certainly wasn’t one way traffic in the game though and the home team put it up to the visitors who brought a greater physical presence to their game than the Pat’s squad. Fay forced a save from Stefan Marinkovic’s feet after ten minutes and the impressive Darius Lipsiuc also got an early sight of goal.
Keeley saved from Mihajlo Milosavic and Lazetic across a couple of minutes mid-way through the half but he conceded a second in first half injury time.
The board had gone up for three minutes added time – due to a couple of bits of handbags between the teams late in the half – and so the Pat’s bench weren’t impressed when the Icelandic official allowed the half to continue into the fourth minute allowing the Serbian side to break and score.
Aleksandar Kahvic and Milosavic were both involved before Lazetic swept the ball home for his second.
Saints under-19 Head Coach Sean O’Connor brought first team player Ben McCormack on at half time and he enabled the Athletic to raise their game in the remainder of the match. Lipsiuc and Darragh Dunne both went close with shots early in the second period.
Crvena Zvezda’s goalkeeper was celebrating what he thought was his team’s third goal on 70 minutes but Nikolasevic’s effort only hit the side netting. Marinkovic did really well to save Tommy Lonergan’s shot soon after and the Saints striker really should have done better with his headed follow up.
Stefan Malentijevic picked up two yellow cards in eight minutes that meant his side played out the final four minutes of normal time with ten men and they missed his presence in the third minute of injury time in particular when Fay got in close to goal to head home McCormack’s centre to keep the tie very much alive.
St Patrick's Ath U19: Josh Keeley; Darragh Dunne, Reece Webb, Sam Curtis, Luke O'Brien; Kian Corbally, Ross Fay (c), Ben Curtis; Jack O'Reilly (Ben McCormack h/t), Thomas Lonergan (Ian Byrne 90), Darius Lipsiuc (Ugo Anny Nzekwue 79).
Subs not used: Sean Molloy, Darragh Reilly, Roy Byrne, Darragh Burns, Belguy Manzambi.
Booked: Jack O'Reilly (40), Darragh Dunne (44).
Sent off: None.
Crvena Zvezda U19: Stefan Marinkovic; Ognjen Mimovic, Stefan Malentijevic, Stefan Lekovic, Viktor Radojevic; Marko Curic, Luka Lecic, Mihajlo Milosavic (Marko Stojanovic 59); Aleksandar Kahvic (Nikola Pantic 88), Mirko Nikolasevic (Stefan Pirgic 72), Marko Lazetic.
Subs not used: Nikola Borjan, Bratislav Maric, Uros Brankovic, Lazar Duric.
Booked: Marko Lazetic (40) ,Viktor Radojevic (44) ,Stefan Malentijevic (78 + 86).
Sent off: Stefan Miladinovic (86).
Referee: Ivar Orri Kristjansson (Iceland).
extratime.com Player of the Match: Darragh Dunne (St. Patrick’s Athletic)