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U-9s Hold Coutinho and Wijnaldum to a Draw

The star Liverpool midfielders could do no better than a draw against 30 u-9 players in a six-goal affair.

Liverpool v Burnley - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

In an exhibition match for the ages (all of them, apparently), Georginio Wijnaldum and Philippe Coutinho faced off against 30 u-9 Liverpool academy players, and it was every bit as adorable as that sounds.

The youth players ran out in the unorthodox 10-9-9 formation with two goalkeepers, while the senior players were allowed one youth goalkeeper of their own.

As can be expected, Wijnaldum and Coutinho were crowded out of possession in a congested center of the park, but still managed to take the early lead after Phil pounced on an errant pass, springing a counter attack that Gini finished off.

However, the u-9s would not be denied, and the lads equalized in short order off of, you guessed it, a corner. Gini and Phil can’t defend corners, even when they are literal heads and shoulders above their competitors.

The academy players, buoyed by their equalizer, went on to extend their lead with some nifty interplay in the box, and a smooth finish. They then extended their advantage to 3-1 after working the play out wide and whipping in a cross over Wijnaldum, which was cooly nodded home. The goalscorer appeared offside, but it was some very poor defending by the Dutch international, who could only watch as his side was punished yet again.

The senior players were not just going to roll over though, and they would claw their way back into the match after Gini set Phil through on a long ball over the top, which the Brazilian smoothly dribbled past both goalkeepers before slotting it. They pushed on for a equalizer, and after several close calls—including a chip that went just wide of the post from Coutinho—Wijnaldum was able to save a draw from the attacking horde of 8-year-olds.

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