Though it’s been nothing short of a hugely disappointing season for Liverpool FC with the men’s team failing to bring home any titles and the women’s team failing to win promotion back to the Women’s Super League, there is still hope that a Liverpool squad will bring home silverware.
No, I’m not talking about the Arsene Wenger Memorial Fourth Place Trophy. I’m talking about the FA Youth Cup!
The U-18s managed to snag a 2-1, come from behind victory over Ipswich Town in their semi-final today thanks to two second-half goals from a pair of 2020 summer signings. After falling behind 1-0 in first-half stoppage time, the youth Reds drew level just past the hour mark courtesy of Polish attacker Mateusz Musialowski.
Then, two minutes after replacing Musialowski, German winger Melkamu Frauendorf put Liverpool in front. The 81st-minute goal proved to be the decisive one as the Reds held on to book their place in the final.
Speaking to LiverpoolFC.com, U-18 boss Marc Bridge-Wilkinson and captain Jarell Quansah expressed pride at the way the team responded to going down a goal.
“They didn’t give up, they listened to the instructions at half-time, and the group – not just the 11 that play but the whole group – they’re really honest and they go out there and give everything that they’ve got,” said Bridge-Wilkinson. “Thankfully, we managed to get two goals and obviously win the game.”
“The first half we didn’t play up to our level, to be honest,” said Quansah. “But it just shows what we can do when we’re behind. Any situation, we can pull out a win and that’s what the best teams do.”
Both the captain and the manager are excited to have an opportunity to add to the Liverpool trophy cabinet, but they know the work’s not quite done.
“Winning trophies, that’s what you’re a footballer for, to be honest, you just want to win at all costs,” Quansah said. “I’m sure the boys will be up for [the final] after a performance like today. We’ve had a good run in the tournament, so we [want] to do ourselves justice.”
“I haven’t thought that far forward, to be honest, but it’d nice [to lift the trophy],” admitted the manager. “We’ve got a game to play before any of that happens, so hopefully we’ll come out on top and see who we get.”
While the U-18 Reds have punched their ticket to the final, they’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out who and where they’ll be playing. Aston Villa and West Brom face each other in the other semi-final on Friday, and the winner of that match will play host to Liverpool for the May 29th Final