Liverpool’s senior team weren’t the only ones taking on Porto in European competition the other day. The U19 side is also competing in the UEFA Youth League, pitted against the same sides as the senior team in the Champions League.
Liverpool defeated AC Milan 1-0 in Liverpool in the opening round of games. In a mirror fixture of the senior team, the youth squad took on Porto at the Estadio Luis Filipe Menezes just hours ahead of their older counterparts.
Liverpool’s squad boasted some of their best young talent of any age group, including midfielders Mateusz Musialowski, Tyler Morton, and James Balagizi, as well as forward Kaide Gordon. The first half settled into a back and forth affair, with both sides generating solid chances.
Gordon and Musialowski combined early on to fashion a chance, but the Pole’s shot was blocked as it headed goalward. Harvey Davies made a big save for the Reds to keep Umaro Cande from putting the Portuguese side ahead.
Chances came fast and furious for both sides as the half wore on. Kaide Gordon again created an opportunity for a teammate, but James Balagizi put his shot wide of the net. Mateusz Musialowski hit a hard drive from just outside the box after Liverpool won the ball back from a high press, but Porto’s keeper, Ivan Cardoso, was able to palm the ball away.
One of Liverpool’s newer signings, Melkamu Frauendorf, came on for Kaide Gordon to start the second half. He broke through the lines in the 60th minute, but was denied by a last ditch tackle from a Porto defender.
It would be the hosts who eventually found the back of the net first. Diogo Abreu (sign all the Diogos?) broke the deadlock for Porto with a low, hard strike from distance in the 69th minute.
To their credit, the Liverpool side kept their composure and worked to find an equalizer. Just 11 minutes later, they hit pay dirt. Tyler Morton fed Melkamu Frauendorf from midfield, and the German youth international coolly slotted the ball into the net to tie the game at 1.
That would be the end of the scoring as both teams earned a point. Liverpool and Porto are joint top of their group with four points apiece, while Milan and Atletico Madrid sit on one point apiece. The young Reds will be back in action in European competition when they travel to Madrid on October 19.