Leicester City's Development Squad

City’s Youngsters Beaten In Soccer Sevens Shield Final

Leicester City’s Development Squad reached the 2023 HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens Shield Final, losing out 2-1 to Newcastle United Under-21s after extra-time in Hong Kong on Sunday.
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Level after 20 minutes, the game reached a Golden Goal scenario, with the Magpies claiming a dramatic victory in the shortened format of the game, in front of a packed-out crowd at Hong Kong Football Club. 

After winning Group C yesterday, taking seven points from nine, City’s youngsters faced Tai Po of the Hong Kong Premier League in the Main Cup Quarter-Finals, with games now switching to 10-minute halves.

City lined up with Brad Young in goal and Harvey Godsmark-Ford in defence, with Wanya Marcal-Madivadua and Kasey McAteer either side of Lewis Brunt in midfield. Kian Pennant and Tawanda Maswanhise led the line.

Leicester controlled possession in the opening stages, with TPFC sitting deep, leading to a half of few chances – only Pennant tested the ‘keeper early on.

Opportunities started to present themselves once Maswanhise struck narrowly over the crossbar, though Young also had to make a stop at the other end. Maswanhise and Pennant were then both denied.

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Kasey McAteer
Kasey McAteer

Kasey McAteer in action against the Hong Kong Premier League side.

Brandon Cover came on for Godsmark-Ford at half-time, and as the game started to open up, Marcal-Madivadua forced another save, before McAteer fired the ball across goal, with no one able to get the required touch.

Three minutes into the second half, Luizinho struck an unstoppable effort into the bottom corner, giving Young no chance. Pushing to get back on level terms, Cover's strike was blocked, while Maswanhise’s free-kick failed to trouble the target.

Joe Wormleighton, introduced in place of Marcal-Madivadua down the right, added late impetus to the Foxes’ search for an equaliser, but it was to no avail. There was one final opportunity from a Cover cross, which Brunt sliced wide, leaving the scoreline at 1-0.

Moving into the Shield Semi-Final, City took on Fulham, who were also beaten in their Main Cup Quarter-Final, by Brighton & Hove Albion. Wormleighton, Cover and Deniche Hill all came into the team, replacing Godsmark-Ford, Maswanhise and Marcal-Madivadua.

Almost presented with an opportunity inside the opening minute, Pennant couldn’t get his shot away cleanly, while at the other end, Young got down to thwart the Cottagers’ first attack.

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Joe Wormleighton
Joe Wormleighton

Joe Wormleighton struck for the Foxes against Fulham.

It took less than three minutes for the deadlock to be broken, Wormleighton driving down the right wing and firing home into the far bottom corner to hand Leicester an early lead.

The defender most turned provider for a second, sending a quick corner into McAteer’s path, but the midfielder’s first-time effort was well saved. Hill’s run down the left soon set up Cover, with his pass leading to Wormleighton curling over the top.

Another great chance came via the full-back's latest run, finding Pennant who flicked the ball on to Cover to beat the ‘keeper, but not the last man, who made a crucial intervention.

On the stroke of half-time, McAteer scored a superb solo second, dribbling from the corner into the box, before rounding the ‘keeper and finding the net. It put the Foxes into a commanding position.

Godsmark-Ford added steel to the backline for the second half, but quickly lost his defensive partner, as Brunt saw red for a last-man challenge straight after the break, handing Fulham a player advantage for a full 10 minutes. Pennant was sacrificed as a result, Marcal-Madivadua on in his place.

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Kasey McAteer
Kasey McAteer

McAteer netted the second against the Cottagers.

Naturally, the west Londoners assumed the majority of possession, but were frustrated by a resolute Foxes performance. A full-stretch save from Young, tipping the ball over the bar, kept City’s two-goal cushion intact, as did Wormleighton’s goal-line clearance moments later.

Cover made way for Maswanhise to close out the game and once Fulham hit the side netting, their final chance had gone, ensuring City recorded a third clean sheet in five tournament games and reached the final.

In the other last-four tie, Newcastle defeated Queens Park Rangers 2-1, setting up a re-run of the group stage fixture between the two, which Leicester won 2-1, as the pair battled it out for the Shield. It would have a different outcome this time around, however. 

With Brunt suspended, Marcal-Madivadua replaced him, with Maswanhise also back in for Hill, as City fielded an attacking line-up. And it was Portuguese winger Marcal-Madivadua who came closest to a breakthrough, calling Max Thompson into action.

Neat interplay involving Cover and Maswanhise led to Pennant finding space to get a shot away, though he failed to trouble the target. On top but without the reward to show for it, Petty brought on Hill and Godsmark-Ford for Marcal-Madivadua and Cover.

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Deniche Hill
Deniche Hill

A stunner from Deniche Hill proved to be Leicester's final goal of the tournament.

Pennant was soon left stunned when his turn and shot was brilliantly kept out by Thompson, shortly before Hill ran into the box unopposed, but fired off target. Amadou Diallo looked a threat at the other end, meanwhile, running at the Leicester defence before dragging a shot wide.

And City were soon made to pay for their missed opportunities. From Diallo’s free-kick, Michael Ndiweni managed to flick the ball home from close range. The Foxes weren’t behind for long, though.

Hill managed to break free from his own half after winning possession back, carrying the ball all the way into the box before a powerful finish to level the scores. The Bermudian international was quickly required at the other end too, to prevent Ndiweni doubling his and the Magpies’ tally.

Another Pennant run ended with his attempt blocked, and then, with the last kick of normal-time, Wormleighton struck the bar. To Golden Goal extra-time it went.

A four-a-side contest, played over four minutes, different tactics are required in this unique format. Godsmark-Ford played as ‘keeper, replacing Young, with McAteer, Hill and Pennant the other three selected for LCFC.

Newcastle also opted to play an outfield player in goal, James Huntley, and he was the man to provide the finishing touch, cruelly ending the Foxes' hunt for silverware in East Asia. 

Sunday’s results

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Leicester City's Development Squad
Leicester City's Development Squad

City's overall tournament record read three wins, one draw and two defeats.

Leicester City U21s 0 Tai Po Football Club 1 - Main Cup Quarter-Final

Leicester City U21s 2 Fulham U21s 0 - Shield Semi-Final
Wormleighton 3’, McAteer 10’

Leicester City U21s 1 Newcastle United U21s 2 (AET) - Shield Final
Hill 7’

Leicester City Crest





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