Leicester City U21s

City Qualify Unbeaten From Soccer Sevens Group

Leicester City’s Development Squad qualified for the knockout stages as Group D winners in the HKFC Standard Chartered Soccer Sevens 2024 on Saturday.
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Seven points from a possible nine was more than enough for the Foxes youngsters, beating Singapore Cricket Club 3-0, prior to a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United. Tai Po were then seen off 2-0 in the final group game to progress into Sunday’s quarter-finals.

The seven-a-side matches, played out in two seven-minute halves, are being staged at Hong Kong Football Club, located within Hong Kong’s Happy Valley district.

The intense humidity made it a tough afternoon of competition for the young Foxes, who are led by Development Squad coach Ben Petty.

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Wanya Marçal

The skipper kicked things off with the opening goal.

Leicester opened up their campaign against Singapore and starting with Brad Young between the sticks, Brandon Cover in the defence and Silko Thomas and Oli Ewing as the central midfielders. An attacking side, it included Wanya Marçal and Amani Richards on either flank, with Chris Popov leading the line.

Inside two minutes, Thomas found Marçal on the left and he cut inside before firing in at the near post to hand the Foxes an early lead. After getting off to the best possible start, City controlled possession, though were unable to find another before the break.

Henry Cartwright was introduced after the interval and made an instant impact, slotting the ball into the bottom corner to double the lead.

With Logan Briggs and then Jayden Joseph also coming on in the second half, all 10 of the squad got a run out in the opener, and it was Briggs who unselfishly squared the ball for Cover to tap home from close range after finding space inside the box.

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Chris Popov

Big celebrations from the Foxes forward after equalising.

Putting three points on the board, it was a strong start, followed by a meeting with Newcastle. The only change saw Cartwright replace Popov, pushing Thomas into the centre forward role.

Following sustained City pressure, which included Ewing hitting the upright, it was the Magpies who made the breakthrough; Johnny Emerson shifting the ball onto his right and firing in at the near post.

Joseph and Popov were the half-time arrivals, and the latter struck a venomous shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle to level the scores almost immediately after coming on, earning a share of the spoils.

Leicester reverted back to the starting VII from their opening win for the battle with Hong Kong Premier League side Tai Po. And the attacking intent paid off as Thomas got a slight touch on Marçal’s accurate arrow of a free-kick to seize the advantage just over a minute in.

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Silko Thomas & Chris Popov

Thomas and Popov were both on the scoresheet in the final group game.

That was doubled when Popov’s shot on the turn found the back of the net, the forward’s second of the group stage, after Marçal’s initial effort was denied by the ‘keeper.

Joseph, Cartwright and Briggs all made an appearance for the second half, seeing out a comfortable victory to end the day, with Newcastle joining City in the Main Cup Quarter-Finals as runners-up.

Saturday's Group D results


Leicester City U21s 3 Singapore Cricket Club 0
Marçal 2’, Cartwright 8', Cover 10'

Leicester City U21s 1 Newcastle United 1
Popov 9'

Leicester City U21s 2 Tai Po 0
Thomas 2', Popov 5'

Post-match reaction and highlights are set to be posted to LCFC.com shortly, alongside content on LCFC’s social media channels.

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