Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Milk Cup: Holders Manchester United keep a hold on title

Holders Manchester United will be back to defend their Premier Section title tonight at the Coleraine Showgrounds after edging past Fenerbahce.

Dubliner Robert Brady turned from villain to hero when he missed a first half penalty but then lashed in United’s winner from 25 yards for the Old Trafford starlets to set up a final clash with Sheffield United.

The Red Devils conceded their first goal of the tournament in last night’s semi, but came from behind to win the game after turning the screw when Fenerbahce were reduced to 10 men.

United’s Dave Bushell said: “We’re very glad to be in the final again, although we didn’t play particularly well, to be honest.

“To win these tournaments you need a bit of luck and we got that tonight.

“I’d like to see us with the energy we showed earlier in the week, but I know that it’s difficult when you play so many games in so few days like this and we maybe had some tired legs out there.”

It was Fenerbahce who started the brighter and it took Sam Johnstone to be on his toes more than once to keep the game scoreless.

Indeed United did fall behind when Semih Beyaz fired the Turkish side ahead in the 26th minute.

However the boys in red composed themselves and Josh King levelled.

Brady squandered the chance from the spot to forge ahead when defender Okan Alkan received his marching orders for handling inside the box.

However Brady redeemed himself with just seven minutes left, firing past Aykut Kiratli.

Final opponents Sheffield United reached today’s decider courtesy of a penalty shoot-out win in the match straight afterwards at the Ballymena Showgrounds.

As for the local boys Down missed out on the opportunity to become the best Irish side as they agonisingly lost out on penalties to South Coast Bayern.

Milk Cup semi-finals: Fenerbahce 1 Manchester United 2, FC Porto 1-1 Sheffield United (Sheffield United win 5-4 on pens)

Milk Cup play-offs: Cherry Orchard 2 Desportivo Brasil 1, South Coast Bayern 0-0 Co Down (Bayern win 4-3 on pens)

Today’s Slemish Premier semi-finals: Shamrock Rovers 0 Co Antrim 2, Co Armagh 0 Co Londonderry 1

Today’s Premier Trophy League: Cantolao 1 Burnley 7, Tyrone 4 Fermanagh 0

PREMIER FIXTURES:

Milk Cup final: 8.15pm: Manchester United v Sheffied United (Coleraine Showgrounds)

Slemish final: 1.30pm: Co Antrim v Co Londonderry (Showgrounds, Ballymena)

Dunluce Trophy League: 1.30pm: Cantolao v Co Fermanagh (The Warren, Portstewart), Burnley v Co Tyrone (University, Coleraine)

Slemish play-offs: 1.30pm: Cruz Azul v Trudovye Rezervy (Parker Ave, Portrush), Otago v Watford (Rugby Ave, Coleraine), Co Armagh v Shamrock Rovers (Riada 2, Ballymoney)

Milk Cup play-offs: 1.30pm: Co Down v Desportivo Brasil (Broughsane), Cherry Orchard v South Coast Bayern (Roe Mill, Limavady), Fenerbahce v FC Porto (Castlerock).

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