Belfast Telegraph

Milk Cup: Derry too strong for travel-sick Zambians

By Keith Bailie

County Londonderry took full advantage of Lusaka Academy's travel difficulties to open their Dale Farm Milk Cup campaign with a 3-1 win over the Zambians.

Lusaka only landed in Northern Ireland four hours before the game, which had to be put back to 7pm, after visas issues caused them to arrive 24 hours later than planned.

Unfortunately, a night sleeping on the floor of Copenhagen airport seemed to take its toll on the African outfit and with only 11 players in the country they battled the torrential Coleraine rain, but succumbed to an impressive performance from Damien McNamee's boys.

Dylan McCorkell gave Derry the lead midway through the first half only for Lusaka to equalise before half-time with a smart finish.

Derry regained the lead midway through the second half when Sheldon Woods took advantage of some poor goalkeeping by the Zambian shot-stopper.

McCorkell grabbed his second of the match five minutes before the end with a fine half-volley, 15 yards from goal.

Andy Hunter's County Antrim impressed the crowds at the Ballymena Showgrounds with a fine 3-0 win over American side Strikers.

Star of last year's junior Antrim side Jack McCourt opened the scoring with a low shot from an acute angle. Thomas Roscoe added a second with an outrageous bit of individual skill.

He skipped past the goalkeeper before rounding a defender and flicking the ball into the net. Roscoe complete the goalscoring by slotting home after a fine team move.

Elsewhere, Russian Giants CSKA Moscow confirmed their status as one of the tournament's favourites with a hugely impressive 3-1 win over La Liga outfit Malaga at Scroggy Road, Limavady.

Premier League outfit Newcastle United also made a winning start with an impressive performance in front of a good crowd at Ballymoney's Riada Stadium. The Magpies beat Japanese outfit Higashi Fukuoka 2-0.

Spanish outfit Real Sociedad enjoyed a strong Milk Cup debut. They defeated Pat McGibbon's County Armagh 1-0 in Portstewart.

John Bailie's County Down picked up a 1-1 draw with Mexican side Club America in Broughshane.

But County Fermanagh were unfortunate at the Warren in Portstewart where they lost 2-1 to Partick Thistle.

Right To Dream might be the most talked about team at the tournament, but the Ghanian's were given a run for their money by County Tyrone. Eamon Curry's men lost 2-1 to the Africans at the Riada Stadium in Ballymoney.

The boys from the Gold Coast played some attractive football but the found the county boys difficult to break down.

Last year's beaten finalists Vendee are unlikely to repeat the feat this year. The French team lost 1-0 to Chilean side O'Higgins in Portrush.

American side Ocean County Blues chalked up a surprise win over Motherwell. The Californians won 2-1 at Clough.

New Zelanders Otaga made a big impact at Sunday's opening ceremony with their traditional haka dance, but they went one better yesterday. They beat Columbian side Alset 3-2 at Roe Mill.

Today's big match in the Premier Section sees Newcastle United take on Right To Dream at the Ballymena Showgrounds (7.30pm) with both teams knowing that a defeat is likely to eliminate them from the competition.

Elsewhere, Malaga will look to bounce back from their defeat to CSKA when they face Partick Thistle at the Riada (7.30pm) Stadium in Ballymoney.

Broughshane will play host to an all-county derby (5pm) as Antrim take on Tyrone.

Zambian outfit Lusaka will be hoping to perform better today after a long overdue night's sleep. They face CSKA Moscow at Clough (3.30pm).

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph