Belfast Telegraph

SuperCupNI: Adam Carroll hits controversial late winner to keep Down in the mix

 

By Keith Bailie

A last-gasp Adam Carroll goal saved County Down's SuperCup NI campaign at The Warren in Portstewart.

In a feisty affair, John Bailie's side found themselves 2-0 down at half-time to Ichifuna, with the Asian side dominating possession.

But Down fought back to claim a 3-2 victory, with Carroll pulling one back before Jake Corbett equalised with a stunning free-kick. Just when it looked like the game was set for a draw, Carroll scored his second in controversial circumstances.

As the ball hit the net, the referee's assistant raised his flag - but the referee still awarded the goal. There was some argy-bargy just before the full-time whistle, with an Ichifuna coach sent from the field of play.

The dramatic win means Down top Group C with four points, ahead of both the Japanese club and Newcastle United, who are both on three points.

The Magpies defeated Chilean side Desportes Iquique 1-0 in Ballymoney.

County Armagh also tasted success when they defeated New Zealanders Otago 4-0 at the Coleraine Showgrounds. Jack Scott, Rioghan Crawford, Curtis Hallisey and Adam Wright were on target for the Orchard County.

However, Italian side Serie B Select are the favourites to progress from the group following their 5-0 win over First Choice Soccer.

Holders County Antrim bounced back from Monday's disappointing defeat to GO Audax with a 5-0 win over County Fermanagh. It was Antrim's second win of the day over Fermanagh, with the Under-15s winning a Junior fixture between the two sides 3-0.

Also in Group E, Stephen Small's gang of last-minute gather-ups continued to defy the odds with a 0-0 draw against GO Audax.

If the National Select side defeat Antrim today and reach the semi-finals, it will go down as one of the most remarkable stories in SuperCup NI history.

The local team were pulled together on Sunday after Spartak Moscow dropped out of the tournament due to visa issues.

In Group A, French side Vendee recorded a 2-0 win over American tourists Global Premier Soccer at the Riada in Ballymoney.

In the same group, Canadian side Edmonton defeated Londonderry 2-1 at the Coleraine Showgrounds.

In Group B, former champions Right To Dream look good for the semi-finals after defeating County Tyrone 3-0 at Seahaven in Portstewart.

Club America, another side who have tasted success in the Premier Section, also won.

The Mexicans defeated Glaswegians Partick Thistle 2-0 at the Riada in Ballymoney.

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