Daggers stage eye-catching International Cup fixture

AS Monaco U23 3-1 Feyenoord Rotterdam U23

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE’S Victoria Road ground was the unlikely setting as under 23 teams from AS Monaco and Feyenoord Rotterdam went head-to-head in the Premier League International Cup.

The coveted competition pits twelve Premier League 2 sides against twelve equivalent Under-23 teams from top academies across Europe and is initially played out in four groups consisting of six teams, of which, eight teams qualify for the knockout stages.

Previously, the Daggers home has staged similar fixtures for West Ham United – most recently, the Hammers defeated Valencia’s ‘B’ team in the competition – thanks to an early goal from Nathan Holland.

A crowd, considerably smaller than those attracted by the Daggers, had gathered and they were treated to a decent encounter in which Monaco largely impressed.

Romain Faivre passed up an early opportunity for Monaco – sliding the wrong side of an upright after Yannis Ngakoutou Yapende had fashioned an opening from the right. Soon after, Yapende tested Feyenoord stopper, Cornells-Tein Troost at his near post while Nordine Ibouroi fizzed an angled effort over as the sovereign city-state side continued to look the more likely during the opening stages.

Splinter de Mooij fluffed his lines, prodding at Theo Louis after Naoufal Bannis had seized on some hesitant Monaco defending to create a decent opening for the Dutchmen. However, when Ibouroi was provided with another opportunity shortly after the half-hour mark, he gloriously fired, right-footed, high beyond Troost to open the scoring for the Ligue 1 sides youngsters.

Louis turned aside a thumping goalbound header from Mooij as Feyenoord started the second period on the front foot. Meanwhile, Troost turned aside a close-range effort from Owen Maes, then brilliantly kept out substitute Nabil Alioui as Monaco – looking to kill the contest – swiftly responded.

But you sensed Monaco had another goal in them. Maes and Eliot Matzazo’s cleverly worked free-kick teed up Alioui – this time he made no mistake, firing low past the stranded Troost to double the advantage.

Alioui was close to an audacious second with an attempt from almost on halfway which drifted the wrong side of an upright, while Faivre tested Troost’s metal as Monaco continued to dominate. 

And it was soon 3-0. Alioui was felled making his way into the box – Faivre comfortably rolling home the resulting spot-kick with aplomb, sending the beleaguered Troost the wrong way.

Toshio Lake bundled home a consolation for Feyenoord in the final minutes, but their spirited rally was too little too late. 

AS Monaco U23: Theo Louis, Yannis Ngakoutou Yapende, Yoann Etienne, Amilcar Silva, Safwan Mbae, Kevin Appin, Nordine Ibouroi (Gobe Gouano 75’), Romain Faivre, Eric Ayiah (Nabil Alioui 46’), Edgaras Utkus (Eliot Matazo 46’), Owen Maes; Subs not used: Giuseppe Iglio, Jeremi Abonnel, Florian Antognelli, Boris Popovic

Booked: None

Goals: Nordine Ibouroi 32’, Nabil Aliou 63’, Romain Faivre 75’ (penalty)

Feyenoord Rotterdam U23: Cornells-Tein Troost, Lutsharel Geertruida, Sem Valk, Twan van der Zeeuw, Quilindschy Hartman, Achraf El Bouchataoui, Rodney Huijgen (Toshio Lake 64’), Sven Zitman (Omer Gunduz 76’), Naoufal Bannis, Splinter de Mooij (Noah Naujoks 81’), Cheick Toure; Subs not used: Abdelouafi Belarbi, Omer Gunduz, Thijs Jansen, Aime Omgba, Rychaintelo Knoll

Booked: Sven Zitman (foul)

Goals: Toshio Lake 87’

Referee: Tim Danaskos

Assistants: Gary Jerden and Michael Smith

Fourth Official: Adam Bavcar

Approximate Attendance: 150

Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]