Academy League U18


05 Oct 2022
© David Cavan

Amid climactic scenes in the closing moments Coleraine made it through to the next round of the UEFA Youth League with a 5-4 aggregate defeat of FK Pobeda in Skopje, North Macedonia.

The first club from Northern Ireland to participate in the competition, the Bannsiders took a 3-2 lead from last week's first leg at The Showgrounds into the game, but knew their hosts would come at them from the start in order to reduce the deficit.

And so it proved when, after just six minutes, Viktor Tosheski burst into the box to fire past keeper Billy McDowell.

Pobeda had the ball in the net again three minutes after that but this was ruled out after Filip Todoroski was adjudged to have been offside.

The hosts had another big chance midway through the first half but Todoroski's drilled effort went over the bar while, towards the break, David Debreslioski fired wide when one-on-one with McDowell.

Coleraine almost levelled nine minutes into the second half when Luca Doherty looked to have registered from just outside the box only for Leonid Kofilovski to make a goalline clearance.

However, Marty Smith's side weren't to be denied with eight minutes remaining after Doherty delivered a superb ball from Luke Kelly to confidently finish past Vasilij Marinovski.

Then, remarkably, Coleraine edged into the lead five minutes after that - and by two goals on aggregate - courtesy of Rory Moffatt's curling free-kick into the bottom corner.

The young Bannsiders couldn't relax as the home side continued to push forward with Todoroski knocking home a 90th minute spot-kick to make it 2-2 on the day.

But, despite five minutes of stoppage time, Coleraine held on to record a history making victory and book a place in the second round to face Belgian side Genk who defeated Slavia Prague over the two legs.

FK Pobeda: Marinovski, Gjorcheski, Kofilovski, Kochoski, Tosheski, Debreshlioski, Jakopetrevski, Todoroski, Pop-Antoski, Arizankoski, Krsteski subs Shemkovski (not used), Varosanoski (replaced Krsteski 67), Shikov (not used), Milanoski (replaced Gjorcheski 85), Petejcuk (replaced Kofilovski 86), Nancheski (replaced Jakopetrevski 85)

Coleraine: McDowell, Stewart, Watton, Campbell, Dealey, Stinson, Cullen, Patton, Keogh, Moffatt, Doherty subs Donnelly (not used), Kelly (replaced Stewart 73), Callaghan (replaced Watton 26), Curran (replaced Keogh 46), MacKay (not used), Dennison (not used), Smyth (replaced Cullen 80)