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Wolves U23s hold Liverpool but miss out on Euro quarter-final place

Wolves U23s 2 Liverpool U23s 2.

Wolves Under-23s were hit by a fierce comeback from Liverpool Under-23s to miss out on a quarter-final place in the Premier League International Cup in front of 4,394 at Molineux.

Goals early in each half from Bruno Jordao and Renat Dadashov gave James Collins’s youngsters a two-goal cushion, but Liverpool’s reply was swift as Joe Hardy and Harvey Elliott scored within four minutes after that to reward the visitors’ territorial supremacy.

Jordao gave Wolves the lead in the 14th minute with a superb strike from the edge of the box after a clever ball from fellow midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White.

Liverpool were forced into a change soon afterwards when left back Yasser Larouci fell on the far side, and after a lengthy delay for treatment for what appeared to be a hamstring injury, he was replaced by Adam Lewis.

It was Lewis screwed a volleyed flick that bounced just wide as the Reds turned up the heat pressing for an equaliser.

In a sweeping move reminiscent of Liverpool’s first team, Liam Millar swept just beyond the far post after a searching cross from Nico Williams.

Joe Hardy was next to try his luck, his cushioned volley tempting goalkeeper Andreas Sondegaard into a diving catch.

Wolves, perhaps somewhat relieved to still be in front at half-time, started the second half as they did the first, by scoring.

This time, another excellent move which started with Sondegaard ended up with Luke Cundle sending Dadashov clean through, and the German-born Azerbaijan striker made room for a neat low finish in the 49th minute with a smart turn that took him away from his marker.

But almost before the celebrations had died down, Liverpool pulled a goal back.

Hardy halved the deficit with a shot on the turn from close range after Wolves failed to cut out Millar’s cross from the left on 51.

Four minutes later, Elliott equalised with an outrageous overhead kick from Jake Cain’s inswinging corner, giving Sondegaard no chance.

The equaliser signalled a spell of heavy pressure from Liverpool, and Williams fired narrowly over the bar from another shot on the turn as Wolves were forced into some desperate defending.

Wolves broke to force a rare chance of their own as Dion Sanderson beat the offside trap to head inches over from Gibbs-White’s cross.

In a lively contest which was no surprise as it was winner takes all, the hosts managed to contain Liverpool and, with the last kick of the game, Jordao speared the ball narrowly over the bar from an angle with a ball that just wouldn’t keep down.

Wolves U23s (3-4-3): Sondegaard; Sanderson, Otasowie, Richards; Nya, Gibbs-White (Hanne 90+2), Jordao, Bueno; Cundle (Francis 67), Dadashov, Campbell (Perry 78).

Subs not used: Taylor, Young, Hong Wan, Dongda He.

Liverpool (4-3-3): Kelleher; Williams, Hoever, Van Den Berg, Larouci (Lewis 20); Clarkson, Chirivella, Cain; Elliott, Hardy, Millar.

Subs not used: Winterbottom, Boyes, Dixon-Bonner, Gallacher, Bearne, Varesanovic.

Referee: James Bell.

Attendance: 4,394.