Academy. Young Magpies complete UEFA Youth League fightback against Dortmund

07 Nov 23

Newcastle United Under-19s recovered from a two-goal deficit at half-time to salvage a 2-2 draw against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Youth League on Tuesday.

The Toon teenagers fell behind at the BVB Training Ground following Cole Campbell’s composed finish before Julian Rijkhoff doubled Dortmund’s advantage on the half-hour mark.

The visitors, however, produced a spirited second-half fightback as late headers from Cathal Heffernan, the Irish defender’s first goal for the club since joining last summer, and James Huntley drew United’s youngsters level in the final stages to record the club's first ever point in the competition.

Newcastle's youngsters were unable to find an all-important winner, though, with the draw resulting in the club's elimination from the group stages with two games to spare.

Ben Dawson made four changes from the side which suffered a 2-1 defeat against their Dortmund counterparts in last month’s fixture at the Gateshead International Stadium as 16-year-old striker Sean Neave, who scored seven goals in as many Under-18 Premier League North starts, led the line in place of Ben Parkinson, who travelled with the Magpies’ first team squad for their UEFA Champions League clash against the German heavyweights.

Anthony Munda, who made his international debut for England at under-18 level last month, replaced the injured Jamie Miley in the middle of the park whilst Scottish centre-back Charlie McArthur, who has captained his country at under-19 level, and central midfielder Travis Hernes, who joined Newcastle from Shrewsbury Town in September 2023, were also handed places in the starting eleven.

Magpies goalkeeper Aidan Harris, who was named on the bench for United’s UEFA Champions League draw away at AC Milan in September, was forced into early action as the 16-year-old shot-stopper tipped Danylo Krevsun’s curling shot from the edge of the box over the crossbar.

In the 10th minute, Dortmund broke the deadlock through Cole Campbell’s strike. After Krevsun's quick throw-in caught out the United defence, the Icelandic forward raced towards goal and, after evading a challenge from Hernes, slotted a low effort into the left-hand corner.

In the 29th minute, Newcastle were delivered a further blow as Rijkhoff, who scored in the previous Youth League encounter against the Magpies, extended the hosts’ lead. Following a lengthy kick from Dortmund goalkeeper Robin Lisewski, Rafael Lubach beat left-back Dylan Charlton to the loose ball before teeing up the Dutch striker, who stroked the ball into the left-hand corner.

Harris produced a key save to prevent Dortmund notching a third after Campbell raced onto William Rashidi’s through pass but the Newcastle goalkeeper stood tall to block the forward’s fierce strike at goal before smothering the loose ball.

Newcastle almost conceded a third on the stroke of half-time as Samuel Bamba, who scored the winning goal in the reverse fixture against Newcastle, drilled a powerful effort onto the foot of the left-hand post before the rebound was steered wide of the target.

In the second half, the visitors went agonisingly close to halving the deficit as Johnny Emerson’s floating cross was met by Munda but the central midfielder’s resulting effort at goal was blocked before Huntley’s rebound was blocked on the goal line before the ball was hacked out for a corner.

United’s teenagers continued their search for way back into the contest as Emerson and Trevan Sanusi combined with a short corner before the former’s in-swinging cross was headed wide by McArthur.

Rijkhoff almost netted his second goal of the afternoon after Campbell’s inviting corner was glanced wide of the far left-hand post to the delight of the United squad.

In the 77th minute, Newcastle pulled a goal back through Heffernan’s impressive header. The 18-year-old defender, who joined the club in August 2023 following his departure from AC Milan, latched onto Sanusi’s floated cross from the left flank before directing a powerful header past Lisewski.

In the 86th minute, Newcastle drew level through Huntley’s header. After Emerson twisted and turned on the right flank, the Scotland Under-19 international sent an excellent cross into Huntley's path, who guided a deft header into the net via the left-hand post.

Harris produced a crucial save to ensure United’s first ever point in the history of the competition in stoppage-time as the Houghton-le-Spring-born goalkeeper pushed away Wätjen’s fierce drive at goal before Munda cleared the loose ball to safety.

Newcastle United Under-19s: Aidan Harris, Ciaran Thompson, Cathal Heffernan (c), Charlie McArthur, Dylan Charlton, Anthony Munda, Travis Hernes, James Huntley, Johnny Emerson (Darren Palmer 90), Kyle Crossley (Ellis Stanton 58), Sean Neave (Trevan Sanusi 58).

Subs not used: Adrian Janusz, Rory Powell, Thomas Bryant, Joe Brayson.

Related Content