Academy. Young Magpies seal quarter-final berth in Hong Kong

Alfie Harrison Hong Kong
25 May 24

Newcastle United Under-21s qualified for the quarter-finals of the Main Cup at the Hong Kong Standard Chartered Soccer Sevens after a second-placed finish in Group D on Saturday.

United's youngsters, bidding to lift the Main Cup for a third time in their last four visits to the Happy Valley, kicked off their group campaign with a 3-0 win against Hong Kong-based outfit Tai Po.

Newcastle got off to a flying start in the seven-a-side competition as Alfie Harrison, who joined the Magpies from Manchester City in February 2024, opened the scoring within two minute after slotting home from Darren Palmer's pinpoint pass.

Dylan Stephenson, who spent the second-half of the 2023/24 campaign on loan at South Shields, doubled United's advantage four minutes later, latching onto Harrison's pass before calmly firing a low effort into the net.

Sean Neave, introduced from the bench, added gloss to the scoreline as the England Under-17 international completed a darting run from the left flank before driving a powerful strike into the roof of the net.

United's second group game against Leicester City, a repeat of last year's Main Shield final, began in bright fashion as Johnny Emerson - a representative of Scotland at under-19 level - broke the deadlock for the young Magpies as the Carlisle-born winger cut inside before drilling a low effort into the bottom left-hand corner.

The spoils were shared against their Foxes counterparts, however, as Chris Popov equalised for City two minutes after the restart after turning inside the box before rifling a fierce shot from a tight angle into the roof of the net.

Chris Moore's side concluded their Group D campaign with a goalless draw against a resilient Singapore Cricket Club and will face Hong Kong Rangers in the Main Cup quarter-finals on Sunday morning (kick-off 4.32am BST), who topped Group B as well as beating Brighton & Hove Albion.

Photograph courtesy of HKFC Standard Chartered Soccer Sevens

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