Football: Big defeat wake-up call for Otago

The Otago youth side has endured a tough opening match at the Super Cup in Northern Ireland, going down 6-0 to Californian side South Coast Strikers.

The under-17 side, which warmed up for the tournament by beating a Burnley FC academy side 1-0 in Manchester last week, found it tough going against the slick US outfit at Castlerock.

The Strikers' brand of one-touch football proved too much for the Otago side and it took only seven minutes for its defence to be breached.

The Strikers added three more goals in the first half as it took a 4-0 lead into the break.

Otago looked much improved in the second half but the Strikers were still able to find the back of the net twice more.

Despite enjoying more ball and gaining some control in midfield, Otago's defensive errors were punished and it would have been happy to keep the damage to a minimum in the second period.

Coach Andy Duncan said the match was a wake-up call for his side, although the Strikers were one of the tournament favourites.

"In the first half we were guilty of standing off and giving them far too much space and time on the ball.

"I have no doubt the boys learnt a number of lessons today and for that they will be better players, which I hope they can demonstrate when they return to their schools and clubs back home.''

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