Horror start undoes Otago in Super Cup

A horror start made for a tough lesson first up for Otago at the Super Cup.

It was beaten 1-0 by the United States' First Choice Soccer in the under-17 grade's first round in Portrush, Northern Ireland.

The game's only goal came within the first minute of the match.

First Choice kicked off and, after pushing the ball forward, was able to attract three defenders to one man.

That left the Otago defence exposed and the Americans made no mistake in of going one up.

From then, Otago had to hang on through a relentless 10-minute period of domination from First Choice.

It was able to create one chance against the run of play though, Gareth Mirko going close after a through-ball from Caleb Sharkey.

Otago began to settle after the opening period and Mirko was able to create several more chances.

Bailey Nomnoo was getting plenty of ball and did well to hold it and feed his support players.

First Choice continued to be dangerous on the break and, while several offsides hampered it, the Otago defence did well to prevent a second goal.

While the team battled in the second half, the class of First Choice proved too much to overcome.

Team manager Matt Scoles said there were some good aspects on display, but the game showed the need to expose Otago's youngsters to a higher level.

''I have no doubt that [coaches] Andy [Duncan] and Tim [Horner] are really happy with some of the endeavour shown by these young men.

''But unfortunately this is one of those games that we spend so much time talking about at home before coming over and why we continue to work so tirelessly to provide this opportunity to young players in our regions.

''At this level, when you sit back and don't switch on, you pay a very big price.

''And that was exactly what happened today. ''

Despite that he said there were some good performances and felt the team had been unlucky to not salvage a draw.

The side played its second game this morning, against County Armagh.

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