COLERAINE FC Youths battled hard but ultimately fell to a 4-0 defeat against KRC Genk this afternoon…
The Bannsiders created history in the previous round as they were the first team to progress in the competition after beating FK Pobeda over two legs.
Genk started well and had two chances inside the opening seven minutes as Billy McDowell first denied Sekou Diawara, before a corner kick from Nolan Martens was headed over the bar by Michiel Cauwel.
On 19 minutes, there would be further frustration for the visitors as they spurned yet another glorious opportunity as a cross from the left-hand side was blazed over the goal mouth by Deniz Arabaci.
However, the Belgian side would edge in front on 23 minutes as a corner kick wasn’t dealt with by the Coleraine defence and Evan Rotundo had the simple task of finding the back of the net.
After McDowell denied Arabaci, the visitors would stretch their advantage on the half hour mark as the impressive Martens cut the ball back for Wilson da Costa who stroked his effort into the bottom corner.
The Bannsiders were having to do a lot of defending but they would go close on 35 minutes. A long ball forward was seized upon by Luca Doherty and the winger would force Mike Penders into a smart save.
Just before the half-time whistle, Genk would have another sight of goal as McDowell was forced to dive low and palm away Diawara’s curling effort just inside the box.
Genk – who beat Slavia Prague in the previous round – would go within a whisker of making it 3-0 as Arabaci’s low drive was turned around the post, before Cauwel would see a goal disallowed for offside.
The afternoon would be a busy one for McDowell as he thwarted Arabaci yet again before the stopper somehow made a terrific double save when it looked like Rotundo was a shoe-in to bag his second of the game.
The Belgians would be camped in the Coleraine half with Martens blazing a strike over the bar, Diawara was denied at close range but it would be 3-0 on 63 minutes as Kamiel Van de Perre burst into the box and found the bottom corner.
After McDowell would be on hand to deny Thomas Claes from just outside the 18 yard box, the same player would make amends on 83 minutes as he rounded the ‘keeper and tapped the ball into an empty net.
A tough assignment against top quality opposition for the Bannsiders who will hope to gain as much experience as possible next week in Belgium.
COLERAINE FC YOUTH: McDowell, Stewart, Campbell, Dealey, Stinson, Callaghan, Patton (Mackay ’88 mins), Curran (Smyth ’64 mins), Moffatt (Watton ’46 mins), Feeney (Cullen ’64 mins), Doherty (Kelly ’78 mins).
Subs Not Used: Donnelly (GK), Dennison.
KRC GENK: Penders, Martens, Cauwel, Al Mazyani (Baskale ’88 mins), De Grand, Van de Perre (Michiels ’88 mins), Arabaci, Claes, Diawara (Sakkali ’73 mins), Rotundo (Smekens ’73 mins), Da Costa (Toure ’73 mins).
Subs Not Used: Stevens (GK), Bafdili.
Referee: Mohammed Al-emara (Finland)