Ben Doak outstanding with a goal and an assist as Liverpool edge past Napoli U19 – Liverpool FC
On his UEFA Youth League debut, Ben Doak was the star as Liverpool Under-19s sealed an opening 2-1 win over Napoli ahead of the first-team clash.
Napoli U19 1-2 Liverpool U19
UEFA Youth League (1), Stadio Giuseppe Piccolo
September 7, 2022
Goals: Iaccarino pen 59′; Doak 28′, Gunner 67′
In line with Champions League fixtures, the young Reds kicked off their UEFA Youth League campaign with Barry Lewtas bringing in an exciting squad – with a mix of Under-21s and Under-18s and a average age of only 17.7 years.
Among those to start at Napoli were 16-year-old wingers Doak and Trent Kone-Doherty, who have been in exceptional form so far since arriving from Celtic and Derry City in the summer.
They provided the spark as Liverpool dominated throughout the first half, with Kone-Doherty providing the first opportunity after excellent pressure from James McConnell, to fire his effort directly at the goalkeeper.
Ben Doak started running with the ball and never stopped! ?
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 7, 2022
Doak was a constant threat down the right, heading for the boundary line to drill crosses and diving deep to lay in balls, and the Scotsman put the young Reds ahead before the half-hour mark.
Collecting the ball from the channel, Doak pushed the Napoli defense forward, clipping his right foot and firing into the far corner to make it a deserved 1-0.
HT: Napoli U19 0-1 Liverpool U19
There was a strong response from the home side after the break, with Napoli exploiting Liverpool’s high line repeatedly with search balls over the top.
Harvey Davies had to deny a one-on-one with a smart save but soon after conceded a penalty by bringing down Antonio Pesce and allowing the impressive Gennaro Iaccarino to convert from the spot.
Frustration erupted from Lewtas’ side, but they built up their courage to mount a comeback, and it was again thanks to Doak, who made his mark after a patient buildup to beat his defender and fire into a cross for that Oakley Cannonier finishes.
It turned out to be Cannonier’s last involvement, having injured himself in the process, and he was replaced by another 16-year-old in Lewis Koumas, taking over the first-choice attack at U18 level.
Napoli still had chances to equalize late, and it took a big save from Davies, judging the ball was bouncing off the artificial pitch, to deny Dylan De Pasquale and secure the win.
It was a big win for Liverpool and a star for Doak, who took his tally to four goals and two assists in four outings for his new club so far, with Ajax next visiting Europe.
TIA Man of the Match: Ben Doak
Liverpool U19: Davies; Mabaya, Quansah, Jonas, Chambers; Corness, McConnell, Frauendorf; Doak (Miles 90+4′), Kone-Doherty (Young 89′), Cannonier (Koumas 69′)
Unused submarines: Hewitson, Osborne, Pennington, Onanuga
Next game: Newcastle (A) – U18 Premier League – Saturday 10 September, 11am (BST)