Attacker provides Leeds United response as young Whites impress with changes under new boss

An impressive fightback from Leeds United's under-21s proved in vain as Thursday night's Premier League International Cup clash at home to Sparta Prague ended in a 3-1 defeat.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Leeds were taking in their first game since the departure of former under 21s boss Michael Skubala to League One side Lincoln City, upon which under-18s boss Scott Gardner has taken the reins on an interim basis.

In abysmal weather, Leeds made a bright start in Thursday's contest at the LNER Community Stadium in York and had several chances to go in front with Darko Gyabi particularly impressive in a more advanced central midfield role.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sparta, though, went ahead in the 26th minute as the visitors played in the excellent Tomas Schanelec who clinically beat keeper Harry Christy one on one. The Whites then had two glorious chances to equalise but Keenan Carole's shot from close range following a Sean McGurk cross was somehow saved by Sparta keeper Jakub Surovcik.

RESPONSE: From Leeds United under-21s attacker Sean McGurk, centre, in Thursday night's Premier League International Cup clash against Sparta Prague's under-21s at the LNER Community Stadium in York. Picture by LUFCRESPONSE: From Leeds United under-21s attacker Sean McGurk, centre, in Thursday night's Premier League International Cup clash against Sparta Prague's under-21s at the LNER Community Stadium in York. Picture by LUFC
RESPONSE: From Leeds United under-21s attacker Sean McGurk, centre, in Thursday night's Premier League International Cup clash against Sparta Prague's under-21s at the LNER Community Stadium in York. Picture by LUFC

Then, moments later, the very lively Gyabi played in striker Luca Thomas one on one but Thomas sent his low shot the wrong side of the post. Sparta then punished Leeds by bagging their second goal of the game four minutes later as a superb finish from Michal Sevcik finished off a sweeping counter which began after McGurk was bustled off the ball for what looked like a foul.

It meant the Whites entered the half-time break 2-0 down but Leeds pulled a goal back two minutes after the restart as a lovely flick from Lewis Bate set up McGurk who rifled home a powerful finish from just inside the box.

Both sides then had good opportunities to bag the game's fourth goal as Leeds continually peppered the goal in search of an equaliser but Sparta capitalised on a slip from James Debayo to go 3-1 in front in the 94th minute.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Debayo was unable to keep his footing on a slippy surface and that left the impressive Schanelec in on goal from a tight angle, the Sparta star cutting into the box before firing a low shot past Christy who had made a series of good second half saves.

Leeds United under-21s: Christy, Moore, Hjelde, Debayo, Mullen, Crew (Snowdon 73), Carole, Bate, Thomas (Allen 64), Gyabi, McGurk. Subs not used: Van Den Heuvel, Monteiro, Ferguson, Sutcliffe, Coleman.

Sparta Prague under-21s: Surovcik, Hodous, Vecerka, Penxa, Okeke (Tosnar 48), Horak, Sevcik (Osmani 84), Rus (Mokrovics 70), Vana (Hranos 84), Selvinsky, Schanelec. Subs not used: Koldr, Jedlicka, Starek.

Referee: Aaron Jackson

Related topics: