Junior fall two goals short of TRR despite 5-1 win over Racing

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Pool D: Junior FC 5 (J Garcia, G Dabanch, A Gil, N Mari, L Garcia) Racing Club de France 1 (T Fouquet)
Junior FC’s goal chase came up two goals short as they could not find the total they needed to overhaul Three Rock Rovers on goal difference, sending the Irish side into the KO16 in front of them despite a 5-1 win over Racing Club de France.

It took them just 70 seconds to get off the mark as a ball was not cleared by the Racing defence and Javiar Garcia slotted the chance through the goalkeeper’s legs. It got the large local support buzzing.

Lukas Plochy went within centimetres of a second with a shot across the face of goal. The second goal came when the ball made its way across goal to the waiting Gaby Dabanch who was left with the simplest of tasks to tap in, 2-0 with very little time gone.

And they kept piling on the pressure, winning their first corner in the 22nd minute with Alex Gil whipping home a drag-flick to get halfway to their intended total.

Racing had one chance of note, coming from a breakway from a Junior corner, with Albert Perez taking a deflected cross on the chest and clearing to safety, keeping a 3-0 gap into the half-time break.

The third quarter was scoreless with Racing scrambling to every ball and holding the Sant Cugat tide at bay. That run of defiance nearly ended but for Antoine Croutte’s spectacular save from the second Junior corner.

But they did get their fourth in the 48th minute when Nil Mari rounded on a loose ball to thrash home. Junior committed an extra man forward after this and it left them open to counter-attacks, requiring a series of good saves from Perez while Amaury Bellenger shot wide a reverse from a great position.

Thibaut Fouquet, though, got a goal on the board for Racing with eight minutes to go when he volleyed home a rebound to reduce the deficit to 4-1. Lucas Garcia got another one for the Spanish side within a minute as they looked to get to their new target of seven.

They could not find them and Three Rock Rovers were the ones to profit, staying clear on goal difference to take their place in the KO16 for a third time.