Louis Thompson fires Norwich City’s U21s to 2-1 friendly win over Gaziantepspor

Josh Murphy was impressive in the opening 45 minutes of Norwich City's U21s latest friendly against

Josh Murphy was impressive in the opening 45 minutes of Norwich City's U21s latest friendly against Gaziantepspor in Austria. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City's U21s rounded off their Austrian tour with a hard-fought 2-1 friendly win over Turkish top flight side Gaziantepspor in Schwaz, Austria.

Captain Louis Thompson and Jamar Loza were on target in either half as first team boss Alex Neil and his coaching staff watched on. Abdul Kadir Kayali had equalised for the Turks in what proved a more than competitive outing for the young Canaries.

Thompson was deployed alongside Connor McGrandles in central midfield with Josh Murphy wide on the left. Ignasi Miquel partnered Reiss Awuah at the back and Loza started up front.

Murphy was hungry for work in the early skirmishes, cutting in off the left to veer past Erdem Sen but the Turkish called in reinforcements to subdue the wide player.

Murphy however, tricked his way past Sen again in the seventh minute to tee up Loza, who stabbed home from point blank range after a costly spill from Zydrlinas Karcemarskas.

Neil along with his coaching staff took their seats shortly after the Canaries had opened the scoring.

Gaziantepspor swiftly identified Murphy as the dangerman with the youngster increasingly targeted for robust treatment. One crunching challenge from Sen required treatment for a bloodied nose as McGrandles led the City protests to the referee.

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Murphy was felled again just past the half-hour mark but back on his feet to construct a quick free kick with Loza which ended with the England Under-20 starlet dragging his shot wide from a tight angle.

Muhammet Demir thudded a free kick against a well-drilled Norwich wall but the Turks were struggling to test Ben Killip.

Loza was slipped through by McGrandles at the opposite end but after drawing Karcemarskas guided a right-footed finish wide from 16 yards.

Efete's sense of adventure cut a swathe through back-pedalling defenders but Loza was unable to anticipate his cut-back.

Karcemarskas tipped Murphy's curling right-footed strike behind for a corner with the 20-year-old looking the class act on the pitch.

The balance of power continued after the interval with Murphy driving at the heart of the Turkish backline but choking a low shot cleared by Sen before another slaloming run ended with a miscued finish that prompted a look of angst from the wide player.

Gaziantepspor were looking to up the ante in search of a leveller and Kayali pounced with a superb 20-yard strike past Killip.

Awuah then headed a dangerous free kick clear with City under sustained pressure for the first time in the contest but captain Thompson led by example when he capitalised on a weak clearance to coolly slot the winner in the 82nd minute.

• Gaziantepspor (starting XI): Karcemarskas, Sume, Vranjes, Yarddimi, Sen, Lima Pacheco, Putsila, Nefiz, Ayaz, Chibuike, Demir.

• Booking: Lima Pacheco (foul on Loza, 75)

• Goal: Kayali (71)

• Norwich City U21s: Killip, Hall-Johnson, Awuah (Crowe 85), Miquel, Efete (Ramsay 70), Norman (Coker 45), McGrandles, Thompson, Loza, King (Grant 75), Murphy. Subs (not used): Oxborough, Eaton-Collins.

• Booking: McGrandles (foul on Kayali, 73)

• Goals: Loza (7), Thompson (82)

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