Norwich City U23s 6 Dinamo Zagreb II 0 – Canaries cruise into semi-finals of Premier League International Cup
- Credit: Matthew Usher/Focus Images Ltd
Two goals from Kyle Lafferty helped Norwich City Under-23s set up a semi-final clash with Sunderland in the Premier League International Cup at Carrow Road this evening.
The Northern Ireland international striker was among a group of first-team players boosting the young Canaries for their clash with the development side of Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb.
He was joined by Ryan Bennett, Matt Jarvis, Josh Murphy and James Maddison in bolstering the hosts for the quarter-final tie, in front of more than 2,500 fans.
After a slow start to proceedings, City ripped the visitors apart with four goals in 20 minutes to go into the half-time break 4-0 up.
The first came in the 27th minute when Maddison played Lafferty into the left channel and the 29-year-old showed a nice touch to allow him to shoot. Dinko Horaks saved the initial effort but Jarvis was quick to test him with a follow-up shot, which deflected back to Lafferty, to lash into an almost empty net for 1-0.
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Less than four minutes later the big striker had his second, heading home a wonderful cross from the right from Louis Ramsay from six yards.
As torrential rain fell and Zagreb heads dropped, Murphy used his pace to charge past Dinamo skipper Vinko Soldo and fire low under Horkas to make it 3-0.
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There was one final flourish before the break though, with Maddison showing nice trickery before being chopped down by Filip Uremovic in the box, dusting himself down and cheekily chipping the ball into the top-left corner in the first minute of added time.
Jarvis, making his way back from a hamstring injury, was replaced by 17-year-old Glenn Middleton at the break and the Scotland youth international made an immediate impact.
Just three minutes into the second half the winger cut inside right-back Darick-Kobie Morris and lashed a low shot in off the base of the far post, to make sure of the success.
Michee Efete and Murphy both missed good chances to increase the score soon after, before the hosts wound down and saw out the game professionally against their downhearted opponents.
Zagreb skipper Soldo clattered into Middleton on the edge of the box to earn his second yellow card and an early shower in the 87th minute, with Maddison curling the free-kick wide, having hit the bar from a free-kick earlier in the second half.
The icing was put on the cake in the second minute of added time though when Maddison was brought down by the Zagreb right-back Morris to win another penalty but let substitute Todd Cantwell take it, on his 19th birthday, and the playmaker rolled it home calmly.
The young Canaries return to action on Monday away at Newcastle in Premier League Two and will now wait to learn the date of their semi-final clash with Sunderland.
Norwich: Killip; Ramsay, Efete, Bennett, Lewis; Godfrey (C); Maddison, Adams; Josh Murphy (Cantwell 67), Lafferty, Jarvis (Middleton 46). Unused subs: Oxborough (GK), Ashley-Seal, Crowe, Odusina, Jaiyesimi
Goals: Lafferty 27, 31, Murphy 43, Maddison pen 45+1, Middleton 48, Cantwell pen 90+2
Zagreb: Horaks; Morris, Soldo (C), Uremovic, Cabraja (Gogic 46); Plantak (Gyira 61), Biljan; Spikic (Zenko 78), Durosek, Lovren; Plazonja. Unused subs: Miskic, Briski, Hudecek, Vukmanic