Photo gallery: Norwich City U21s 2 Manchester City U21s 1
- Credit: Archant
Jamar Loza scored a late winner for Norwich City Under-21s at Carrow Road tonight, as Belgian midfielder Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe stepped up his comeback from a knee injury with a full 90 minutes.
Loza snatched the win in the 88th minute but Declan Rudd's penalty save at 1-1 in the first half was also pivotal in the victory.
The young Canaries got off to a flying start, going 1-0 up inside the first minute of the match.
Jacob Murphy, who recently completed a loan spell in League One with Scunthorpe, seized on a loose ball in his own half and fired a high, curling pass over the visiting defence into the path of his twin brother, Josh, who finished the move with a sweet left-footed strike into the bottom-right corner of the net.
Visiting goalkeeper Angus Gunn cut out a Jacob Murphy cross from the right five minutes later, the son of Canaries legend Bryan quick to get in front of Norwich striker Carlton Morris.
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The Citizens then hit back in the 22nd minute after striker Jose Pozo was played through and calmly finished under the on-rushing Rudd into the bottom-right corner of the net.
Gunn then showed the sort of reflexes his dad would have been proud of in his pomp, brilliantly turning a header from Ignasi Miquel round his post after Jacob Murphy had picked out the centre-back at the back post, diving low to his left in spectacular style.
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Odjidja-Ofoe had seen a header cleared off the line following a Josh Murphy corner just before that chance as the hosts failed to force their way back into the lead.
That nearly proved costly as well, with the Blues awarded a penalty in the 33rd minute, after Reece Hall-Johnson and Kyle McFadden sandwiched Brandon Barker in the penalty area.
Rudd came to his side's rescue though, diving to his left to deny Pozo's spot-kick and let the Canaries off the hook.
The half was becoming all about the goalkeepers and Gunn stole back the spotlight three minutes before the break to keep Patrick Vieira's young team on level terms.
Jacob Murphy nutmegged Bersant Celina on the left wing and found his brother on the edge of the area, who teed up Jamar Loza to shoot, forcing a good save from Gunn, who then also clambered to his feet to deny Morris from close range and keep the score at 1-1 through to half-time.
The second half was a more frenetic affair, with Jacob Murphy going close three times early on, failing to reach low crosses to the back post from his brother and Sam Kelly, before firing into the side-netting from close range after a defensive error.
Both teams had three successive corners but did not take their chances, the visitors did go close in the 80th minute though, Olivier Ntcham rattling the right-hand post from 25 yards with Rudd beaten.
The closest the Canaries came was in the 85th minute, when Jacob Murphy fired a low shot from the edge of the box towards the bottom-right corner, only for his former academy team-mate Gunn to once again make a good save.
Jacob would have the last laugh though, crossing from the left in the 88th minute to allow Loza to fire home from six yards and snatch the victory.
Norwich City U21s: Rudd; Hall-Johnson, McFadden (C), Miquel, Kelly (Efete 77); McGrandles, Odjidja-Ofoe; Jacob Murphy, Loza, Josh Murphy (Norman 68); Morris (Grant 82). Unused subs: Beauchamp (GK), Crowe.
Man City U21s: Gunn; Smith-Brown, Maffeo, Adarabioyo, Tasende; Glendon (C); Celina, Byrne, Barker; Pozo (Boadu 66), Ntcham. Unused subs: Bossaerts, Lawlor, Plummer.
Referee: Mr C Fitch