Spyrou salvages draw for Norwich U23s as McLean and Jarvis return against Wolfsburg
PUBLISHED: 21:04 13 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:10 16 December 2018
Kenny McLean and Matt Jarvis banked a vital 45 minutes as they stepped up their injury comebacks, during an eventful 2-2 draw with European opposition at Carrow Road.
Nelson Oliveira had fired City in front only for Wolfsburg to claim the lead soon after the break, but Anthony Spyrou salvaged a draw in the 81st minute to claim a Group C point in the Premier League International Cup.
The big news ahead of kick-off was the presence of McLean making his injury comeback, the Scotland midfielder returning from three months out due to ankle surgery, alongside Jarvis on the comeback trail and out-of-favour striker Oliveira.
Jarvis was looking sharp on the left but couldn’t turn in from close range after McLean had headed a Caleb Richards cross back across goal in the 12th minute, with visiting defender Robin Ziegele winning that race.
The German visitors looked dangerous in attack but City’s defence were in the mood for a battle, with Jon McCracken kept busy throughout the first half.
Ziegele headed wide from a corner in the 23rd minute and Scottish keeper McCracken got down well to deny a powerful shot from Julian Justvan a minute later.
The deadlock was broken in the 34th minute though when a lovely Oliveira flick played one-cap England international Jarvis through on goal, with the winger’s shot denied by a fine save but Portugal international Oliveira on hand to slam into the empty net from just inside the area.
McLean and Jarvis were replaced by Spyrou and Tom Scully at the break and the hosts lost control, with Wolfsburg – top of their league in the German fourth tier – taking the lead with two goals in 12 minutes.
Striker Blaz Kramer headed back across McCraken to equalise from a cross from the right in the 52nd minute and visiting skipper Daniel Hamslik grabbed the lead in the 64th minute, blasting low from the edge of the box after a cross from the right deflected kindly for him.
The visitors were in firm control but Norwich fought back thanks to Spyrou turning home Simon Power’s cross, before a host of chances were wasted by the Canaries in the closing stages, with Ciaren Jones heading wide, Power going close three times and Tom Scully failing to make the most of a counter.
It leaves David Wright’s team needing to beat Tottenham at Colney in January to have a chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the competition.
Norwich U23: McCracken; Kamal, Odusina (C), Jones, Richards; Payne, Phillips (Coley 78); Power, McLean (Spyrou 46), Jarvis (Scully 46); Oliveira. Unused subs: Johnson (GK), Ekumah
Goals: Oliveira (34), Spyrou (81)
Booked: Oliveira (foul on Hanslik, 41), Phillips (fouls on Itter, 55)
Wolfsburg II: Menzel, Badu (Heuer 86), Ziegele, Franke, Itter; Seguin; Justvan, Hansli, Moker (May 51), Saglam; Kramer (Wahlig 82). Unused subs: Tasche (GK), Beifus
Goals: Kramer (52), Hamslik (64)
Booked: Saglam (foul on Power, 43), Kramer (foul on Oliveira, 71)
Referee: Alan Dale
Attendance: 750 (estimated)