The Third Men
1st August 2014
ARGYLE'S travelling youth squad have created history by finishing third in the Dale Farm Junior Milk Cup.The young Pilgrims beat Chilean side O'Higgins 2-0 in the competition's third-placed play-off, having lost their semi-final against Corinthians by the same margin. The third-placed finish is the highest position any Argyle side have finished in during the competition - going one better than the 2009 squad, who lost at this stage.
Argyle had the perfect start against O'Higgins, taking a third minute lead, when Billy Craske sent over a cross from the left for Alex Fletcher to get in front of his man and fire the ball home at the near post.
Alex Battle then had the ball in the back of the net only to have it disallowed for an earlier offside.
That decision was forgotten, two minutes later, when O'Higgins failed to clear Battle's left-wing free kick for Tyler Tonkin to lash a low drive home from 20 yards,
Tonkin then skied the ball over the bar from 15 yards as Argyle finished the half in command of the contest.
The Chileans came more into the game after the break and Michael Cooper was forced into a good low save from Nicolas Diaz before he did well to keep Christopher Ayala's effort out of his goal.
Argyle replied with Fletcher's header dropping on top of the Chilean goal before Sam Ryan saw his 20 yard effort well saved as Argyle comfortably held on to their lead.
Argyle coach Chris Souness was a delighted man after the final whistle. "The standard of this international competition is so high, and demanding, that to finish third out of 28 top teams is an indicatn of the good work that Argyle are doing in their youth development structure," he said.
"It is also a huge reward for all the staff and the players in what is most probably one of the most prestigious tournaments worldwide."