Milk Cup Semi-Final - Argyle 0 Corinthians 2

ARGYLE'S youngsters' superb run in the Dale Farm Junior Milk Cup finally came to an end at Seahaven, Portstewart as they found this excellent Brazilian side just too good for them on the night.

Having won all three games to this point, topping the 28-table, the young Pilgrims bowed out in the semi-final stage to a team representing one of the biggest clubs in South America.

The Argyle coaching staff could not fault the effort and commitment showed by their young side who were not in awe of their physically superior opponents.

Corinthians showed why they are considered favourites for the title but credit must go to this Argyle side who pushed them harder than any other side in the competition.

The Brazilians started strongly but it was Argyle who had the first real chance after nine minutes. A slip by central defender Franklin Tochukwu let in Alex Fletcher but his low drive was blocked by the legs of goalkeeper Guilherme Gallis.

Corinthians hit back with the dangerous Fabricio Keiske slamming a great shot against the Argyle crossbar from 15 yards before sending another effort over from the edge of the area.

Argyle 'keeper Michael Cooper made a fine save from Keiske before punching out Rafeal Bilu's inswinging corner from under his bar.

Disaster struck, two minutes before the break, when Corinthians were awarded a dubious free-kick, 25 yards from goal, and Keiske hit a superb shot over Cooper and under his bar.

Argyle could have been forgiven for folding in the second half but they did the opposite and came back hard at their opponents.

Alex Battle saw his stinging free kick well saved by Gallis but the Argyle revival was cut short, midway through the half, when substitute Eloder Edilson was left unmarked to stoop low and head home Bilu's corner from close range and send the Brazilians through to the final.

The Pilgrims will meet O'Higgins, of Chile, in the third place play-off at 11am on Friday, having lost to County Antrim in a shoot-out in the other semi-final.

Argyle: Michael Cooper, Ryan Dabbs, Ryan Law, Harry Downing, Jordan Bentley, Josh Richards, Sam Ryan, Tyler Tonkin, Alex Fletcher, Alex Battle, Jake Lane (Billy Craske h-t). Substitues not Used: Harry Hodges, Max Childs, Sam Morgan, Elliott Crawford, Matthew Ward, Cameron Sangster.