First and Last
Argyle 1 First Choice Soccer (USA) 2
TWO second-half minutes of slack defending cost the Argyle youngsters the opportunity to end their SuperCupNI tournament on a winning note.
Their American opponents were the first to show at Freehall Road, Castlerock, with skipper Kairo Coore firing a clear chance wide of the Argyle goal from 18 yards.
Argyle enjoyed plenty of possession but it was their opponents who fashioned the chances, with Pilgrims goalkeeper Jordan Duffey twice forced to make good saves.
Argyle's best chance of the first half came in stoppage time when Aaron Goulty cut in from the left to fire in a shot that goalkeeper Michael Lanc did well to save.
The second half carried on in the same fashion until the Argyle defence fell asleep in the 44th and 46th minutes, allowing substitute Brandon Brackett and Oscar Brown to put the Americans two goals up.
Argyle came back at their opponents and the Rio Garside-Isaac Burdon combination almost worked again but the latter's header flew into the side netting.
Pilgrims' top tournament scorer Burdon then fired across the face of goal and just wide of the far post before substitute Tom Harris lashed the ball narrowly wide from the edge of the area.
It was not until the second minute of stoppage time that Argyle finally broke through as great play along the bye-line by Harris saw substitute Rubin Wilson (pictured above) fire home at the near post.
Unfortunately the goal came too late for Argyle as, moments later, the referee whistled for full-time.
Head coach Kevin Nancekivell was not downhearted after the game. He said: "The whole week has been fantastic as I couldn't have asked for any more from the boys. The experience and the education they have gained will stand them in good stead which is what it is all about.
"I'm a tad disappointed that we didn't get the results that we set out to get but we can't be too disappointed with the performances as, in the majority of the games, we have been the better team and still been on the wrong side of the scoreline."
When asked about the boys' behaviour during the week, he said: "Spotless - but good behaviour is what is expected of all the Academy boys and these lads carried out those standards to the full."
Kevin is sure that the Academy will return to Irealnd in the future. "We will be back as it is imperative that the club continues to send teams out here because the education that they get is totally different and we need that each year. A massive thanks to all the sponsors as, without them, it wouldn't be possible."
Argyle: Jordan Duffey, Jake Cribb (Tom Harris 48), Reuben Collum, Oliver Tomlinson, Isaac Burdon, Mike Peck (Matthew Roberts 46), Dominic Osborne (Rubin Wilson 49), Rio Garside, Aaron Goulty, Keiran Rowe (Mani Skett 41), Jacob Evans (Harry Lampier 58).