O'Higgins 0-2 Argyle
THIS splendid victory at the Warren was achieved by one of the finest performances by an Argyle team, as boys became men in the face of severe provocation from their Chilean opponents.
O'Higgins were adept in most of the tricks of the game but a strong opponent, allied by a tough referee, refused to let them get away with their plan.
The Argyle youngsters refused to be intimidated and it was their opponents who finished the game with 10 men after central defender Keven Caro was sent off, 10 minutes from time, for headbutting Argyle striker Oscar Massey.
The Argyle management made one tactical change from the side that drew 1-1 with County Londonderry, bringing in 14-year-old defender Adam Poole for 13-year-old midfielder Jack Matthews against a Chilean side that beat County Down 2-0 the previous evening.
It was the young Pilgrims who started strongly with Ryan Downing’s great run ending with his low, driven cross flying across the face of the goal and wide of the far post.
O'Higgins replied with Joaquin Tapia twice finding space on the right to send efforts wide of James Morley's goal. This prompted the Argyle management to bring on Harvey Field to plug the gap.
Back came Argyle to take a 20th minute lead after Downing's forceful run took out three defenders before he was crudely halted by Gabriel Pinto for Carlo Garside to send goalkeeper Martino Flamengo the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Argyle continued to call the tune after the break and Caro was booked for a bad challenge on the dangerous Downing before Massey showed his pace to race pass Flamengo but he was forced out wide and his superb effort, from an acute angle, flew just wide of the far post.
Downing was then replaced by Jayden Gilbert and the young striker intercepted Morley's superb long ball to find Will Jenkins-Davies who sent a rasping drive inside Flamengo's near post on 46 minutes.
Four minutes later, Caro was deservedly dismissed, leaving the Chilean's with an impossible task and it was Argyle who almost added a third but Flamengo somehow kept out Gilbert's ferocious drive.
The final whistle saw the youngsters deservedly celebrating as they took the congratulations of the large section of the crowd who were supporting the Greens and will probably be present at Seahaven for Wednesday's crucial meeting with Arsenal.
Argyle: James Morley, Harvey Taylor, Jack Endacott (Harvey Field 15), Jeffery Forkuo, Oscar Halls, Brandon Pursall, Carlo Garside, Oscar Massey (Izeak Aaron-Driscoll 56), Ryan Downing (Jayden Gilbert 43), William Jenkins-Davies (Harley Sneap 53), Adam Poole. Substitutes (not used): Brandon Quinn, Jack Matthews, Zak Baker.