Oxford United’s U18s are into the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals for the first time in their history after beating Leeds United 3-0 at the Kassam Stadium last night.
An early goal from Enrique Tiamuna, followed by two Gatlin O’Donkor strikes were enough to send Oxford through to the next round, where they will travel to face Premier League giants, Manchester City.
Captain George Franklin said: “It’s unbelievable, the experience that we had. Throughout the 90 minutes, I couldn’t have been prouder of the boys. Obviously picking up a booking early was a bit shaky but I thought I showed my composure at times and played well throughout the game.
“We just showed our quality tonight. We weren’t scared of a category one team in Leeds, obviously a big club in the Premier League but that didn’t phase us one bit. Like I said, the quality we have in our team, that doesn’t phase us, we know our quality. Overall, very, very, very happy.”
Coach, Pablo Haysham added: “I thought we defended really well. Haks does a lot of work with the boys and they take it on really well. They defended the box well, clearances, all those bits. The work rate they put in to defend, that was the key.
“Gats (Gatlin O’Donkor) does really well, the boys understand what a talisman he is and he’s had a fantastic year in lots of ways, you know the first team staff working with him as well has helped him develop, training with first team players has been brilliant for him and I think ultimately the boys know what he brings and if they support him and demand stuff from him, he can deliver and he did that.
“There were so many good performances in there and like you said it’s everyone. You know, people like Zaide who got through so much work. The two centre half’s, George and Erion as well, there were just so many good performances.
“I think to play like that, you need 11 players and the two that came on, including the lads on the bench supporting, you need that and you can’t just put your finger on one player.”
To read Oxford United’s in-depth match report, click here.