Youngsters go down fighting 3-1 to South American opponents in opening IMG Cup game in Florida
The Stevenage U18s put in an encouraging performance against Brazilian side Cruzeiro in the opening game of their IMG Cup in Florida this afternoon before succumbing to a 3-1 defeat.
Despite falling behind to an 11th minute goal they fought back and could have levelled things up straightaway when Ryan Towner burst past three defenders, but saw his effort saved by the Brazilian 'keeper.
A long 20 minute delay followed for an injury to Boro 'keeper Tyler Reading, who then had to be replaced. However Stevenage reacted best after the game resumed and deservedly equalised on 38 minutes with a low shot into the far corner after Cruzeiro failed to clear a Dale Gorman free-kick.
Fejiri Okenabirhie saw a shot saved and Louis Yamfam rattled the bar as Boro looked to turn the game on its head in the first half.
Our Brazilian opponents improved in the second period and eventually retook the lead when a corner was only cleared to the edge of the Boro box and a looping shot ended up in the back of the net.
A penalty with 20 minutes remaining sealed the win, although Boro continued to look neat and tidy at times and pressed for more goals.
We'll bring you more reaction from the camp when we have it. Next up for Boro's youngsters is the USA U17 national team on Thursday. That's a 7.30pm kick-off in Florida and a 12.30am (Friday morning) kick-off here in the UK.
Once again you'll be able to watch the game live right here at www.stevenagefc.com.
Stevenage U18s fixtures
Wednesday 18th December - Cruzeiro - 11am (4pm UK time)
Thursday 19th December - USA U17s - 7.30pm (12.30am UK time on Friday 20th)
Saturday 21st December - Baltimore Celtic - 10am - (3pm UK time)
Sunday 22nd December - Querataro - 8am - (1pm UK time)