Melbourne Net Late in Seven-Goal Thriller as Town Exit Ultimate Quaran-Team Cup
Monday, 23rd Mar 2020 10:12
Town exited the Ultimate Quaran-Team Cup at the first round stage after a hard-fought 4-3 replay defeat to the Melbourne Victory this morning following a 1-1 draw in the initial tie.
The Blues, represented by Josh Blunden in the FIFA 20 tournament, found themselves behind in the opening half of the first game but Jack Lankester levelled shortly after half-time and there were no further goals in the inaugural Jim Magilton derby, the Portman Road legend having been manager with the Victory during 2012.
Town looked to have the replay won having secured a 3-1 lead midway through the second half - Will Keane, Lankester and James Norwood having been on target - despite Norwood having missed a penalty in the first half at 0-0.
However, the Victory, with Mouad Zwed at the controller, hit back via three late goals, the last in the final minute to progress into round two and crush Town's hopes of silverware.
A gutted Blunden tweeted afterwards: “I am heartbroken as I love this football club with a passion and to represent them was a dream I never thought I would ever have, it is a great honour to play for this football club
“I am really sorry to everyone who I have let down, as I played my heart out to get a result and felt I deserved it.”
The Ultimate Quaran-Team Cup was instigated on social media by Leyton Orient early last week to fill the footballing void. Each of the 128 clubs involved nominating a player or a fan to represent them.
Orient have set up a JustGiving page which now aims to raise £100,000 - the initial target of £50,000 having already been reached - with 75 per cent going to EFL clubs struggling financially due to the season’s suspension and 25 per cent split between Mind and the fight against Covid-19.
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