Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has congratulated the U-23s side for a dramatic penalty shootout win over rivals Sunderland.
There hasn’t been a whole lot to cheer about for either of the two North East clubs this season, but fans from both sides turned up to the Stadium of Light on Wednesday to see the U-23s square off in the Premier League International Cup quarterfinals.
Sunderland were the better side during the 90 minutes, but fell behind from a Curtis Good header. Lynden Gooch levelled for the hosts from the spot, and his second of the night looked to have won it. That was until Callum Roberts’ incredible 92nd minute free kick sent the match to extra time and penalties.
The penalty shootout was quite remarkable, as it made its way all the way through the goalkeepers and back around to the start of the rotation. Newcastle won 11-10, after Jake Hackett blazed his penalty over the crossbar for Sunderland.
Rafa Benitez was clearly keeping a close eye on the match, and congratulated the lads on Twitter.
Congratulations to our NUFC U23. Great job, great result and great achievement for the lads and all the staff. Good luck for the next games. #NUFC
— Rafa Benitez Web (@rafabenitezweb) March 7, 2018
Lynden Gooch and Callum Roberts were the standout performers, but there will be plenty of names for Benitez and Chris Coleman to consider in the coming seasons.
Newcastle fans, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.