Derby County’s remarkable run in the UEFA Youth League will continue after they defeated Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in the competition’s playoff round.
The young Rams qualified for the playoff by defeating Belarusian side FC Minsk and Icelandic side IA Akranes over two legs while Dortmund finished second in their group in the UEFA Champions League pathway.
Irish U18 international Eiran Cashin started in defence for Derby along with U19 star Festy Ebosele while Harry Halwax and Jaden Charles, both of whom are capped at U18 level, made the bench.
Dortmund put out a strong side despite missing the highly touted midfielder Gio Reyna who made his debut for the German outfit’s senior side last month.
It was Derby however who struck first in the game and it came by way of one of their Irish stars who grabbed it, Cashin getting the decisive touch on the goal line after a corner kick bounced around the Dortmund box.
Cashin has so far started every game in this season’s UEFA Youth League for Derby, who doubled their lead early in the second-half before the visitors pulled a goal back with half an hour to play.
The English born defender almost grabbed Derby’s third on a number of occasions in the second half firing just over from close range before heading just over from a corner.
— Derby County Academy (@dcfcacademy) February 11, 2020
Derby did seal the win though in added time thanks to a goal from Louie Sibley to clinch their spot in the next round of the competition.
Starting at right-back, having also featured as a right-winger and a striker for the Rams this season, Ebosele was also impressive throughout the game with Derby fans and media singling him out for praise following the win.
Festy Ebosele looks like the next player knocking on the door of the first-team. Was also impressed with goalkeeper Bradley Foster-Theniger and centre-backk Eiran Cashin. The thought of a whole summer of Cocu integrating these players into the first-team…🐏 #dcfc #dcfcfans
— Richard Cusack (@RichardCusackBM) February 11, 2020
Scary how good Festy Ebosele is too. Stood out whenever he's played in the 18s, 19s and 23s. Just a shame that Jayden Bogle is Jayden Bogle otherwise he'd be starting for us
— Aaron (@AaronDunkIey) February 11, 2020
Following the game Derby manager Justin Walker spoke of his delight with his team’s performance, their fifth win from five games in Europe this season.
“I’m thrilled to bits and so proud. We’ve had a brilliant two days preparing for this fixture and it couldn’t have gone any better for us.”
“They’re a credit to themselves and I love working with them. They’re engaged, want to learn and don’t accept mediocrity and want to drive each other.”