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UEFA Youth League: defensive errors cost Real Madrid U-19s in Shakhtar Donetsk defeat

Defensive errors cost the Real Madrid U-19s dearly in the UEFA Youth League on Tuesday afternoon, losing 3-2 away to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Manager Hernan Perez dropped by far his strongest starting 11 of the group stages so far with the likes of Néstor Lucas, David Gonzalez and Mini-Clasico star Peter Federico starting the match. It was the latter who dictated the early proceedings and would open the scoring off a fast break in the 10th minute.

The Ukrainians were quiet up until the half hour mark when they inexplicable managed to create space out wide in spite of four or five Juvenil A players hassling the ball carrier. Free to pick his marker, Andrii Buleza floated in a cross behind the back four which found Anton Hlushchenko. The defending champions were quick to shake off any surprised caused by the equalizer, scoring a second go-ahead goal just 10 minutes after the hosts had levelled.

Peter was once again the instigator, lobbing a sweet cross into the box which was met by the head of David Gonzalez. A brief scramble ensued as the keeper tried to clear his lines something that only added to the sublime style Gonzalez chose to get Juvenil A back in front.

Reflected in the score line, there seemed to be little wrong with Juvenil A up front. However, the backline continued to be dysfunctional. Seconds after the ball was rolling again, the visitors were once again passive in winning the ball back and an incisive pass from Hlushchenko bared another equalizer for Shakhtar. In the 44th minute, Juvenil conceded a free kick a few meters inside their own half, Illia Hulko probably couldn’t believe his luck when the resulting cross rolled off a Madrid defender for him to volley home.

The first half comeback was enough for Shakhtar to take all three points. The loss leaves the defending champions third in the group, three points off Inter Milan and just two points behind Tuesday’s victors in second. It’s an uncomfortable position to be in with another round of fixtures to come, but Juvenil A pulled themselves out of a similar mess last season in the group stages and looked how that worked out.

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