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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

25 November 2019 Venue Leyland County Ground Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

Blackburn Rovers PL2
1 - 2
Benfica U23

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Match Previews

Preview: Rovers Under-23s v Benfica Under-23s

A busy week for Billy Barr's side begins with a Premier League International Cup encounter

25 November 2019

Rovers Under-23s return to action this evening when we host Benfica's Under-23s at Leyland in the second game of their Premier League International Cup campaign.

It was a frustrating start to the competition for Billy Barr's side, who suffered a 2-0 defeat to Hertha Berlin in the opening game of the tournament earlier this month.

Speaking ahead of the encounter, Barr has challenged his charges to rise to the challenge against a side who are known for bringing through talent.

"Technically they are very good as you would expect, and a little bit older which is another challenge," he said.

“I’ll see what team we put out, but hopefully the players will have had a look at themselves, we’ll have had some honest chats and be a totally different proposition.”

There are no fresh injury concerns for Barr, who witnessed his side suffer a 3-0 defeat to Manchester City in Premier League 2 Division 1 on Friday night.

But the game will come too soon for three key players who are on the road to recovery.

Northern Irish midfielder Brad Lyons had only just returned to light training, whilst the defensive pair of Charley Doyle and Louie Annesley are expected to be out of action for between two to three weeks.

Benfica triumphed over Hertha Berlin in game one of their cup journey at AFC Fylde's Mill Farm, before following that result up with a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United's Under-23s last week.

Rovers follow tonight's game up with one further group stage encounter, which can be seen below:

  • Newcastle United v Rovers
    Northumberland FA, Whitley Park
    Friday December 20th, 2019
    Kick-off 7pm

The format of the competition sees six groups of four clubs, made up of two English teams and two from overseas.

Teams play each other once, with the six group winners and two best-placed runners-up qualifying for the quarter-finals, which will take place in the New Year.

A reminder that kick-off at Leyland's LFA County Ground is at 7pm and we will have full match updates via our social media channels. It is free entry for season ticket holders, otherwise admission is proced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.

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Match Reports

PL International Cup Report: Rovers U23s 1-2 Benfica U23s

Rovers are sent out of the Premier League International Cup after a late Daniel Anjos double

25 November 2019

Two second half goals from Benfica substitute Daniel Anjos sent Rovers crashing out of the Premier League International Cup.

Jacob Davenport slammed home midway through the second half to deservedly give the hosts a slender advantage in the Leyland drizzle.

Rovers were the better side throughout and had plenty of the ball, but were hit by a suckerpunch in the final 10 minutes when Anjos rose highest to head a cross beyond Andy Fisher.

The Brazilian frontman ended up having an ever greater impact later on when he fired home the dramatic late winner in added time with his right foot.

The result means that the final group game against Newcastle United next month will count for nothing as far as Rovers are concerned.

The positive of the night will have been a first run out in over a year for Jack Evans, whilst there was also a start for Andy Fisher in goal.

Jack Vale led the line, with support offered in the form of Dan Butterworth and Stefan Mols in the attacking areas.

A fine start from the hosts saw Davenport test Fabio Duerte with a curling free kick that the goalkeeper had to tip away for a corner after only 12 minutes.

Kevin Csoboth tested the returning Fisher at the other end before Vale forced Duarte into a low stop a moment later in a lively opening at Leyland.

Butterworth went close to opening the scoring just after the half hour mark, but dragged his effort just an inch or two wide of Duarte's right-hand post.

Chances were few and far between at the beginning of the second half, but it was Rovers who bagged the elusive opener through an expert finish from Davenport.

The midfielder won the ball back from an opponent before squeezing an effort under Duarte and into the back of the net just before the hour mark.

Skipper Mols could have made the score more comfortable for Rovers, but his strike belted against the base of the post before bouncing away from danger with less than 25 minutes to play.

Anjos had only been on for four minutes, but that was enough time for the big forward to power home a header with eight minutes remaining to level the score after a pinpoint cross from the left flank.

And the Brazilian wasn't finished there, with his impact ultimately winning the game for the Portuguese outfit as he beat Fisher with a right-footed attempt in the dying embers of added time.

Rovers Under-23s: Fisher, Rankin-Costello, Thompson, Davenport, Whitehall, Carter, Mols (c), Evans (Brennan, 90), Vale, Butterworth, Paton.

Unused substitutes: Hilton, Jackson, Pike, Boyomo, Saadi, Zimba.

Goal: Davenport, 57

Booked: Rankin-Costello, 57

Benfica Under-23s: Duarte, Ebuehi (J. Ferreira, 78), Ganchas, Conceicao, Frimpong (Anjos, 78), Pinto, Csobeth, Kalaica, Santos, Mendes (Vukotic, 70), Almeida.

Unused substitutes: Garrido, Chrien, V. Ferreira, Zec.

Goal: Anjos, 82, 90.

Booked: Frimpong, 71, Pinto, 90.

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