Manchester United will play USA Strikers FC in the Northern Ireland Milk Cup Globe competition after failing to qualify for the top tier of the prestigious youth tournament.
The young Reds, beaten finalists in last year’s Premier section of the tournament, face the Americans in the semi-final of the second tier tonight as two wins in three group games proved insufficient.
Paul McGuinness’ U16’s squad could face either Co. Tyrone or Senegal’s Etoile Lusitana in Thursday’s final as the tournament celebrates its 30th staging.
Northern Irish side Co. Tyrone upset the Reds with a 2-0 victory in the opening group game on Saturday before Monday’s 8-0 rout of Norwegians Revo Express offered a glimmer of hope.
Tuesday’s battling 2-1 win over Japanese side Ichifuna wasn’t enough for United to finish in the top four overall and now face a confident Strikers team who thumped Tottenham Hotspur 7-1 on Monday.
Joshua Harrop has been one of the stand-out performers for the Reds in the tournament and the 16-year-old hit four goals against the Norwegians to boost his chances of being crowned top scorer.