LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, November 1, 2022: Liverpool's Ben Doak during the UEFA Youth League Group A Matchday 6 game between Liverpool FC Under-19's and SSC Napoli Under-19's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Ben Doak forced off with head injury as Liverpool exit UEFA Youth League

Ben Doak sustained a nasty head knock as Liverpool’s UEFA Youth League run came to an end at the quarter-final stage with a 1-0 defeat in Portugal.

Sporting U19s 1-0 Liverpool U19s

UEFA Youth League Quarter-final, Stadium Aurelio Pereira
March 14, 2023

Goal: Ribeiro 65′

Liverpool booked their place in the quarter-finals of the competition after holding their nerve in a penalty shootout just 13 days previous.

Barry Lewtas was without a plethora of his bright attacking sparks in Oakley Cannonier, Trent Kone-Doherty and Lewis Koumas – and he was handed another blow after just six minutes.

It came with the enforced withdrawal of Ben Doak after a blow to the head that left him wobbly on his feet and unable to continue.

The Reds needed a few moments to find their composure but went on to find few clear openings at goal in the first half – Luca Stephenson’s half-chance in the box the closest Liverpool got.

At the other end, Harvey Davies ended the first half with an important save after a period of sustained pressure by the hosts – but the 19-year-old could not keep a clean sheet in the end.

HT: Sporting U19s 0-0 Liverpool U19s

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 3, 2022: Liverpool's Keyrol Figueroa during the Under-18 Premier League Cup match between Liverpool FC Under-18's and Tottenham Hotspur FC Under-18's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Twenty minutes into the second half, a long ball over the top of Liverpool’s defence was plucked by Rodrigo Ribeiro and steered beyond Davies – the goal given despite the Reds’ protests.

Defender Lee Jonas, who made vital interventions throughout, was pushed aside by a Sporting player and denied a challenge on Ribeiro as he bore down on the penalty box.

The referee didn’t give it a second glance.

The young Reds continued to push for an equaliser, the in-form Keyrol Figueroa coming the closest after getting behind the Sporting defence, but the ball was taken off his toes just as he took aim.

Liverpool’s exit equals their best-ever run in the competition.

Liverpool: Davies; Davidson, Jonas, Miles, Scanlon; Corness, Stephenson, McConnell, Clark; Doak (Young 8; Figueroa 73′), Frauendorf

Subs not used: Hewitson, Laffey, Osbourne, Danns, Gift

Next match: Sunderland (A) – U18 Premier League – Saturday, March 18, 11am (GMT)