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NEWS: Riza proud of U16s after Cup final loss

access_time 6 years ago

Under-16 Coach Omer Riza was proud of his side as they lost out on penalties in their Category Three final at Derby on Sunday.

Just like in their semi-final encounter at Exeter, the O’s trailed 2-0 early in the match, but Sam Dalby pulled one back before the half-time break and Ruel Sotiriou levelled matters in the second period.

However they were unable to find a winner, and a dreaded penalty shoot-out was to follow, where the O’s lost out 3-2.

Despite the disappointment, Riza believes the team will learn a lot from the past couple of weeks.

“Richard Thomas (Academy Manager) came along to the game and he said they will probably learn a lot more from losing the game than what they would have from winning,” Riza told

“We did the same thing in the semi-final but the boys will have still learnt a lot. They have had a good learning curve over this period of time.

“From where they have come at the start of the season to now, they have been brilliant. They are all learning and the education they are getting is working and they are a strong team.”

Riza was pleased with the response from his side in the encounter, and while creating a number of chances after levelling the game in the second period, admitted it just wasn’t their day in the end.

“It was good to get one before half time and that was good as it allowed us to find our way back into the game,” he added.

“We carved them open on numerous occasions with some nice play having made it 2-2 and had a number of chances, but it just didn’t fall for us.”

The Under-16s are back in action this weekend when they face Luton Town this weekend, and Riza is keen for the O’s to enjoy a strong end to the campaign.

“We are now focused back on the development games, we have Luton on Sunday but the boys will want to get back to winning ways and we will carry on hopefully developing between now and the end of the season,” he remarked.

ORIENT: Arthur Janata, Andrew Tayaca, Charles Claydon, Teddy Perkins, Mason Hill, Daniel Balogun, Jake Joliffe, Ruel Sotoriou, Michael Obafemi, Amin Benyoucef, Sam Dalby, Evandro Semedo, Aaron Rowe, Ernold Hexiou, Kane Hearn.